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Jaguar I-Pace concept: Meet the electric car with Tesla in its sights

Jaguar has unveiled the I-Pace, a concept car that previews the British manufacturer's first ever electric vehicle, set to arrive in 2018. Here is what to expect, including the 0-60mph time, range and images aplenty.

The Jaguar I-Pace Concept is an 'electric performance SUV' that combines the looks of something sporty with the practicality of a five-seater SUV. Yes, ladies and gentleman, it is a crossover, putting it into Tesla Model X territory albeit with two fewer seats.

Two electric motors – located on the front axle and rear axle – give the Jaguar I-Pace Concept an impressive 400PS (394.5bhp) and 516lb/ft (700NM) of torque, all of which is available the moment you bury the accelerator.

0-60mph (not 0-62mph) takes around four seconds, partly down to the all-wheel drive system, while tailpipe emissions are zero in number so you won't hurt anyone's lungs as you drive on by. A top speed is yet to be confirmed.

Jaguar I-Pace: Positively charged

A 90kWh liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery designed and developed by Jaguar Land Rover provides a 500km-plus (310 miles) range based on the NEDC cycle, which is more generous than its EPA rating of more than 220 miles. A Tesla Model S with a 100kWh battery manages 380 miles (NEDC) and 315 miles (EPA).

As for charging it, with most drivers commuting only 40 to 50km a day, Jaguar reckons a weekly charge will suffice. If not, an 80 per cent charge is said to be achievable in 90 minutes and a full 100 per cent in two hours with (admittedly hard-to-find 50kW) DC charging points.

The two-mode, liquid-cooled element of the battery helps to ensure the range remains constant in hot and cold weather, helping increase the I-Pace Concept's range by up to 50km, claims Jaguar. The use of 'pouch cells' helps keep the energy density up but the volume of the battery down.

Jaguar I-Pace: Design and inspiration

Jaguar says the I-Pace will hog less space on the road than a conventional mid-size SUV, yet it has more passenger and luggage space than 'models in the above segment', meaning you should be able to transport yourself, passengers, shopping and maybe even the family Labrador without feeling like you're in a barge.

This is down to an 'advanced cab-forward design', which basically means the bonnet is shorter because there is no petrol or diesel engine to house, meaning the overhangs can be shorter and everything in the middle can be stretched out.

In some ways the I-Pace bears more resemblance to a mid-engined supercar like the C-X75 and has a knee room-friendly wheelbase of 2,990mm to boot ─ a mere 23mm less than a Range Rover Sport but 170mm shorter overall, at 4,680mm. The width is 1,890mm.

This being a Jaguar and a concept, the interior is suitably luxurious. Moonstone Alcantara has been used for the seat backs, while Windsor leather, contrasting twin-needle stitching and coloured carbon fibre trim covers the front of them.

Meanwhile a full-length panoramic glass roof lets light in through the day and, thanks to LEDs embedded in the patterned glass, it creates the effect of a starry sky at night ─ a feature seen in a slightly different form on a Rolls-Royce.

Elsewhere Jaguar has ensured a mix of modern technologies such as a 12-inch TFT touchscreen display instead of analogue dials and a WiFi hotspot compliment more traditional craftsmanship such as metal rotary controllers that should feel pleasant to use.

It also gets a hefty eight-litre central compartment because there is no transmission tunnel to worry about, as well as a 530-litre boot and a front luggage compartment with another 28 litres.

As for suspension, the double-wishbone configuration of the F-Type and F-Pace has been used up front because Jaguar claims "there is no better system", while the back uses the Integral Link you get on the XE and XF saloon cars.

Jaguar I-Pace: An electric future

"This isn't just a concept," Jaguar director of design, Ian Callum, said. "It is a preview of the a five-seat production car that will be on the road in 2018. This will be Jaguar's first-ever battery-powered electric vehicle and opens a new chapter in the history of our legendary brand."

Jaguar jumping on the small but ever-growing electric bandwagon indicates big changes ahead for motoring as we know it. "It is my belief that over the next five years we will see more changes in the automotive world than in the last three decades," Jaguar Land Rover group engineering director Nick Rogers commented.

"The future is about being more connected and more sustainable; electrification and lightweight technologies are becoming more important than ever as urbanisation continues to increase," he added.

No word on a price as the 2018 launch is a long way off. Given that Tesla is the electric car benchmark and offers a bigger range and a cool-factor, undercutting the £68,800 Model X and £57,900 Model S makes sense.

With that in mind, we expect the finished car may to be less showy to make it somewhat affordable. Or maybe that's just wishful thinking on our part.

Jaguar I-Pace Concept pictures

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