The all-electric Jaguar I-Pace SUV has been revealed ahead of its Geneva Motor Show debut, and it’ll be priced from almost £59k in the UK
This is the Jaguar I-Pace, the British brand’s first pure-electric car and the first genuine Tesla rival from any of the established premium manufacturers. We'll get a closer look at the I-Pace at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show but we already know it will be priced from £58,995 for an entry-level S model when it goes on sale in the UK.
The I-Pace is said by company insiders to be “a Jaguar that happens to be a battery-electric vehicle” - although there’s little doubt that it is probably the most radical offering in the company’s 82-year history. The new model - which will be produced not in the UK but at manufacturing outsourcing specialist Magna Steyr in Graz, Austria - sits on a bespoke aluminium platform and gets all-new electric motor and Jaguar’s own battery technology, to steal a march on the likes of the forthcoming Mercedes EQ C and Audi’s e-tron.
The I-Pace is 4,682mm long - so just 10mm longer than Jaguar’s own XE. But the new model’s all-electric construction means that engineers have been able to stretch its wheelbase to 2,990mm, some 16cm longer than the saloon’s. Jaguar insiders claim that the new car is slightly shorter than a Porsche Macan, but that its rear kneeroom is actually more generous than that car’s bigger brother, the Cayenne.
The cab-forward profile of the I-Pace is unmistakably that of an SUV, although it still manages to look more rakish than either of Jaguar’s existing vehicles of that type, the E-Pace and F-Pace. There are even subtle nods to the stillborn C-X75 supercar - particularly around the front wheelarch blisters. Jaguar design director Ian Callum told us, “The I-Pace is a shape of the future, but I’ve never been able to completely give up on C-X75, so we’ve tried to capture a little bit of that car.”
The I-Pace’s mechanical make-up will be pretty much universal across the car’s range. In particular, Jaguar is offering just a single configuration of electric motors and battery - preferring this simple approach to the idea of differing price points based on larger and smaller battery pack sizes.
The set-up will comprise a 90kWh battery pack, made up from 432 lithium-ion cells and mounted in a frame that’s an integral structural component in the car’s floor. Jaguar says that under the forthcoming, tougher WLTP economy and range tests, the I-Pace’s batteries will be good for 300 miles. As a rough guide, this would equate to around 335 miles in the current NEDC evaluation - or about 50 miles up on the Tesla Model 3.
New Jaguar I-Pace: performance
The car’s total power output, meanwhile, is 395bhp and 696Nm of torque - enough to take the I-Pace from rest to 60mph in just 4.5 seconds, Jaguar claims.
The I-Pace is compatible with fast charging at up to 100kW - although even Jaguar admits that these speeds aren’t supported in many regions (including the UK) just yet. However, using this fastest set-up can take the car’s battery from zero to 80 percent charge in just 45 minutes. By contrast, a 7kW home charger will need 10 hours to perform the same feat. Jaguar says the I-Pace will support battery preconditioning, allowing the car’s systems and cabin to be warmed up while it’s still plugged into the mains. Engineers estimate this could add up to 75 miles onto the typical range on a cold winter’s day.
There are two electric motors - one on each axle, and both featuring an innovative design where driveshafts go through the motors, helping to ensure a more compact installation. This is particularly important at the rear of the car, where Jaguar has been able to deliver the required roofline without a raised boot floor that would have squeeze space.
As a result, the I-Pace promises practicality to trump many larger vehicles. With the rear seats in place the car offers a load bay of 656 litres and a commendably flat floor, and this figure rises to 1,453 litres when the second row is folded down. There’s also an additional 30-litre bay below the bonnet.
Some of the I-Pace’s underpinnings can be traced to the conventionally powered F-Pace - in particular, some of the suspension design, with double wishbones at the front and an integral link at the rear. Air suspension will be available as an option, alongside adaptive dampers
Despite the fact that the new car weighs around 2.1 tonnes, Jaguar’s product line director Ian Hoban says that it should still feel light on its feet, helped by a centre of gravity some 130mm lower than an F-Pace’s, and 50:50 weight distribution. “The torsional rigidity of this car is the most of any Jaguar in history,” Hoban told us. “That gives the engineering team great scope to make it agile while still keeping suppleness in the suspension, even on larger wheels.” Up to 22-inch alloys will be offered, in fact - although more lowly editions of the car are likely to feature 18-inch items.
New Jaguar I-Pace: interior and tech
Inside, the I-Pace has been toned down a little from the original show concept. But it retains elements like the widescreen infotainment system, which uses a pair of displays in a layout that’s not too far removed from that of the recently launched Range Rover Velar. There are also rotary dial controllers for the temperature - “I’m a great believer in still having tactile switches that you can interact with,” insists Callum - although the units themselves will still have integrated LCD displays for a hi-tech touch.