Coventry-based marque Jaguar is putting the final testing miles in their fleet of I-Pace prototype cars, the first full electric car by the British luxury brand. The I-Pace wowed us a year ago when it debuted at the LA Auto Show, and now it’s back in California with a “production prototype” as it nears its debut in 2018.
While there have been thousands of people who’ve restored their interest for the I-Pace SUV, only one was lucky enough to join senior engineer Simon Patel on a road trip from the iconic Sunset Boulevard all the way up to Morro Bay in San Luis, a trip spanning over 320km.
"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
Ann Voyer, a “potential I-Pace customer,” was chosen to join Patel on the trip up, and her concerns about the battery range were immediately quelled by the end of the road trip to the picturesque Morro Bay. One charge was more than enough to make the journey, which was done with ease and comfort, the way any Jaguar would.
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-pretty 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. Have a quick browse through the gallery to get a better idea of just how pretty this car is; You can thank us later.