Jaguar I-Pace electric SUV has already accumulated 25,000 orders: CEO

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Jaguar I-Pace Concept, 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show

Jaguar I-Pace Concept, 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show

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In the rarified but still high-volume world of global luxury auto brands, Jaguar is still a tiny player.

The British brand sold fewer than 150,000 cars globally last year, one-third of the number of Land Rover and Range Rover SUVs from its sister brands within Jaguar Land Rover.

Audi sold 1.9 million, BMW sold 2 million, Mercedes-Benz sold 2.1 million, and even Lexus sold 680,000.

DON'T MISS: Jaguar I-Pace electric concept at LA Auto Show: video walkaround

But electric cars may offer a growth area for Jaguar, which unveiled its I-Pace electric crossover concept at last autumn's Los Angeles auto show.

The production Jaguar I-Pace will arrive at dealers during the second half of 2018, Jaguar said—keeping the British brand on pace with the Audi e-tron quattro, the first long-range electric crossover from any German maker.

Now Jaguar CEO Ralf Speth has revealed that Jaguar has already taken 25,000 orders for the I-Pace.

Jaguar I-Pace Concept, 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show

Jaguar I-Pace Concept, 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show

Enlarge Photo

Those are likely orders from its dealers, not customer deposits of the kind buyers made for the Tesla Model 3, which now total 455,000 since that car's unveiling in April 2016.

Speth was quoted in a Bloomberg story on Monday that noted Jaguar Land Rover is eyeing other luxury vehicle brands it might acquire within the global auto industry.

The figure actually came from an interview with Speth on Bloomberg Television earlier in September.

CHECK OUT: World's sexiest car, Jaguar E-Type, reappears as all-electric concept

In that 5-minute segment, Speth says, "The future in the automotive industry will be electric," and reiterated the company's commitment this year to offer electrified versions of every model in the Jaguar Land Rover lineup from 2020.

"We have 25,000 orders [for the I-Pace] in our order bank," Speth continues, though he emphasizes that the company cannot suddenly stop producing vehicles with gasoline and diesel engines.

The I-Pace, which has already been captured during a photography session in Monte Carlo, won widespread acclaim for its design.

Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy racecar

Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy racecar

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Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy racecar

Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy racecar

Enlarge Photo
Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy racecar

Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy racecar

Enlarge Photo

Among other aspects, Jaguar took full advantage of the proportions permitted by a battery-electric platform with the battery under the cabin and only an electric motor and power electronics between the front wheels.

The resulting I-Pace had a shorter nose and longer cabin, providing more interior volume in a given length, than a conventional design could have provided.

Audi and Mercedes-Benz, on the other hand—in their e-tron quattro and EQC concepts respectively—essentially duplicated the proportions of sleek mid-size crossover utility vehicles with combustion engines under the hood.

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