LOS ANGELES -- Jaguar's new electric platform can be easily adopted for a broad range of vehicles, says the head of the brand's electric vehicle program.
"The platform can either be stretched or compacted, so it is a good platform for other vehicles," said Wolfgang Ziebart, technical design director of product development.
Jaguar showed its first vehicle on the platform, the I-Pace Concept compact crossover EV, last week at the auto show here. The production version will be shown in late 2017 and go on sale in the U.S. in 2018. The U.S. will be the biggest market and account for about half of global sales, Ziebart said.
Although Jaguar executives would not disclose an annual sales volume target, "it will be substantial," rather than a niche vehicle, said Joe Eberhardt, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover North America.
The I-Pace is 2 inches shorter than the F-Pace crossover that went on sale this year. But it has the interior room of the Range Rover long-wheelbase model, Ziebart said.
Jaguar opted to develop the electric platform first and "from a clean sheet of paper," so it could "choose the best in concepts and components," Ziebart said.
"Many cars on the market resemble combustion cars or are built on platforms used by combustion cars," he said.