Rapid-charging matched by rapid performance.
There are still lots of uncertainties surrounding electric vehicles, particularly the extremes that they can handle. The internal combustion engine has had a century to prove itself capable in the most difficult and hirsute conditions, and with electric propulsion gaining ground by the day, manufacturers are doing their bit to prove to the public that there’s nothing to fear about the unfamiliar.
Ahead of its debut at the Geneva motor show, Jaguar's been courteous enough to show us what its new electric crossover, the I-Pace, is capable of in extreme conditions. The first fully-electric car for the brand, the I-Pace, intends to take on both battery-electric contenders like the Tesla Model X and Mercedes-Benz EQ C, but also conventionally-powered vehicles like the Mercedes-Benz GLC and BMW X3.
"The I-Pace is the most important car for Jaguar since the legendary E-Type. One day in the not-too-distant future, all cars will probably be electrically powered. So the I-Pace Concept and the production version, which will hit the road in 2018, is critically important to the future success of the Jaguar brand." – Ian Callum, Design Director, Jaguar-Land Rover
Taking out a very lucky potential customer from Sweden, Jaguar set out to prove two things: Firstly, that its electric vehicles will be capable of handling properly extreme conditions, with temperatures in Arjeplog, Sweden capable of dropping to -40ºC at their harshest. And secondly, that with just 45-minutes (on a rapid charger), the Jaguar I-Pace can be re-juiced from dead to 80% charge, allowing you to enjoy your fun in the snow with less downtime.
“Not only will the I-PACE charge quickly enough for our customers to carry out their everyday lives, it will offer powerful and precise performance in a variety of conditions and climactic extremes. Allied with the versatile credentials of our celebrated PACE family, this will be an electric performance SUV like no other.” — Ian Hoban, Vehicle Line Director, Jaguar
The Jaguar I-Pace has tugged on our heartstrings for both ecological and aesthetic reasons ever since it debuted in concept form, and even all taped up, it’s still one hell of a looker. The I-Pace ahas already been confirmed for an Australian introduction back in August, when Jaguar-Land Rover Australia director Matthew Wiesner spilled the beans.
Beneath the I-Pace sits a 90kWh battery pack, good to keep the car going for 400km-500km between charges. It’s rated to put out an impressive 294kW and 700Nm, which can propel the car from rest to 100km/h in “around” 4-seconds. The I-Pace will be priced below $150,000 when it arrives, which should see it undercut the only other electric SUV on the market, the Tesla Model X (in comparable P100 guise), by a comfortable $30k margin. Of course, the I-Pace does only have five seats.
The lack of a third-row of pews means that the I-Pace is smaller overall. At only 4680mm in length, it’s 357mm shorter than its American competition, but it promises to be more agile and darty as a result.
The big hurdle for Jaguar when it rolls out the I-Pace on our shores will be charging. Bereft of the fast-charging infrastructure that Tesla enjoys, the I-Pace may prove to be a slightly more difficult proposition to swallow against the pricier (and less attractive) Model X. On the subject, Wiesner said:
“Obviously anything that’s new or in build or planning now, those EV requirements are going into those plans today from an engineering perspective. We’re serving existing sites for the requirements from a charging point of view, both in workshops and the parking. We need to make sure we are ready by the time we launch I-Pace.” — Matthew Wiesner, Managing Director, JLR Australia
The I-Pace will continue to grab headlines and attention with its incredible looks, revolutionary drivetrain (for Jaguar, at least), and modular electric platform. The I-Pace is to lead the charge for the Coventry marque’s electrified future, and we cannot wait to experience it for ourselves.