Autocar confidential: Lister could build Range Rover Coupe, Ford Focus RS engineer moves to Hyundai and more

In this week’s whisperings from the corridors of motoring, we learn about high-profile staff changes at Seat and Ford, why Jaguar’s EV batteries are heavier than Tesla’s and more. 

Platform alteration

Seat’s former R&D chief is now the Volkswagen Group’s platform chief, with responsibility for the group’s MQB and MEB structures. Matthias Rabe will be supervising 12,000 engineers, up from the 1000 he shepherded at Seat. 

Next on the Lister

Lister, the British sports car maker with longstanding ties to Jaguar Land Rover, has reportedly been offered the tooling to build the recently axed Range Rover Coupé. Autocar understands that while the firm was tempted by the offer, it was prioritising its new product roll-out, including a new version of the Knobbly sports car.

RS engineer shifts Focus

Tyrone Johnson, former Ford RS chief engineer and Engineering Hero winner at the 2016 Autocar awards, has a new role at HyundaiKia. Johnson takes over Albert Biermann’s role as head of vehicle integration. Biermann becomes global head of R&D. 

How to cell 

As the industry shifts to BEVs, different solutions to battery and chassis design are emerging. An independent engineer tells us the Jaguar I-Pace battery weighs 700kg, while the Tesla Model X’s 100kWh pack is 400kg. The difference? Jaguar protects its cells inside a cast alloy case. Audi takes a similar approach. Tesla surrounds the battery with alloy protection profiles.