New Jaguar I-Pace – 21 things you need to know

As we prepare to drive Jaguar's electric car for the first time, our guide gives you the inside line on what to expect...

New Jaguar I-Pace – 21 things you need to know

Jaguar I-Pace

The I-Pace is, according to What Car? readers, the most anticipated new car of 2018.

It's Jaguar's first attempt at an electric car and takes the form of a family SUV. Its main rival, for the time being at least, is Tesla's larger and more expensive Model X, but we know that Audi, BMW and Mercedes are readying their own all-electric SUVs for launch in the near future.

The wait for the all-important What Car? verdict on the I-Pace is almost over, because we'll be driving it next week, although we won't be able to tell you what it's like until the beginning of June. Until then, here are 21 things you need to know about this ground-breaking car.

1. Jaguar I-Pace price

Jaguar I-Pace

When the I-Pace concept car was first revealed in 2016, estimates had the production version costing around £80,000, but Jaguar’s official pricing is rather more palatable, ranging from £63,495 to £76,900. Crucially, that means even a well-equipped I-Pace will cost you less than a Tesla Model X.

2. Jaguar I-Pace power

Jaguar I-Pace

Two electric motors power the I-Pace, one on each axle, giving the car four-wheel drive. Combined, those motors produce 395bhp, which should mean the I-Pace is brisk to drive; indeed, Jaguar says the car can reach 60mph from a standing start in 4.5sec. That’s faster than most other family cars, but it’s a time that’s beaten by Tesla’s range-topping Model X P100D. The I-Pace’s electric motors are very light by today’s standards, each weighing in at just 38kg.

3. Jaguar I-Pace range

Jaguar I-Pace

This is the crucial one for potential I-Pace buyers: how far the car can go between charges. Jaguar quotes an official figure of 298 miles, far surpassing the range of most conventional electric cars. The Nissan Leaf, for example, can officially cover up to 230 miles on a single charge. However, it’s worth noting that those ranges are likely to dip in real-world use, and factors such as temperature will have an effect on how far you can go. Tesla’s Model X will let you go farther than any other electric car, with an official range of 351 miles.

4. Jaguar I-Pace charging

Jaguar I-Pace

Having decided they can live with the I-Pace’s range, the next question most potential owners will have is where they can charge their car and how long it will take. Jaguar says charging the I-Pace’s batteries to 80% of capacity (enough to give you a driving range of around 184 miles) from a standard wall-mounted charger takes 10 hours. However, if you have access to a public rapid charging point, that time falls to just 85 minutes. The newest 100kW charging points can accomplish the same feat in 45 minutes, but there aren’t many of them around.

5. Jaguar I-Pace weight

Jaguar I-Pace

We won’t have a firm idea of how the I-Pace handles until we drive it in a few days' time, but the signs are promising. The I-Pace has a low centre of gravity and a 50/50 weight distribution, because its batteries are located beneath the floor and between the wheels, rather than being stacked at one end, as they are in some electric cars. Jaguars are traditionally some of the best-handling cars in the classes in which they compete, although the I-Pace has its work cut out, weighing in at more than two tonnes.

6. Jaguar I-Pace suspension

Jaguar I-Pace

While the I-Pace will come on conventional steel springs as standard, owners will be able to optionally choose from air suspension and adaptive dampers. We like Jaguar’s adaptive se-up in the larger F-Pace, because it allows you to stiffen or soften the ride at the touch of a button.

7. Jaguar I-Pace batteries

Jaguar I-Pace

You might think that the I-Pace looks fairly long for an SUV. In fact, it has the same wheelbase as Jaguar’s XE saloon, and that’s down to the car’s batteries and the need to fit them low down on the floor of the car.

8. Jaguar I-Pace rear spoiler

Jaguar I-Pace

The I-Pace’s rear spoiler is perhaps one of its most dramatic styling features, and originally it was going to be an optional extra. However, Jaguar engineers found that it improved airflow around the car – and thus its efficiency – so much that it’s now standard equipment. In a similar fashion, the I-Pace’s door mirrors are slim and positioned well out from the bodywork to reduce air resistance.

9. Jaguar I-Pace interior and infotainment

Jaguar I-Pace

When the I-Pace concept car was revealed in 2016, its interior was full of futuristic shapes and materials, most of which we knew wouldn’t make production. However, some elements from that concept have been carried over, such as the dual-screen infotainment layout first seen on the Range Rover Velar.

That layout involves a large touchscreen in the centre console, which is used to control the sat-nav, audio and phone functions.

The second, smaller, screen, which is fitted lower down, is for the climate controls. We’ve had mixed experiences using systems like this so far; they look good to the eye, but on the road they can be distracting to use. There’s also a digital instrument cluster that allows you to choose what information you see in front of you.

10. Jaguar I-Pace smartphone apps and navigation

Jaguar I-Pace

We’ve already looked into how far the I-Pace can travel between charges, but to help put an end to so-called range anxiety (the fear that you’ll run out of juice part-way through your journey), every I-Pace comes with an enhanced navigation system which takes into account the way the car is being driven, as well as your route , to calculate your remaining range as accurately as possible. It can then reroute you to a charging point on the move.

