All you need to know about the Jaguar I-Pace

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The Jaguar I-Pace is the manufacturer’s first all-electric performance SUV and the premium, long-range EV sees the ‘traditional’ car-maker join the ranks of a new generation of luxury electric vehicles.

Coming in at over 60k, with a range of 300 miles, the Jaguar I-Pace is firmly positioning itself in the premium marketplace, pitting itself against Tesla and other car-makers using sophisticated EV tech.

First impressions are excitement and it’s good to see a high end luxury manufacturer entering the EV space. The car has generated a lot of enthusiasm with long standing Jaguar Land Rover/Aston Martin owners, who might typically overlook a Tesla model.

And it’s unsurprising they’re experimenting with EV, as Jaguar has rebranded itself completely from their days with Ford, and their new Tata ownership has modernised the overall image of the company.

Is the new Jaguar EV a viable competitor? One of the 3F EV team headed over to a Jaguar I-Pace release event to tell you more.

Tech Spec and Driving

The Jaguar I-Pace makes sense because Jaguar Land Rover has made a pledge that all of their cars will be electric (or offer an electric version) by 2020, which is pretty soon! This release of an exclusively electric vehicle, before trying to convert the F-Type or Range Rover, is sensible so they can work out any bugs beforehand.

Jaguar is more experienced with large volume production, but their EV credentials were lacking. They enlisted the help of Wolfgang Ziebart, who previously worked at BMW, to spearhead their BEV project.

The result is the Jaguar I-Pace, which can reach 0-60mph in a cool 4.6s and on closer inspection, future versions of the SUV could get to a giddy 1.8s. As we mentioned, one of the most impressive features is the fact that it has a range of 300 miles, helped by a 90kWh battery. You can expect to purchase the model for £62,925, putting it right up there with the best premium EV models.

The biggest drawback that people are talking about is the lack of charging infrastructure in place with the Jaguar I-Pace. To emulate Tesla’s supercharger – customers are going to have to rely on services like Ecotricity (at 168mph) or their own home charger (at 7mph or 22mph with a home box) compared to the supercharger network which can charge at 300mph+. There is ‘support’ for 100kWh charging and that would allow similar charging speeds to superchargers, but details are sparse.

Jaguar’s ethos has always been that any Jaguar model should be as comfortable after a 100 mile journey as a 1 mile trip and the I-Pace doesn’t look as if it’ll buck that trend anytime soon. Other Jaguar models are advertised under the banner of ‘Jaguar Roar’ – and the I-Pace’s tagline, ‘Roar Silently’ is a nice nod to this brand image.

Sizing

In terms of size, the Jaguar I-Pace is frequently compared to a Tesla Model X, but on closer inspection, it’s more comparable to the Model S or the Model Y when it’s finally released.

It’s a compact five-seater, which has comfortable spacing in the front of the vehicle, but it’s a bit more restricted and smaller in the back than a Tesla Model S.

With storage, it’s a similar story – the Jaguar’s frunk is a lot smaller than Tesla models, although it does have reasonably good luggage space in the rear of the vehicle.

The Jaguar I-Pace is narrower than Tesla models which will be more fit-for-purpose with the UK’s smaller parking spaces and tighter lanes, in comparison to the Californian roads that the Tesla was designed on!

The car has a longer wheelbase than any of the Tesla models, which means not only is the car stable on the road but it has the effect of feeling much larger inside. Jaguar claim it has cabin space comparable to a class above – they compared it being the same size as a Porsche Macan, whilst having more cabin space than a Porsche Cayenne.

Quality

The jury’s out with regards to the overall long-term quality of the Jaguar I-Pace. Although Jaguar is very well practiced in making high-end cars and mass production isn’t an issue, which you can see with the quality of the interior.

However, it isn’t an issue when producing non-EV Jaguar vehicles, but it could be a different story with a new concept – there are always issues when any new car goes from concept to mass production, so the Jaguar I-Pace’s reliability isn’t guaranteed yet.

Shortcomings

The I-Pace may end up being a victim of its own hype, as it has been branded as a ‘Tesla Killer’. Tesla gets a lot of disparaging comments in certain car communities, so ‘haters’ have latched onto the I-Pace, whilst it is still relatively unproven.

Whether you believe him or not Elon Musk says that he started Tesla with the intention of bringing EVs to the mass market, so he welcomes competition from other manufacturers and Jaguar’s the first to take up the mantel in a meaningful way.

The biggest ‘issue’ for the I-Pace is that it won’t stand on its own 2 feet. If you look up any review or watch any video, it is being compared to a Tesla – Jaguar even reportedly had a Tesla at its staff training day in Portugal. Tesla has almost defined the electric car, for better or worse, so it is hard not to sit in the I-Pace and compare it to a Tesla at every available opportunity, which could be a mistake of Jaguar’s own making, by pitting its EV against it.

Final Thoughts

We’re anticipating that there’ll need to be a cultural change at Jaguar and sales teams will need to improve their knowledge of EV, so they don’t spread misinformation. There will also need to be a widespread effort to make sure the infrastructure is in place for technicians servicing EVs – Tesla can sometimes struggle and they only deal with EV tech.

Overall, it will be very interesting to see how the Jaguar I-Pace is received by consumers and exciting to see the car out on the road. More EVs on the road can’t be a bad thing and we think it’ll be popular with a mass market of consumers who have bought vehicles from the traditional car-maker before.

 

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