The I-Pace of change
20 March 2018
Author: Sean Keywood
Jaguar has unveiled its first-ever fully electric car - the I-Pace SUV. Aiming to take the fight to the likes of Tesla, the I-Pace features a 90kW/h lithium-ion battery with a range of up to 298 miles. Meanwhile, the twin Jaguar-designed electric motors, which drive all four wheels between them, combine to produce 400hp and 696Nm of torque, capable of accelerating the car from 0-60mph in 4.5 seconds.
A public 50kW charger will take the I-Pace from 0-80% battery charge in 85 minutes; alternatively a 30-minute charge will give around 80 miles of range.
Jaguar says the I-Pace is also compatible with new 100kW rapid chargers, which deliver an 80% charge in 40 minutes.
Home charging with a 7kW AC wall box will deliver an 80% charge in just over ten hours.
Jaguar Land Rover CEO Dr Ralf Speth said, "Where other companies talk about the future, we build it. We have torn up the rule book to create the newest member of the Pace family, the all-electric Jaguar I-Pace.
"With zero tailpipe emissions, no CO2 and no particulates, it moves us dramatically closer to our vision of a clean, safe and sustainable future."
The I-Pace's range is boosted by smart range-optimising technology, including a battery preconditioning system that will automatically raise or lower the temperature of the battery when the car is plugged in, to maximise range ahead of driving away.
There's also an adjustable regenerative braking system, allowing the driver to generate up to 0.4G of braking force just by lifting off the accelerator pedal.
The advantages of an electric powertrain aren't just seen in terms of emissions and fuel cost savings - there are packaging advantages, too. The lack of a conventional engine allowed Jaguar's designers to come up with a cab-forward design, boosting aerodynamic efficiency and also helping improve practicality.
Although the I-Pace is a mid-size SUV, the amount of passenger space inside is comparable with large SUVs, and there's also a generous 656-litre boot.
The I-Pace should be good at cornering, as its bespoke aluminium architecture, combined with the structural battery pack, give it a torsional rigidity of 36kNm/degree - the highest of any Jaguar.
Further helping handling is the battery's location, which is low and in the centre of the car, meaning a low centre of gravity and perfect 50:50 weight distribution.
Jaguar chief engineer Mike Cross said, "The I-Pace is a true Jaguar, delivering driver-focused dynamics with exceptional ride, handling and refinement."
The state-of-the-art approach also extends to the I-Pace's on-board computing system, which will use artificial intelligence to tailor the car to individual driver preferences, and receive wireless software updates.
The Touch Pro Duo infotainment system makes its Jaguar debut in the I-Pace, including a new EV navigation system that will use route topography and data from previous journeys to calculate a personalised range and charging status.
The I-Pace will also have Amazon Alexa compatibility, allowing drivers to ask an enabled device for information held in the Jaguar InControl Remote app, such as whether the car is locked or how much charge the battery has.
The I-Pace is available to order now in S, SE, HSE and First Edition trim levels. Prices start from £58,995 in the UK, once the £4,500 government grant for ultra-low-emission vehicles is taken into account.
To alleviate concerns over battery life, Jaguar is offering an eight-year battery warranty, limited to 100,000 miles and 70% battery state of health, alongside a conventional three-year warranty for the rest of the car. It also plans to prolong the life of the batteries with new recycling partnerships and second-life energy storage trials.