Exclusive: Jaguar Land Rover SVR models going electric

Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations division confirms electric cars on the way, but no SVR I-Pace.

Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations division is set to launch its first all-electric car in the coming years, according to managing director Michael van der Sande.

However, in spite of SVO developing and running the all-electric I-Pace in the eTrophy race series that supports Formula E, the I-Pace will not be the first electric car to receive an SVO makeover.

Speaking exclusively to Auto Daily, van der Sande said: “We will be developing electrified versions of our cars, be that fully electrified or plug-in hybrids.

“I-Pace is not on that path, but there are various other things we are working on which we can’t talk about, but we’re very interested in electrification. That’s why we get involved in the eTrophy.

“The technology transfer, the learning applies to that car and other cars but we’re not planning an SVR I-Pace at the moment.”

Part of that reason could be because the I-Pace sits on its own unique all-electric platform that won’t be used for any other JLR product.

However, the new all-electric Jaguar XJ, set to be unveiled later this year, will be the first car to make use of JLR’s new MLA architecture that’s set to be used across the entire large Jaguar and Land Rover product line-up in the coming years. It would make more sense for the SVO division to work on that platform, making an XJ SVR a possibility, with the high performance technology then rolling on to other all-electric models.

With an all-electric, full-size Jaguar J-Pace SUV and an as-yet unnamed Land Rover crossover also likely to use the MLA electric car platform and be built alongside the XJ at the revamped Castle Bromwich plant, these models could also be set for the SVR treatment.

Van der Sande was talking as his SVO division announced record sales for the past year, up 64 per cent over the last fiscal year. Much of that was down to the arrival of the F-Pace SVR and Range Rover Velar SVAutobiography Dynamic which helped towards total sales of over 9,500 cars. However, van der Sande told us that the focus was still very much on cars higher up the chain.

JLR SVO’s sales success is in stark contrast to JLR’s overall sales figures, which were down 5.9 per cent in 2019.

SVO is also responsible for Jaguar and Land Rover’s Classic business and van der Sande also confirmed that more continuation models were on the way.

“We’re most of the way through our run of 25 D-Types,” he told us. “And we’re looking at a few opportunities going forward. I think you will see continuation models being offered occasionally by our Classic department.”

Steve Fowler

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