Jaguar have revealed that they are producing their first ever all electric car, the I-PACE, and it will be available from late 2018. At the moment this is a concept, however, it WILL be put into production and the full reveal will be in late 2017. I expect the finished product to look very similar to this concept.
Design & Interior
The word that Jaguar have used for the design of the I-PACE is ‘dramatic’, and fittingly so. Though the front looks relatively ‘normal’ and clearly sculpted with the aid of a wind tunnel, the rear is where the ‘dramatic’ nature becomes apparent. In similar fashion to the new Honda C-HR, the roof ends very far from the extreme end of the car. In the Honda I found it very unattractive as it simply looked like they had run out of material to extend the roof any further down the car. On this occasion, Jaguar have a completely glass roof. The more I study the I-PACE, the more I can appreciate the architectural beauty of having what appears to be one pane of glass extending all the way over the cabin from the front windscreen to the rear.
Returning to the front, the aggressive lights and bold air ducts give the car a wide and sporty presence. I also like that Jaguar have kept their signature grille. Many electric cars do not have any grille at the front as it is not needed to cool an engine, but they always appear to have something ‘missing’. In the Jaguar, it appears that most of this air is rushed back out over the roof of the car via the sporty bonnet scoop. Another very neat aspect of the design is the completely flush door handles. Not only is it very aesthetically pleasing, but it also reduces drag and aids efficiency.
Inside the I-PACE, I can see definite influences from Tesla’s all electric Model-X SUV. Not that this is a bad thing. The glass roof oozes light into the cabin and makes it feel very bright and spacious. Jaguar claims it is a full five seater rather than being able to sit four in comfort with one suffering though discomfort in the middle. This is of course helped by the fact this is all electric and no room needs to be lost to accommodate a transmission tunnel. This offers a completely flat floor. Being a Jaguar you can expect the interior to be finished to the highest standard.
We have come to know and expect great things from electric cars in terms of performance. Their electric motors give instant torque from any speed which can result in lightening acceleration. Although these are only estimates, Jaguar claims that the I-PACE will produce 400PS and 700Nm of torque, whichis a lot. The estimated 0-100km/h time is “around 4 seconds” which I don’t doubt for a second.
The I-PACE will be powered by two electric motors. As the car is four wheel drive, I expect one motor to power the front wheels and the other to power the rear wheels. The heavy batteries will be locate on the floor between the axles. This not only reduces the centre of gravity, but it also allows the wheels to be pushed more towards the outmost extremes of the car, giving greater stability.
The technology to be found in the cabin appears to be very impressive too. The center console will feature two infotainment screens for controls such as entertainment, navigation and connectivity while behind the steering wheel will feature vehicle information and the instrument cluster. There is also a full-colour heads up display.
Jaguar says that range should be over 500km which is by no means shabby. Range is constantly improving on electric cars while batteries and deployment of energy will be even more efficient the the time it is available in 2018.
Pricing for the I-PACE will be confirmed closer to its launch but Jaguar have ‘assumed’ pricing to be 10-15% more expensive than a similarly powered and equipped F-PACE. Taking this into account I would estimate the I-PACE will be starting in Ireland from around €100,000 if a 3.0 Diesel Sport F-PACE retails at €91,000. This is not much less expensive than the cheapest Tesla Model X however the Jaguar does have a better claimed acceleration time and longer range. Considering the top of the range Model X does have a similar range and not too dissimilar acceleration time and costs €173,000, the I-PACE could be a very good deal.
I look forward to hearing more about the I-PACE and eventually seeing them on the roads, stay posted for any updates in the meantime.