Jaguar’s potential decision to power the next-generation F-Type only with electric motors and a battery has plenty of positive aspects, but the risks are significant.
The recent, warm showroom reception for the I-Pace battery-powered SUV indicates that premium “halo” electric Jaguars have great buyer appeal, and the new F-Type’s business case should surely also benefit from sharing components with its logical electric bedfellows, the I-Pace family and the new all-electric XJ luxury car.
You’d imagine performance and traction would be no problem: the twin motors of the impressive four-wheel-drive I-Pace powertrain could surely be modestly enhanced for even better acceleration, with improved aerodynamics (principally a smaller frontal area) and a modestly lower kerb weight (the lack of an engine and gearbox compensating for the addition of a battery). That should help this 2020s coupé to the 150mph top speed it needs for respectability.
Above all, the driving precision of a sophisticated electric powertrain would play well in an F-Type. It might even be that the comparative simplicity of the new sports car (given that many of its engineering challenges have already been solved in the I-Pace) might even make the battery sports coupe more economic at the lowish annual volume around 6000 the existing car has been achieving.