On sale: Summer 2018 Price from: £50,000 (est)
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. The smaller E-Pace is on the horizon too, and now it’s time for another first – an electric car.
Taking the form of a small SUV, the radical Jaguar I-Pace was previewed in concept form at last year's Los Angeles motor show. Jaguar says that more than 350 deposits have been taken for the I-Pace already, despite the car's final design not being revealed yet.
The I-Pace is one of 12 cars shortlisted for What Car?'s 2018 Reader Award. To see all of this year's contenders and vote for your favourites, click here.
2018 Jaguar I-Pace engines
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.
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.
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.
2018 Jaguar I-Pace interior
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's Geneva motor show, 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.
2018 Jaguar I-Pace price
Final pricing has yet to be decided, but insiders have said it is likely to be around 10-15% above an F-Pace, meaning a starting point of about £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 E-tron, due later in 2018, while Mercedes-Benz has promised to build a similar model one year later.
Shopping around for a new electric car? Here's our pick of the best options on the market right now.
Top 10 electric cars to buy right now
10. Volkswagen e-Up
The regular Volkswagen Up is one of our favourite city cars, and this electric version is just as practical and good to drive; it feels almost entirely uncompromised by its conversion to electric power. It's just that, unfortunately, it costs twice as much as the petrol models.
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9. Nissan Leaf
One of the more affordable electric models on sale, the Leaf is about the same size as a Vauxhall Astra and similarly easy to drive. There are two battery options to choose from: a 24kWh that allows a theoretical range between charges of 124 miles, and a 30kWh that extends this to 155 miles. The latter is only available on the more expensive trim levels, though.
What Car? rating
8. Toyota Mirai
The Mirai is a hydrogen-fuelled car, which means that you'll need to fill it up with hydrogen at specially chosen filling stations, of which there are currently very few. It's powered by a single 152bhp electric motor and can travel for up to 400 miles between refills. We found it to be quiet and well controlled but at around £66,000 it's certainly pricey, and with limited volumes coming to the UK it's likely to be a very rare sight.
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