There’s also a smartphone app called InControl Remote so you can plan journeys in advance, and another that uses Amazon’s Alexa platform so you can ask questions of your car: for example, how much range it has left and if it’s locked. You can also use the app to pre-warm both the battery and the car.

11. Jaguar I-Pace boot space

Jaguar I-Pace

So, you’ve decided to buy an I-Pace, but how much stuff will you be able to get into it? With 656 litres of space in the boot, we don't think you'll struggle to fit a couple of large suitcases on board, but bear in mind that the Audi Q5 and Porsche Macan offer more space.

There is clever packaging at work in the I-Pace, because Jaguar has been able to free up space in the front normally taken up by the engine. So you’ll find a small storage area under the bonnet of the car, too, plus a space for the charging cable beneath the boot floor.

12. Jaguar I-Pace practicality

Jaguar I-Pace

Although we’ve yet to drive the production-ready I-Pace, we have had a good sit inside, and there’s enough space for four 6ft-tall adults to sit comfortably. That said, those in the back might feel a little hemmed in, because of the I-Pace’s sloping roofline.

But what if you need to carry five people? Well, whoever sits in the I-Pace’s central rear seat is going to have the toughest time, because there’s both limited space and a harder backrest. Getting in and out could be tricky, too, because the I-Pace has wide door sills.

13. Jaguar I-Pace wireless updates

Jaguar I-Pace

Tesla pioneered the idea of offering continuous updates wirelessly to owners, unlocking new features many months after you’ve bought the car. Jaguar is planning to do the same, thus limiting the time you might need to spend at your local dealer. In addition, if more than one person is going to be driving your I-Pace, you can each have your own key fob that will allow the car to recognise you and ready your personalised settings for things like the stereo, seat position and temperature.

14. Jaguar I-Pace spec

Jaguar I-Pace

Although you’ll be able to choose from three trim levels in the I-Pace – S, SE and HSE – Jaguar says it expects two-thirds of UK sales to come from the entry-level S version. Standard features on the I-Pace include LED rear lights, automatic wipers, 18in alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control and automatic emergency braking.

15. Jaguar I-Pace options

Jaguar I-Pace

There’s an extensive list of options and upgrade packs to choose from with the I-Pace, ranging from larger alloy wheels to sports seats, and from upgraded stereos to an electric tailgate. The latter certainly aids practicality, so could be a shrewd choice.

16. Jaguar I-Pace service interval

Jaguar I-Pace

The I-Pace’s service interval is set at 21,000 miles or every two years, by virtue of there being relatively little on the car that needs servicing.

17. Jaguar I-Pace battery options

Jaguar I-Pace

Although multiple battery configurations and electric driving ranges were considered for the I-Pace, Jaguar bosses believe that a one-size-fits-all solution is all that’s needed for the car’s launch.

However, in conversation with our sister title, Autocar, Jaguar vehicle line director Ian Hoban said a cheaper I-Pace with a smaller battery could make a “good business proposition” down the line.

18. Jaguar I-Pace partnerships

Jaguar I-Pace

In the run-up to its market launch, Jaguar announced two partnerships. The first will lead to the company supplying I-Pace cars to Waymo, Google’s self-driving car partner, to use as part of its autonomous trials. Up to 20,000 I-Paces will be used as part of the deal, giving the two companies data from up to one million trips per day to analyse. For buyers, that means autonomous driving functions could be available before long via wireless updates, rivalling Tesla's Autopilot system.

19. Jaguar I-Pace partnerships

Jaguar I-Pace

The second of Jaguar’s I-Pace partnerships is with London’s Heathrow Airport, which will have access to up to 200 I-Paces to use as part of an all-electric chauffeur fleet. The plan is for the electric fleet to conduct up to 1000 journeys to and from Heathrow terminals every day; this, in turn, will significantly reduce the airport’s annual emissions. So, if you're thinking of buying an I-Pace, you could get an early passenger ride when you go on holiday.

20. Jaguar I-Pace SVR

Jaguar I-Pace

The I-Pace isn’t even on sale yet and there’s already talk of a performance-oriented version that would be created by Jaguar’s Special Vehicle Operations division. The so-called I-Pace SVR is likely to feature a boost in both power and acceleration to help it better match the sporty Tesla Model X P100D. Jaguar officials haven’t released any details, merely confirming that the project is under evaluation. The idea isn’t so radical, though, because SVO has already created a racing version of the I-Pace, pictured above.

21. Jaguar I-Pace to influence next XJ

Jaguar I-Pace

Once Jaguar has proved that it can tackle the electric car market with the I-Pace, the brand’s attention will then turn to the XJ luxury saloon, which is set to be reborn with electric power at the beginning of next year. The specifics are largely unknown, but a driving range of more than 300 miles is expected.

The best and worst electric cars

The best and worst electric cars

The I-Pace has the capacity to change the face of electric motoring. However, its £60,000 starting price means that many owners will be looking for a cheaper alternative. In this next story, we've rounded up our favourite electric cars, and named the ones to avoid.

Next: The best (and worst) electric cars >

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