Not too long ago, it would have been hard to imagine Jaguar producing any kind of SUV, but it now markets several, the latest of which is the I-Pace battery electric crossover. Like many rivals, Jaguar is planning on an all-electric future so the I-Pace is just the start.
Jaguar could easily have based the I-Pace on the company’s compact E-Pace model, but it opted for larger and roomier bodywork, possibly to position it as a competitor for Tesla’s Model X crossover, which is a fair amount more expensive than the Jag. The I-Pace sets new standards in the field of luxury SUVs and is as good-looking and capable as any rival out there. It has been described as a 5-seater sports car, probably with lots of justification.
It’s easy to recognize the aluminium-bodied I-Pace as a Jaguar with its black honeycomb grille and Jaguar-head badge at the centre. The vehicle has a passing resemblance to its F-Pace and E-Pace siblings at Jaguar but it has a sportier, more hunkered-down look about it. It’s a sleek, performance-oriented product and it confirms this with zero to 100 km/h times in the 4.5-second range. It may not be the kind of product Jaguar founder Sir William Lyons had in mind when he penned the famous ‘Grace, Space and Pace’ slogan, but it delivers on all counts.
Like other electric vehicles, the I-Pace has a fascinating technological spec sheet. Twin concentric electric motors offer a combined 394-horsepower, an impressive figure, especially when considering the excellent torque such power sources generate. A 90 kWh battery provides a very worthwhile range of 394 kilometres, which should ease owners’ range anxiety problems. Using a quick-charge supply, 80 per cent of charge can be achieved in around 40-minutes.
In the cabin, the I-Pace offers all the luxury touches Jaguar buyers expect. Naturally, the interior features numerous infotainment and communications systems, all of which add up to a vehicle that’s very easy to live day-to-day with. Firsts for Jaguar include dual touch screens on the dash, one of which is a 10-inch unit. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available as standard and also included is Software-Over-the-Air (SOTA) that allows owners to wirelessly update vehicle systems. Jaguar is offering various trim levels initially, though all have the same powertrain.
This EV is certainly the most intriguing Jaguar to arrive for some time. With the I-Pace’s impressive performance, lengthy range, good looks and luxury features, Jaguar believes it has created the most desirable EV on the market. The luxury performance EV segment promises to heat up quickly with several rivals under development. Right now, the Tesla Model X dominates the market for EVs in this performance and price range, but the I-Pace should take quite a bite out of that over the next year or two.
SPECS. AT A GLANCE…
BODY STYLE: 5-place SUV crossover
ENGINE: Twin electric motors, 394-horsepower.
TRANSMISSION: Single speed, all-wheel drive.
ACCELERATION: Zero to 100 km/h in 4.5-secs, approx.
RANGE: 394 km
PRICE: $86,500 base MSRP