Jaguar has been synonymous for luxury and innovation, but things became tough and it wasn’t until Indian car giant, TATA, bought Jaguar Land Rover that the company range went through expansion the likes of which the company had never before seen.
I-Pace is the latest model, expanding the range to 7. It is an SUV-like car that run purely on batteries. That’s right, Jaguar now has an EV, and isn’t it a cracker?
As well as looking cool, I-Pace has won a fistful of European awards.
Jaguars have muscular lines, and I-Pace is no different.
Its looks were inspired by the CX-75 supercar. With a low roof and high waist, I-Pace is curvaceous, like all big cats. It is a concept car that stepped straight off the paper and in to production.
The front is aggressive and in-your-face, with a coupe-like side profile. The rear end looks to hunker down on its 20” wheels, ready to pounce.
Aluminium has been used extensively to make I-Pace light and rigid. Flush door handles extend only when required.
The grill directs air to cool the batteries, and for the heat pump climate control. Active vents open and close as needed. LED Matrix headlights and LED taillights look great, with low power consumption. Headlights include double J-Blade daytime running lights, and a majestic indicator that sweeps in the direction of the turn.
Interior design can be hit and miss but I-Pace feels cosy and inviting, yet crisp and modern. You want electric cars to look and feel different, and I-Pace certainly does that.
Most notable is the floating centre console. It houses climate controls on a discrete touch screen flanked by large rotary dials. The multi-function dials work with the screen to navigate all climate functions. There is even a setting to precondition your cabin while still plugged in to power.
There are additional screens at the top of the centre stack, and in front of the driver where the speedo and tacho would normally live. This is all topped off by an HUD.
Seats are power adjusted and upholstered in either Windsor leather or optional Kvadrat. Front seats are heated, of course. Use it sparingly if you value your range.
Ingenious stowage consists of cubby holes, pockets, and hidden spaces throughout. There is no hand brake or gear lever. The automatic parking brake is activated in Park, or from a small button, or when I-Pace is switched off. Gears are push buttons.
Rear seats have a place for laptops underneath. There is no drive shaft, so the rear space feels positively capacious. You might expect the sloping roof to make rear head room a bit tight, but the seats are low-slung to keep things usable.
There is simply far too much to go in to any detail.
I-Pace has all the luxury and technology you get in a normal old jag, with a generous smattering of bespoke EV-goodies. We have a full article on the many features HERE
Drive and Engine
Power from the 90kwh battery pack flows to all four wheels (all-wheel-drive). Drive shafts form part of the electric motors of which there are two, one fore, and one aft.
You simply select which direction you want to drive in, and off you go. Buttons for D, R, N and P fall easily to the left hand (note: left hand model shown in pictures. This is swapped for RHD cars).
Stabbing your foot to the floor brings the full torque to bear. If just about rips your face off, and if that wasn’t enough, there is a Sports mode. This directs 600Nm of torque directly to the rubber and the effect is brutal.
The system is clever and recovers every bit of power possible. Around town you hardly ever need to touch the brake such is the force of regeneration. It saves energy with clever air conditioning too.
You quickly settle in to the rhythm of EV ownership, and that means being economical with energy.
Ride is firm and steering sharp, though not perhaps as sharp as you might expect. There is as slightly disconnected sensation which feels strangely right and only adds to the ethereal experience.
The battery pack weighs around 600kg and the suspension sometimes struggles with the combination of height and weight. On the highway, you can set and forget the cruise control. The cabin is so eerily quiet and calm. You occasionally get just a touch of hum from the tyres just to let you know you’re moving.
Range varies hugely depending on driving style and environmental conditions so it is worth keeping a careful eye on the dash. You set out on a 5k round trip yet use 50km of range.
Charging: You’ll plug it in whenever you can. Jaguar suggests plugging it in when at home as I-Pace will use power monitoring itself while you sleep. While out and about its best to use phone apps for charge station providers. Phone apps show a vast array of choice. Read about it HERE
If you’re popping down to the shops, find one of these charge bays in public car parks and shopping centres, but beware, these are not the 100kw fast chargers.
They promise rapid public charging from 0-80% in just 40 minutes (2), with 15-minutes charge giving 100km range
The most you’ll get is 50km per hour of charge on most public chargers, to an approximate 480km maximum.
Almost all of the rates quoted by EV retailers are based on fast charging which is annoying to say the least. To prevent range anxiety, use every opportunity to top up.
A battery pack is made up of over 400 cells. Each can be individually replaced for around $2,000, and a full replacement is around $60,000 plus fitting. The pack has an 8 year/160,000km warranty and triggers if the batteries drop below 70% efficiency.
This might sound frightening, but other EV batteries have come down in price, so it is safe to assume I-Pace will too.
- Sharp looks
- Crisp clean luxurious cabin
- Complete technology overload
Not So Good Bits
- Charging might be a hassle.
- Range can change dramatically without warning
- There is no avoiding range anxiety
We may have to get used to life without petrol, and that’s a fact.
Just as our great grandfathers had to make do with limited opportunities to refuel, early adopters of EVs will be doing the same. There is a price for being green
The nay-sayers whine about batteries taking more from the environment to make, than they save. That is simply not true. Even if it was true, we are running out of million-year-old dinosaurs to burn.
You are limited for long distance travel, but as most people don’t do any long-distance travel, that is a moot point.
People in strata have limited access to charging but that is about to change. As battery powered transport becomes more popular, units blocks country wide will have ports installed.
We noticed people of a certain age stopping to admire I-Pace, especially parked. It is a rare car, with only 6 being sold so far.
This is an exciting time, and I would be more than happy to own an I-Pace.
Facts and Figures: 2018 Jaguar I-Pace SE EV400
- Engine: 2 X electric motors producing 296kW/600Nm
- Transmission: single Speed
- Warranty: 3 years/ 100,000km
- Safety: Five stars (tested 2018)
- Origin: UK
- Price: from $132,200 MLP* (as tested ($140,856)
*MLP – Manufacturers List Price includes GST and LCT but excluding statutory charges, dealer costs and dealer delivery. See your dealer for RDAP. Does not include price of any options.