- Published On: 4 June 2018
- 6 min read
The I-Pace is Jaguar’s all-electric SUV and it is a sample of their future offerings.
The I-Pace is the company’s most advanced offering ever built. It is the British firm’s first-ever fully electric model and sets the course for the company’s future. The car we were driving was the final production-ready SUV, deliveries for which will begin soon. Interestingly, by the time the Jaguar will hit the road they will still not see any competition from rivals like BMW and Mercedes. The closest competitor is Tesla’s Model X but that’s a lot larger than the Jag.
The SUV also has very little in common with any other of its stablemates. It is new from ground-up and features a new EV architecture. This SUV uses a skateboard chassis that positions it batteries under the cabin. Owing to the positioning, the I-Pace features a lower centre of gravity than a conventional car. It is powered by two electric motors – one for the front wheels and one for the rear. In isolation, these motors produce a total of 200hp and 348Nm of torque. Which combine for an impressive 400hp and 696Nm figure.
The I-Pace has a claimed range of 480km and a regular charging will take up to 10 hours while the rapid one will only take 40mins.
On the outside
Other than the regular design of the grille, front and rear lights, the I-Pace looks nothing like a Jaguar. This is also because of the proportions on this SUV. While the ‘regular’ Jags are designed to have long bonnets, the I-Pace features a short front section. The designers also had the advantage of not having to work around a conventional motor.
While the I-Pace might be considered a SUV, it doesn’t particularly look like one. The low and raked roofline is more suited towards being a stylish SUV than an off-road oriented one. The I-Pace does however, have a strong stance and it will draw your attention.
A nice detail on the I-Pace is how the grille opens when cooling is needed. Air is also directed through the bumper to lower turbulence in the wheel cavities. The I-Pace also misses out on a rear wiper; according to Jag the water resistant coating on the glass should be sufficient.
On the inside
As you get into the I-Pace, you notice that cabin is quite low-set. This along with the fact the driver’s seat being sporty gives you an idea of how this is not your regular Jag. Firstly, the windscreen goes all the way to the front. There is also a good amount of room on the inside; further enhancing this feeling is the large optional glass roof.
The dashboard in this car is modern and features the company’s new touchscreen system. The screen on top handles functions like navigation and audio while the lower screen takes care of air-conditioning controls. However, it does take time getting used to. Luckily, the SUV does come with rotary controls as well.
Towards the rear, there is a good amount of legroom. The car is quite spacious and features a seat which is very comfortable. However, taller passengers may find the seats to have insufficient under thigh support. The SUV also has an impressive storage capacity of 656 litres.
How does it drive?
Once you start up the car, you will have to wait for the ‘Ready’ icon to show up on the screen. After which, you can select D on the gear selector. This car makes absolutely no sound when starting up as you would expect. While can get used to the lack of sound, it is difficult to get used to getting off the line. Thankfully, Jaguar has added a creep mode which lets you take off the line like a regular automatic. The Jag also has two regenerative braking modes, if you set it to high, it is so strong that you will not find the need to use the brake pedal altogether.
The I-Pace does offer a great ride. The quality is great and it is impressive how little of the surface can actually be felt. Air suspension on the car is an option, and on standard steel springs the I-Pace feels pretty absorbent. Even on rough terrain, there is close to nothing coming through the steering wheel and body.
Should I buy one?
For now, you can’t buy the car. The British carmaker hasn’t yet brought it to India and will only bring it when India’s infrastructure is capable of handling it. Which is a few years away, at least for now.
The I-Pace is a sample of where the company is headed. The future is electric and, if the I-Pace is anything to go by, Jaguar is clearly prepared for it.