First there was F-PACE — Jaguar’s first utility vehicle — and then came spy shots of an E-PACE — a smaller utility due in 2018 to compete in the segment so many luxury brands are yearning for. And now comes I-PACE — Jaguar’s first electric vehicle.
The I-PACE Concept was recently tested in the real world (the exterior was unveiled last fall), on the streets of London, with a dual purpose; first, it warranted a shake-down under real world conditions; and secondly, it had to generate buzz among the buying public, who can register at jaguar.co.uk to get on the buyers’ list.
“Driving the concept on the streets is really important for the design team. It’s very special to put the car outside and in the real-world,” enthuses Ian Callum, Jaguar’s Director of Design. “You can see the true value of the I-PACE’s dramatic silhouette and powerful proportions when you see it on the road, against other cars. The I-PACE Concept represents the next generation of battery electric vehicle design. For me, the future of motoring has arrived.”
Jaguar is calling I-PACE an electric performance SUV, promising 0-100 km/h times of around four seconds, and a range of over 500 km (though we’re betting drivers will achieve one or the other, but not both).
All wheel drive is achieved through the use of two electric 147-kW motors (one each on the front and rear axles), generating combined outputs of 395 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. That, says Jaguar, makes I-PACE a true driver’s car worthy of wearing the leaping cat, with its agility and ride comfort (provided by a front double wishbone/rear integral link suspension setup).
Plugging it into a DC outlet reportedly takes 90 minutes to put an 80% charge in the 90-kWh battery, or just over two hours for a full charge. Flattening out the 36-cell battery allowed Jaguar to place it underneath the cabin, not only creating a completely flat floor, but also freeing up over 530 litres of cargo volume to make the car useful to owners.
Done up in the finest natural and manufactured materials, the concept interior is the stuff of technological dreams, with a 12-inch touchscreen, combination of analog and digital instrumentation and a non-traditional push-button transmission shifter.
“The feedback on the I-PACE Concept has been fantastic,” states Jaguar’s director of design, Ian Callum. “With the I-PACE Concept we’ve torn up the rule book to create a vehicle with supercar inspired aesthetics, sports car performance and SUV space, in one electric package. It has surprised people and the enthusiasm for our first electric vehicle has been beyond all my expectations.”
Not much else is known about the production I-PACE at this time, though Jaguar is promising to unveil it at the end of this year, with customer deliveries in mid 2018.