When British luxury carmaker Jaguar took the covers off its stunning all-electric I-Pace SUV, it was quick to point out that this wasn’t just a concept, but rather “a preview of a production vehicle – a Jaguar electric performance SUV”.
Globally, Jaguar is riding a wave of success led by the company’s entry-level XE sedan, as well as strong sales from the F-Pace – the brand’s first-ever SUV.
In fact, Jaguar’s global sales are up 74 per cent year-on-year. In the United States, sales are growing even faster, at a rate of 93 per cent, year-on-year.
Bloomberg even named Jaguar “Hottest brand in the US” this year, a trend that should continue unabated, once sales of the production version of the I-Pace commence in 2018.
It’s a truly stunning vehicle from any angle, and one that is bound to send chills down the spine of Tesla and its electric SUV – the Model X.
Although the Concept has been designed as a five-seater SUV, expect to see more I-Pace options come on stream later, including a larger seven-seat version and even faster models, as Jaguar looks to build its electric ‘Pace’ family off the same all-new aluminium architecture.
Jaguar’s brief for the I-Pace Concept was to create a performance SUV that is spacious, sporty, and useable for everyday duties – a brief that seems to have been answered to the letter.
With no traditional engine bay and a battery pack that sits flat between the front and rear axles, the cab-forward design’s long wheelbase and short overhangs have ensured a sizeable footprint of 4680mm x 1890mm, despite its relatively compact profile.
Passenger comfort is also guaranteed, with rear-seat knee room extending more than 70mm. There’s also plenty of storage space thanks to having no transmission tunnel to accommodate, freeing up eight litres of smart space for phones, wallets and keys.
And despite the concept’s beautifully raked rear glass, there’s still 530 litres of space in luggage storage behind the second-row seats. Up front, under the ‘bonnet’, there’s another 28 litres on offer.
Performance is a prerequisite for any Jaguar, particularly an electric one, given the brand’s involvement in the Formula E Championship. The series has been a virtual test bed for electric racing and performance engineering, allowing teams to compete with their own electric motors, control units and transmissions.
There is no doubt Jaguar’s development with its Formula E cars has already filtered down into its road car programs.
Power for the I-Pace is provided by two state-of-the-art electric motors and a 90kWh lithium-ion battery pack designed in-house by Jaguar Land Rover.
Combined output is a relatively potent 294kW of power and 700Nm of torque right from the get-go via an all-wheel drive setup. Expect the I-Pace to go from a standstill to 100km/h in around 4.2 seconds, or better.
Although Jaguar is tight-lipped about future I-Pace models, we would say ‘watch this space’ – and check below for all the details on I-Pace.