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LA show: Jaguar charges I-Pace

I for an I: The I-Pace will be Jaguar’s first EV and will take on the Tesla Model X.

I-Pace concept crossover to carry Jaguar into the electric era in 2018


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15 Nov 2016

JAGUAR has revealed a striking new electric crossover concept, dubbed the I-Pace, ahead of its official unveiling at the Los Angeles motor show this week, confirming that the zero-emissions four-wheel drive will evolve into a production version next year.

Deliveries of the British brand’s electric vehicle foray will start in 2018 with customers being invited to place orders now, but until final production model figures are finalised the I-Pace concept will offer a hint of what is to come.

Its conspicuous design takes unmistakable Jaguar features such as the trademark front and rear lights and large grill – purely an aesthetic feature – and wraps it up in proportions not unlike what will be the model’s arch rival – the Tesla Model X.

Despite the taller SUV profile, Jaguar’s engineers have managed to limit the aerodynamic drag to a slippery 0.29Cd.

The I-Pace styling is not the only similarity to the North American car-maker’s SUV with a number of features including powertrain, interactive electronics and storage features that are a direct shot across the Tesla’s bow.

Under the sleek skin is a dual-motor electric drive system for all-fours traction and the dynamics of a sportscar, according to Jaguar. A 90kW liquid-cooled battery sends power to the brace of motors for a combined total of 294kW/700Nm and zero to 97km/h in “around 4.0 seconds”.

The pair of identical permanent magnet motors and battery pack were developed in-house by Jaguars own engineers rather than outsourcing to specialist companies.

It’s lithium-ion battery is stored under the floor to maximise interior space resulting in room for five occupants with 530 litres of boot space, another 28 litres at the nose end and an extra eight litres of cabin storage where a conventional gear lever and transmission tunnel would usually be located.

With a full charge and under the European NEDC combined cycle, the I-Pace has a range of in excess of 500km and Jaguar says that with a majority of commutes no longer than 50km, most owners will only need to charge their Jag once a week.

Using conventional 240 volt sockets, the I-Pace can be charged with enough juice for the daily commute of about 50km but high-rate 50kW DC chargers can complete a full charge in a little more than two hours or an 80 per cent top up in 90 minutes.

Dimensions are also similar to the Model X arch-rival with a 4680mm length, 1890mm width and 2990mm wheelbase.

The I-Pace concept rolls on massive 23-inch wheels with low-profile rubber and uses the same suspension setup as the XE and XF luxury sedans. A double wishbone layout at the front and integral link arrangement at the back allows for superior comfort as well as a rewarding manner with spirited driving, says Jaguar.

On the inside, the radical but understated design continues with a simple leather-clad interior highlighted by separated individual seating and a two-plus-one arrangement in the second row, while the expansive glass roof acts as an illuminating centrepiece even at night, with a matrix of embedded LED lighting.

Up front, the simple dash layout is occupied by two large 12-inch digital displays for access to Jaguar’s InControl Touch Pro infotainment applications, while the second “flightdeck” screen is Jaguar’s interpretation of Audi’s Virtual Cockpit with all vehicle information confined to a customisable digital screen.

A third 5.5-inch screen is positioned at the top of the ‘floating’ and buttressed centre console for controlling the cabin temperature settings, flanked by a pair of machined aluminium dials.

Jaguar Land Rover vehicle line director Ian Hoban said the I-Pace marks Jaguar’s integration into an “inevitable” market and the company’s first zero-emissions vehicle would not be a compromise over more conventional combustion power models.

“Electric vehicles are inevitable – Jaguar will make them desirable,” he said.

“Zero emission cars are here to stay and the I-Pace Concept is at the cutting edge of the electric vehicle revolution.

“As the charging infrastructure continues to develop globally – and with enough range to mean most people would only need to charge once a week – cars like the I-Pace Concept will make drivers appreciate that an EV can be rewarding and practical enough to drive every day.”

As is often the case, some of the technology under the I-Pace’s skin was derived from Jaguar’s endeavours in motorsport and the advances are set to continue into the electric arena, it says, with the company now signed up to the Formula E racing series.

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