The all-electric Jaguar I-Pace concept car has taken to the streets of London to see how well it performs on actual roads. These are the pictures you need to see and a look at why it could be a proper Tesla rival.
You may find the idea of an electric car insulting to petrolheads, but it seems they are here to stay ─ and Jaguar will soon join the fray with the I-Pace. Now the car has begun testing on real roads around the world, including at Olympic Park in London.
The Jaguar I-Pace debuted at the Geneva Motor Show 2017 and is expected to be revealed in late 2017, which means the concept provides a glimpse at what to expect from the production car that will go on sale in the second half of 2018.
When we say a glimpse, Jaguar told Recombu Cars that what you see now is pretty much what you will get in terms of aesthetics. Excluding those gigantic alloy wheels, of course. Imagine kerbing them.
But we do know the Jaguar I-Pace will be a rival to the forthcoming US$35,000 Tesla Model 3 and potentially the Model S, although we have been told it will cost less than the £50,000 needed for a basic version of the latter so the I-Pace will likely sit somewhere between the two.
We also know it will have a 0-60mph (not 0-62mph) time of ‘around 4 seconds’, to quote Jaguar, and a range of 500km (NEDC). That translates to around 220 miles although real world figures will probably be lower given the sizable gap between NEDC and EPA figures.
The I-Pace is, therefore, a little behind the Model S in terms of range in its 100kWh capacity, but then it shares the similar fast charging technology. 80 per cent of the 90kWh Jaguar I-Pace can be recharged in 90 minutes using a 50kW DC charger – a far cry from a standard UK plug socket.
Other important figures? Because of the dual-motor setup, it can power all four wheels for maximum traction and, because of the lack of a large engine, interior space has been maximised. The wheelbase is only 23mm shorter than a Range Rover Sport.
Then there is the 530-litre boot, 28-litre ‘frunk’ (front trunk) and a drag coefficient of 0.29, which means it can slice through the air as well as its petrol and diesel counterparts.
Step inside the car and Jaguar has gone for the BMW approach of giving an electric car its own aesthetic, as opposed to half-arsing an existing interior. In the case of the I-Pace, it looks more futuristic than sporty, with a 12-inch TFT touchscreen in the middle providing in-car amusement beyond that of a game of I Spy.
There is even a panoramic roof and within the glass of said roof are embedded LEDs to recreate the effect of a starry night. Insert joke about dogging becoming more romantic.
On paper, the Jaguar I-Pace looks like it could ruffle some combustion engine feathers but it is the fact Jaguar is at the helm that makes us most excited. We can only hope some of the charm and excitement of the XE S and F-Type filters down.
Really, it needs to. Because the Tesla Model S, though a bigger car and therefore not directly comparable, is memorable to drive, particularly when served in its face-melting performance-focussed editions. If the Model 3 is half as good, it will sell like hot cakes.
Jaguar is a brand that has a lengthy history, the blessing of Steve McQueen and one with racing pedigree. If anyone can compete on the cool front, then, it is the British marque. But convincing motorists that electric is the future was always going to be the difficult part.