Jaguar Jumps Into Electric Race
Concept cars are some of the most exciting and most frustrating creations in the automotive world. A few years ago, BMW released a concept vehicle as an homage to the original 3.0 CSL. It sported the classic red, black and blue BMW racing colors and excited even the most traditional of enthusiasts.
Four years ago, Nissan also released a concept which clearly harkened back to its classic Datsun 510. Fast forward to 2017 and neither of these cars have made it into production. They were likely made simply to showcase what the automaker is capable of.
British automaker Jaguar is especially guilty of this, and during the mid 2000s, seemed only to showcase cars they would never make.
A Change of Pace
With the announcement of Jaguar’s new I-Pace electric vehicle concept last fall, however, Ian Collum, Jaguar’s director of design, claimed: “This isn’t just a concept. It is a preview of a five-seat production car that will be on the road in 2018.”
While the I-Pace may look similar to the current F-Pace, it is based on an entirely new platform developed for use in Jaguar’s future electric vehicles. Because of the blank slate—and the added flexibility of a less complex EV platform—Collum and his team were able to be quite creative with their design.
Despite the I-Pace’s 117.7-inch wheelbase being more than four inches longer than the F-Pace (allowing for more battery storage between the axles), the I-Pace’s 184.3-inch overall length is about two inches shorter than the F-Pace.
A Tesla Model X Competitor
The obvious comparison for the I-Pace is the Tesla Model X. The I-Pace will have a 90-kilowatt-hour battery, a claimed 220-mile range, and an electric motor at each axle delivering a combined 400 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, so it looks like the two should create quite a showdown.
Also of note is a thermal-management system which, in part, can scavenge heat from the outside air to help warm the interior of the car; thereby increasing overall range by reducing the amount of energy sapped by the climate control. When recharging, I-Pace should reach 80 percent capacity in around 90 minutes when using a 50-kW DC fast charger.
Look for the I-Pace to hit U.S. showrooms in late 2018 as a 2019 model. Jaguar is saying pricing will be about 15 percent above a comparably equipped F-Pace, but more details won’t be available until closer to the launch.
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