New models - Jaguar - I-Pace
Driven: Jaguar finds strong demand for I-Pace SUV
Jaguar looks beyond Tesla’s Model X and casts a wider net with its first I-Pace BEV
6 Dec 2018
JAGUAR Land Rover (JLR) Australia says early demand for its first battery-electric vehicle, the I-Pace mid-size SUV, has been strong ahead of its entrance into a new segment for the evolving British brand.
Speaking to GoAuto this week at the I-Pace national media launch in Sydney, JLR Australia product public affairs manager James Scrimshaw said about 100 pre-orders had been lodged by last week.
He said potential demand would be something of an unknown until news of the I-Pace spread and customers got behind the wheel of demonstrators at dealerships.
“We expect a whole lot more test drives,” he said. “We’ve had close to 100 people order it, and no one’s even driven it. That’s pretty good. That’s a lot of faith in the brand.”
Mr Scrimshaw said JLR Australia expected no supply issues for the I-Pace that had been well positioned, with special attention paid to its specification in an up-market SUV segment.
“We’ve spent a lot of time trying to make sure we put a lot of standard features in the basic cars,” he said. “It is a different market set than we’re used to. We know who our competitors are, but we think we’ll do pretty well out of it.”
When asked if JLR Australia was targeting Tesla’s Model X with the I-Pace, Mr Scrimshaw said its aim was much broader than that.
“We’re looking in the $120-150k market,” he said. “That’s even people for are buying cars like Range Rover Sport.
“When you look inside the car, it’s actually quite a roomy car, and once people get in it, sit in it and drive it and think maybe this is something I’d consider, everyone is a potential customer for a car like this.
“A lot of those guys are early adopters who buy the latest engines we have. We already know from the way Range Rover Sport sells that there’s a lot of potential in the $120-150k market.”
As such, the I-Pace will take on mid-size and large SUVs in the premium segment, including non-electrified models, according to Mr Scrimshaw.
“It is a unique car,” he said. “Even though it’s an SUV, we’re not marketing it up against Land Rovers and saying it’s going to do everything a Land Rover does.”
Asked if Jaguar buyers would warm to the I-Pace as a genuine alternative to the E-Pace and F-Pace, Mr Scrimshaw said he was keen to see what the future held.
“It’s really going to be interesting, (because) we’ve (already) attracted a new customer base,” he said.
“Just think, 18 months ago we didn’t sell any (Jaguar) SUVs at all. We had no F-Pace. So, we’ve changed the brand a lot in two years. We were the saloon and sportscar company, and we’ve really changed.”
SUVs accounted for 67.4 per cent of Jaguar’s 2380 sales to the end of November this year, with Mr Scrimshaw saying he hoped the I-Pace would eventually outsell its F-Pace (908) and E-Pace (669) siblings.
“I hope it will surpass the others, but we’ll soon see,” he said. “It is more expensive – it’s double the price of E-Pace and it’s another 30, 40 per cent on what an F-Pace is.
“It is a different market set, but there are a lot of people buying cars in that category and in that price range, especially in Land Rover.”
As reported, the I-Pace line-up starts with the S priced from $119,000 before on-road costs, climbing to $130,200 and $140,800 for the mid-range SE and HSE respectively, while the limited First Edition flagship costs $159,700.
The I-Pace’s coil-sprung suspension consists of double-wishbone front and multi-link rear axles, although air springs ($2002) and adaptive dampers ($2405) are among the S, SE and HSE’s various individual options.
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*Excludes on-road costs
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