The Jaguar I-PACE is the first electric SUV from a mainstream prestige brand and it has lots of clever tricks up its high-voltage sleeve
1. Electrifying performance
The Jaguar I-PACE is faster than most HSV V8s, accelerating to 100km/h in jut 4.8sec. Top speed is 200km/h and Jaguar’s first ever EV is quick enough to demoralise just about any hot hatch and many sports sedans available today. Even a handful sports cars too.
Crucially it’s also 0.1sec faster than the Tesla Model X P100D – unless you factor in Tesla’s ludicrous 3.1sec sprint mode. Jaguar engineers said they could’ve replicated ludicrous launch mode but just didn’t want to.
2. More Froot
As well as a big 656-litre rear boot, there’s also a handy-dandy 27-litre front boot – or ‘froot’ in Jag-speak. Here we were thinking it was a frunk…
There are even storage trays underneath the rear seats for tablets and laptops, and a massive 10.5-litre console storage bin nestled between the front occupants.
3. Single-pedal driving
Imagine driving a car with only one pedal? Using the ‘high regen’ regenerative braking system, the car can come to a complete stop without the driver even touching the brake pedal.
In other words, it’s applying significant brake (0.2g) whenever the foot comes off the throttle. Jag reckons 98 per cent of most trips can be done without ever touching the brakes. A nice side effect is energy scavenging, adding a bit more juice back into the battery.
4. Two electric motors
Two motors are better than one? You betcha! Not only does it mean the all-wheel drive system has more scope to improve traction – there’s no driveshaft connecting the front and rear axles and they can provide completely independent torque to each axle – it means the car has heroic muscle.
Pumping out 294kW/680Nm, the twin motors conspire to belt out more mumbo than some turbo V8 engines. They’re powered by a large liquid-cooled 90kWh lithium-ion battery.
5. The Jaguar I-PACE cost how much?
The Jaguar I-PACE starts at $119,000 for the bog-standard model that arrives in Australia from October 2018. Many may decry this price as “uncool” but it’s just as fast to 100km/h and about the same size as the $133,500 Porsche Macan Turbo.
Jaguar Australia is pretty chuffed with 10 paid pre-orders for the I-PACE, so it’s safe to say it will be a fairly low-volume vehicle… which adds exclusivity and, by extension, coolness.
6. Lone ranger
The Jaguar I-PACE has a real-world (WLTP) range of 480km, which is significantly better than the current mainstream EVs offered in Australia, such as the Nissan LEAF (400km) and BMW i3 (200km).
Although the Tesla Model X SUV claims to do 565km, that’s calculated using an older (NEDC) measuring system, under which the I-PACE gets a similar 550km range.
7. Connected car
Not only can you use your smartphone to control your vehicle remotely – including functions such as heating or cooling and un/locking doors — you can even use Alexa from inside your home to check if it’s locked and how the recharging is going.
Special navigation will also find the most effective EV route based on hills/elevation, weather, traffic and your driving style.
8. Plug it in
Fully charging the Jaguar I-PACE’s battery pack via a regular wall socket in Australia will take up to 38 hours. That’s not very cool… No, but there will be a fast-charger wall box option for around $1500.
Want power outlets inside your car? How about three 12-volt sockets and a whopping six USB ports.
9. Stiff upper lip
The body structure is made from 94 per cent aluminium. Chuck in a super-rigid battery frame between the axles and you’re looking at the stiffest Jaguar ever made. The result is this super-stiff Brit offers improved dynamics. The stiffer you are, the harder you can go. Apparently.
10. Bluetooth AI key fob
OK, so the Jaguar I-PACE doesn’t have sci-fi falcon-wing doors like the Tesla Model X, but it does have a Bluetooth-enabled key fob that uses AI to learn your behaviour and talk to the car before you get there.
Over about two weeks the car will learn drivers’ preferences for climate-control temperatures, favourite radio stations and even routine phone calls – such as the 6.00pm “what shall we do for dinner?”
11. On-road and off-road
Jaguar says it likes to sprinkle a bit of sports car DNA into all its model, so the I-PACE has stolen the front suspension from the F-TYPE. The aluminium-extruded double wishbones up front are matched with integral-link rear suspension pilfered from the F-PACE.
Adjustable air suspension with continuously variable dampers can go from racetrack-ready to muddy adventurer, according to Jaguar, which has also borrowed a few tricks from Land Rover — including a wading depth of up to 500mm.