There are plenty of manufacturers that are good at making concept cars, but a rare few stay close to the design when it comes to revealing the production model of the same. Jaguar Land Rover has managed to pull off the latter with what is their very first, all electric SUV – the I-Pace.
After being unveiled for the first time in 2016, the I-Pace has been under heavy development to make the transition from being a concept to being a car that Jaguar could sell around the world and they have managed to do it before any of the bigger rivals that they would have in this new, electric segment. On the outside, apart from being a bit pinched down in dimensions, a few rounded edges and more reasonably sized wheels, the production-spec I-Pace is very much similar to the concept (as seen in the image below) and that is amazing.
How did Jaguar and Ian Callum pull it off? Well, it’s in part thanks to the technology and the all-new aluminium EV platform that it is built on to house the battery within its ‘skateboard’ frame. There’s no engine in the front, so there’s no need for a long sweeping bonnet so the front end can be as stubby as allowed by law, allowing the front wheels and front passengers to be pushed forward. That means a longer wheelbase without making the I-Pace bigger than the Porsche Macan, offering more space on the inside for both passengers and luggage. More wheelbase also means more battery space, which in this case is a 90kWh lithium-ion battery that is integrated into the car’s structure along with the colling/heating system.
The EV architecture makes the I-Pace the stiffest car Jaguar makes today with the option of self-levelling air suspension and adaptive dampers to run on the 22-inch wheels. Though the standard wheel size on offer would be a more reasonable and fuel economic 18 inches, an important factor for any electric vehicle. Speaking of range, the new Jaguar I-Pace claims a range of 480kms as per the new, harsher, WLTP cycle. Charging time for the 90kWh battery? Depends. If you can access a 100kW rapid charger, then you can charge from 0 to 80 per cent in 45 minutes says Jaguar. However, in the more, day-to-day scenario, you’d have access to the 7kW home box charger which will take approximately 10 hours to do the same – also known as an overnight charge.
Now for some more Auto Loon kind of numbers and figures. Power is sent to all four wheels with an electric motor at each end producing 197bhp each for a combined total output of 394bhp and 696Nm of torque (a speciality of electric powertrains, lots of torque, instantly). At full burst, you can launch this 2.1-tonne car from a standstill to 100kph in 4.8 seconds, similar to the Range Rover Sport SVR.
On the interior, things are plush and familiar, featuring JLR’S newest Touch Pro Duo twin-screen infotainment system with the floating centre console and the digital dials. But like the new Range Rover Velar, there are still some good ol’ fashioned buttons and knobs on the I-Pace console like the single-speed gearbox controls and the climate control dials. Jaguar will also offer over-the-air software updates for the I-Pace to further improve performance and range without additional hassle to the owners of this exciting new car. It also has plenty of comforts in terms boot space, charging points both in the front and rear, cubby holes, the usual Jag stuff and their latest tech.
Yes, the Tesla Model X has already been on sale for some years now so the I-Pace isn’t the first electric SUV. But it is the first, by a traditional car manufacturer with roots in old-school cars (like a 567bhp supercharged 5.0-litre V8 in a luxury saloon), to take itself away from all that and build this. The newest member of the Jaguar’s Pace SUV family, the I-Pace could be the start of something big.
Here are some detailed infographics from Jaguar for the new I-Pace:
You can take a better look at the new, production model Jaguar I-Pace in the gallery below: