Jaguar I-Pace – The first true all-electric SUV
The Jaguar I-Pace is the first full-sized all-electric SUV production car, beating the likes of Audi and BMW to the finishing line. In fact, the I-Pace is the first all-electric vehicle (EV) that Jaguar has produced. Jaguar created more than 200 prototypes which completed 1.5million miles of testing to ensure no stone was left unturned, before going into full production. Some may argue that the Tesla X came first, which it did, but it is much larger and leans more towards being an MPV rather than SUV.
The I-Pace is built using the JLR D7e platform, which was designed specifically for this and future Jaguar EV cars. It is sometimes referred to has 'skateboard' architecture, due to its shape and design, to support the 423 battery cells between the front and rear wheels. The I-Pace has been fitted with two electric motors, one sitting on each axle. There is a 90kWh lithium-ion battery which lies between the two axles connected to the chassis. It is said to give an even 50:50 weight distribution, therefore, increasing stability and handling.
The Jaguar I-Pace EV400, as it's called, is available in three different trim levels but share the same power and performance from the two electric motors. The choices are Jaguar I-Pace 294kw EV400 S 90kWh, Jaguar I-Pace 294kw EV400 SE 90kWh and the top of the range Jaguar I-Pace 294kw EV400 HSE 90kWh. All are AWD, 5dr and five seats, and there is no seven-seat option.
The I-Pace is made up of over 90% aluminium to help keep the weight down and improve the rigidity of its structure. The lines, curves, lumps and bumps of the I-Pace are simply gorgeous and leaves you just wanting to stare endlessly at it. Jaguar has created something special to look at which stands out from almost all other Jaguars.
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Engine, Suspension and Handling
The battery pack can be charged from 0-80% in 45mins, using 100kw chargers found at motorway service stations although most are only 50kw charges currently, so time increases to around 80mins. If you plug in at home, this will take approximately 10 hours using a 7kw wall box and upwards of 12 hours for a 100% charge. Once fully charged the I-Pace has a range of 292miles which is some 55miles better than the newly released Audi E-Tron. The I-Pace comes with two sets of charging cables, a three-pin charger, and one for rapid charging. The I-Pace has been fitted with regenerative braking to help keep the battery charged for longer.
The two electric motors generate 197hp each with a combined total of 394hp. This power means the I-Pace is capable of hitting 0-60 in just 4.5secs, over a second quicker than the E-Tron. For a car that weighs over 2tonnes, this is a reasonably rapid performance time, up in the realms of some high powered sports saloons.
Jaguar has fitted the I-Pace with steel coil suspension as standard, but do offer adaptive air suspension and dampers as options, and are included with higher trim models. The ride is good with the basic suspension set-up but even better with the air suspension which lowers the car at high speeds to make it more aerodynamic. The I-Pace corners like a car a fraction of its weight. This is helped by the low positioning of the heavy battery cells and two electric motors. It feels sporty, responsive and agile, not like a traditional SUV, which can sometimes have a little too much body roll and 'bounce' when driving along country roads. Add this to the instant power which electric motors give, and you get a thoroughly joyful, exciting and surprisingly exhilarating driving experience. Which, you wouldn't think possible from an all-electric 2 tonne plus SUV. It really is some impressive British engineering.
Interior Quality, Technology and Space
The interior of the I-Pace is very familiar to the one found in the Range Rover Velar. This is a nice step up from the normal Jaguar dashboard, but it's a shame that Jaguar didn't give the I-Pace a brand new interior design, to go with its stunning modern exterior styling.
All I-Pace's come with Jaguars new Touch Pro Duo infotainment system which comprises of a 10-inch touchscreen, mounted on the dash and a smaller 5-inch display underneath on the centre console. There is a host of features included. These include sat-nav (Navigation Pro), Bluetooth connectivity, smartphone pack and a top-quality Meridian sound system so that you can enjoy all your favourite songs. The infotainment system is well fitted and adds an element of class and luxury to the I-Pace. There are a variety of optional extras available including a 12.3inch interactive driver display and a Head-up Display some of which come as standard on the higher trim models.
The seats are comfy and come fully adjustable to make finding the right driving position a simple task. With its new design and wheelbase, the I-Pace offers excellent space for driver and passenger. In the rear, the legroom is impressive; however, the headroom is not quite so good. This is due to the sloping roofline of the I-Pace, although this will only really slightly bother those over 6 feet tall. There is an array out storage compartments throughout the cabin all adequately sized.
The boot is a good size, coming in at 656litres capacity in comparison to the Audi E-Tron, which only has 605litres. There should be no issue getting everyone's luggage on board for those family holidays or weekend breaks to the coast.
Safety Features and Awards
The Jaguar I-Pace comes with a vast arsenal of safety systems and features as standard including lane assist, adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, park pack, emergency braking and a rear-view camera. All of which have helped the I-Pace achieve the highest 5-star rating from the Euro NCAP safety tests.
Since its first production towards the end of 2018 the Jaguar I-Pace as proven highly successful and as won 62 international awards so far. It was voted European Car of the Year in March 2019, the first Jaguar to ever receive this award. At the World Car Awards 2019, the I-Pace picked up three awards, World Car of the Year, World Car Design of the Year and World Green Car. It is the first car to have ever picked up three World Car awards.
The Jaguar I-Pace is a fantastic piece of engineering and design from a manufacturing team striving to push the boundaries of technology. The Jaguar is a great car, but not perfect by any stretch. However, if all Jaguars took a leaf from the I-Pace book, we should look forward to more fantastic cutting edge design, that you'd want to park on your drive.