Jaguar I-PACE – Time To Take Another Look
Andy Harris, Motoring and Property Editor
First seen as a concept almost two years ago, Jaguar has now entered the electric vehicle market with its striking new I-PACE. I was lucky enough to get to drive it at the UK launch event earlier this year, but a recent drive day was the perfect opportunity to slip behind the wheel once again.
I chose to pilot a range-opening ‘S’ model, listing at £63,495 before options and there were plenty of those!
With ample space for five, the rakish design gives the I-PACE a low drag coefficient of 0.29 which helps the Jag to silently slip through the air.
That sleek look also means a low centre of gravity for improved handling, clearly a priority from a manufacturer that has made its name producing sporty cars.
And sports car performance is what is on offer, whichever model you choose, with the two Jaguar-designed electric motors producing a combined output of 400PS and 696Nm of torque. All-wheel drive traction ensures that the I-PACE is mighty quick and is able to sprint silently from rest to 60mph in just 4.5 seconds. Top speed is a rather academic 124mph.
Tested under the new WLTP regulations, Jaguar quotes a range of 292 miles in ideal conditions, more than enough for most drivers’ everyday journeys. My test car was showing a projected range of 221 miles on a 98% charge, a cold winter’s morning perhaps being to blame.
Press the start button and the Jag silently springs into life. A further press of the ‘Drive’ button and the I-PACE is ready for action. There is a creep function if you wish the single-speed transmission to behave like a conventional automatic.
Maximum torque is available from rest, so a decent prod of the accelerator will see the I-PACE hurtle down the road.
Set the regenerative braking to its higher setting and deceleration is almost as strong, negating the need to use the brake pedal except in extremis. This one pedal driving takes a little getting used to, but is heartily recommended.
An added benefit is that each period of slowing down or stopping helps replenish the battery and improve the car’s range.
The I-PACE offers a range of driving modes. The Eco setting will help eke out the most range from the battery, whilst dynamic mode increases the damper stiffness, steering weighting and sharpens the pedal response.
Optional air suspension was fitted to ‘my’ I-PACE and at £1,100 I would strongly recommend it, improving both the ride and handling to a noticeable degree.
All I-PACE cars are extremely well equipped and that should come as no surprise with a range that starts from £63,495, rising to £81,495 for First Edition models.
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Head-up display is worth the modest £900 outlay and the Driver Assistance Pack (£2,300) would be a good choice, including as it does Adaptive Cruise Control and High Speed Emergency Braking amongst other things.
Charging remains an issue for many would-be electric car buyers, so a home charger is a must. Most will of course opt for a 7kW wall box which will deliver 22 miles of range per hour (0-80% will take ten hours).
A typical 50kW fast charger can deliver up to 62 miles of range in 15 minutes and can charge the battery from 0-80% in 85 minutes. 100kW chargers are in the pipeline which will cut charging times when they become more widely available.
The navigation system shows charging stations on the map and you can search for them based on distance and payment method.
So are there any downsides to choosing an electric I-PACE over say a conventionally powered F-PACE? Other than the premium pricing, it is hard to think of any. Yes you may have to pause for recharging on a long car journey, but the inconvenience is limited.
A game-changer from Jaguar and a signal of exciting things to come.
Jaguar I-PACE S
Priced from £63,495 (£80,410 as tested)
Five-seat SUV practicality
Twin electric motors (400PS combined)
All-wheel drive, all-surface traction
0-60mph in 4.5 seconds
Top speed 124mph
292 mile range (WLTP)
Insurance Group 48
36 month warranty
Jaguar I-PACE – Time To Take Another Look, 1st January 2019, 17:40 PM