Geneva Motor Show Sees First Tesla Model X Competitor
Jaguar has joined the ranks of other automakers who reveal all-new vehicles just a few days before major auto shows. In this case, the British automaker revealed its much anticipated I-Pace battery-electric crossover SUV this week, one week before the public opening of the Geneva Motor Show.
The reveal of the I-Pace took place at the Jaguar Land Rover manufacturing facility in Graz, Austria, with a special live streaming show as the first I-Pace rolled off the production line. As expected, the I-Pace is little changed since the concept was introduced at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show.
0-to-60 MPH In 4.5 Seconds
We’ll cut to the chase and get right to the heart of the I-Pace. Under the alluring sheet metal are two Jaguar-designed concentric electric motors—which feature driveshafts passing through the motors themselves for compactness—placed at each axle, producing all-wheel drive. The two motors produce a net 394 horsepower and 512 pounds-feet of torque. With all four wheels being electrically driven, it’ll romp to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds.
A 90-kilowatt-hour (kWh) lithium-ion battery sits between the two axles and is mounted low, contributing to a 50:50 weight distribution and a lower center of gravity. The battery will keep the I-Pace going for an estimated 240 miles (EPA and European measurements are still forthcoming). With a 100-kW DC fast charger, it can go from empty to 80 percent charge in just about 40 minutes. Using a 7-kW Level 2 home charger, it’ll take about 10 hours to add the same amount of charge.
Like other modern EVs and plug-in electric hybrids (PHEVs), the I-Pace offers multiple brake-regeneration settings. In its strongest mode, one-pedal driving is feasible when the driver turns off the car’s creep mode. (Creep mode allows the EV to roll forward when the driver’s foot moves off the brake, like most gasoline cars will.)
Looks Pretty Close To the Concept
The 2019 I-Pace has a compact body and is fairly low to the ground for an SUV, but it still seats five while offering plenty of cargo space.
“The I-Pace’s electric powertrain offered us unprecedented design freedom,” said Ian Callum, Jaguar’s director of design. “Starting with a clean sheet enabled the dramatic cab-forward profile, unique proportions and exceptional interior pace. Yet, it is unmistakably a Jaguar. We wanted to design the world’s most desirable EV, and I’m confident that we met that challenge.”
Its sleek, coupe-like silhouette was influenced by the Jaguar C-X75 supercar concept. That includes C-X75 styling cues with a low, short hood with the automaker’s traditional grill and a built-in hood scoop for aerodynamic improvements. The vehicle has a coupe-inspired styling, sweeping front fenders, muscular rear haunches and flush door handles with a slippery 0.29 drag coefficient.
The rear is squared-off to a sharply angled rear hatch window that features a hydrophobic coating so there’s no need for a rear wiper. Tail lights feature a “chicane line” signature, a new Jaguar design element that replaces the more traditional E-Type round design.
Classed as a midsize SUV by its physical footprint, the cab forward design and packaging of the EV powertrain mean the I-PACE offers interior space comparable to a full-size model. The SUV affords a rear legroom space of 35.0-inches and a useful 0.43- cubic foot central storage compartment in a space that would ordinarily be occupied by a transmission tunnel in a conventional vehicle. Also in the rear, tablet and laptop storage can be found beneath the seats; while the rear luggage compartment behind those seats offers a 25.3 cubic feet capacity, a generous 51.0 cubic feet is available with the second row seats folded flat.
In typical Jaguar fashion, the 2019 I-Pace’s cabin is pure luxury. A glass panoramic roof is standard, and the interior can be had in either leatherette or proper leather. As you might expect, you can toss in some pretty fancy trim pieces made from real aluminium or ash wood.
The I-Pace uses two touchscreens to control virtually all vehicle functions. Called the InControl Touch Pro Duo system, the infotainment screens, upper 10-inch and lower 5.5-inch units, are cleanly integrated into the vehicle’s distinctive floating center console. The top half takes care of infotainment duties while the lower half deals with climate control, seat and drivetrain settings. Another 12.3-inch interactive driver display behind the steering wheel can be configured to show vehicle operating data in a variety of formats.
A suite of smart range-optimizing technologies includes a battery pre-conditioning system that allows the vehicle to warm or cool its battery and cabin to an optimal temperature while plugged in to power. The I-Pace will also have its own Amazon Alexa skill. This will allow owners to check the car’s range, lock status and more without leaving the house or even picking up a smart device.
The 2019 Jaguar I-Pace is on sale now in Europe and will be available in the U.S. in the second half of 2018 as a 2019 model year vehicle, in S, SE and HSE derivatives as well as a one-year-only First Edition model derived from a very well equipped HSE trim. U.S. pricing will be announced on March 6, in conjunction with the vehicle’s debut at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show. However, Jaguar has already opened up preorders for U.S. buyers.
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