A top-secret project currently underway at Jaguar’s design and engineering centre in Gaydon will see petrol engines dropped altogether for the radical all-electric Jaguar F-Type replacement due as early as 2021 or 2022.
Despite the lack of internal combustion, the futuristic Jaguar two-door sports car will be the fastest car ever to wear the leaper badge courtesy of electric motors and a bespoke new architecture tailored to take advantage of the design freedoms offered when a traditional drivetrain is not part of the equation. The bold decision to drop petrol engines is in line with Jaguar Land Rover’s promise of ensuring every model features some form of electrification by 2020.
While JLR chief Ralf Speth has admitted internal combustion engines will be around for a long time yet, it’s understood he saw too many compromises in designing a compact sports car to accommodate bulky internal combustion engines as well as electric motors and batteries.
The move to target the heartland of Jaguar – sports cars – is also a bold step to separate Jaguar from its predominantly German competition by taking a leading position with a flagship EV performance car. Combined with the early-2017 announcement of the Jaguar i-Pace electric SUV, it was that electric E-Type that prompted a months-long Wheels investigation that unearthed the top-secret project.
Sources closely aligned with the program have confirmed the company is deep in development of the all-electric F-Type replacement, which could get a different name to signify its leap from tradition to cutting-edge EV technology.
The all-electric sports car is being developed alongside the i-Pace.
It uses two electric motors and a 90kWh lithium-ion battery pack that can reach 80 percent charge in 90 minutes. As with Teslas, acceleration will be a big part of the i-Pace sales pitch, with the SUV claimed to be able to hit 100km/h in four seconds.
But the new F-Type will boost that performance further, with a line-up likely to include rear-drive and all-paw variants.
Entry-level cars will stick with a rear-drive setup, while more expensive models will run electric motors at both ends, delivering drive to front and rear wheels.
It’s the AWD version that aims to reset the two-seater performance benchmark for Jaguar, with early internal targets nominating a sub-3.0 second 0-100km/h time.
While engineers are excited by the relatively easy performance promised by electric motors, developing the personality of the car will rely heavily on the design team, led by Ian Callum.
While there will be lessons learned from the i-Pace, the all-new electric sports coupe will sit on a unique architecture tailored to a sports car featuring a low seating position.
Those sporty requirements have so far challenged Callum and his team – especially with the inherent focus on light weight – and mean the car will be a vast visual leap from the F-Type, the XK and the E-Type, each of which had a prodigious bonnet to house V8 and/or V12 engines.
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