According to Jaguar design boss Ian Callum, his company’s entry into the electric vehicle segment with the I-Pace was the perfect opportunity for him to create a special design before EVs began looking too much alike to each other.
“There is certainly an opportunity in the near-future and mid-future because ultimately electric cars will look very similar since their underpinnings are very similar,” said the Jaguar exec.
The British carmaker then has no intention of letting this advantage slip away and will press on trying to make future models stand out visually.
Callum continued to say that with EVs, “you have to package the electric motor, inverter and the battery but they are joined by wires and not bits of metal so there are opportunities,” which means that you can still get creative and design something less traditional.
One example is that having no internal combustion engine means occupants can be moved further towards the front of the car, giving the vehicle a similar look to what you see with some mid-engined supercars. Yet, the I-Pace’s styling advantage will probably be short-lived as designs will inevitably be dictated by the battery layout, Callum conceded.
Future models will feature longer wheelbases in order to accommodate extra batteries. “We know that because we are doing more of them [EVs],” he said without getting into specifics, Autonews Europe reports.
The thickness of the battery pack also partially dictated the styling of Jag’s electric crossover. “We picked an SUV because we have 125 mm and 130 mm of battery.”
Callum went on to say that future models will still have to hold up the company’s values in terms of design.
“When you design a Jaguar the first function is performance and then beauty. I see beauty as a function. I don’t buy into the notion that electric cars have to look strange and funky, or different for the sake of it. This car [the I-Pace] looks different for the right reasons – because of the way it is designed.”
“Innovation should always leave 10 percent that people still recognize, and we did that with the I-Pace front end. Go 100 percent you’ll lose people too quickly,” he concluded, while also reportedly praising Tesla for recognizing this issue while designing the Model S.