Jaguar is all about entering new markets at the moment. Only last year it revealed its first SUV, the F-Pace which has since gone on to become its best-selling model. And now it’s time for another first – an electric car.
Taking the form of a small SUV, this new Jaguar I-Pace will go on sale in 2018, and was previewed in concept form at the recent LA motor show.
With an ability to travel more than 310 miles on a single charge, the I-Pace surpasses the range of the world’s only other all-electric SUV, the Tesla Model X, which can travel for up to 303 miles. Mainstream electric cars such as the Nissan Leaf and Renault Zoe hatchbacks, meanwhile, have ranges of 155 miles and 250 miles respectively.
Power for the I-Pace comes from two electric motors, one at the front of the car and the other at the rear, making it four-wheel drive. They produce a combined 395bhp, allowing it to accelerate from 0-60mph in around four seconds – slower than the range-topping Model X P90D, but significantly faster than most mainstream cars, electric or otherwise.
Jaguar says that the I-Pace can be charged in just over two hours from a standard charging point, or to 80% of capacity in 90 minutes.
Although it sports many of the design hallmarks of other modern Jaguar models, the I-Pace looks suitably futuristic. And the five-seat interior also has plenty of wow factor, thanks to three display screens: a configurable 12in virtual instrument cluster in front of the driver, a 12in central touchscreen for infotainment and navigation, and another 5.5in screen for climate settings.
The driver also gets a colour head-up display that projects essential information onto the windscreen, while the I-Pace’s infotainment system is based on Jaguar’s current InControl Touch Pro system, which we’ve praised in both the F-Pace and the XF saloon for its ease of use.
With 530 litres of storage space, the I-Pace has considerably more than conventionally powered small SUVs, such as the Nissan Qashqai and Seat Ateca. Here it’s helped by the fact there’s no engine, because it means there’s room for a second boot, under the bonnet.
The I-Pace’s final design won’t be revealed until next year, but we expect it to look very similar to this concept version given how closely the F-Pace and F-Type resemble the concepts that preceded them.
Final pricing is yet to be decided, but insiders have said it is likely to be around 10-15% above the F-Pace, meaning a starting point of around £40,000-£50,000. That would make the I-Pace considerably cheaper than Tesla’s Model X, which is available from around £70,000.
The I-Pace and Model X won’t be the only two entrants in this emerging market for long. Audi is planning its own all-electric SUV, the Q6 E-tron, with this due later in 2018, while Mercedes-Benz has promised to build a similar model one year later.
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