With Mercedes-Benz and Audi just now unveiling production versions of their first electric sport utility vehicles and BMW still hesitating to do some sort of I SUV, Jaguar got off to a head start with its brand new I-Pace just now arriving in dealerships.
The 2019 I-Pace may have come out of nowhere as Jaguar’s first EV, but once you get to know it a little better you’d think the British automaker is some kind of EV expert. I had a chance to sample the I-Pace and the first thing that struck me was how refined it is both inside and on the road.
More luxurious than an F-Pace, the I-Pace actually reminds me of the Range Rover Velar. The cabin is stunning with its multiple digital displays, and the overall material quality and craftsmanship is definitely high-end stuff.
Now, some will say that’s to be expected given the I-Pace’s $86,500 starting sticker price but remember that at the moment its only real competition is the Tesla Model X. Step inside the Model X and snoop around, and you’ll quickly find a bunch of problems with the interior in regard to quality. It just doesn’t feel like it costs more than $100,000.
In the 2019 Jaguar I-Pace, the opposite happens. You feel like you are in a vehicle that actually costs a lot more than the sticker price. There’s also a decent amount of space with 656 liters behind the rear seats.
378 kilometers of range in the 2019 Jaguar I-Pace
Jaguar’s electric SUV is powered by two electric engines with one engine located on each axle. Combined horsepower is rated at 394 while torque is a massive 512 pound-feet. As we all know, torque is delivered basically instantly by an electric motor, and having more than 500 pound-feet of torque hit the road in the blink of an eye leads to some pretty impressive performance.
Now, flooring a Tesla Model X P100D remains the most adrenaline-pumping thing you can do in a modern vehicle (aside from maybe doing it in a Tesla Model S) and I won’t tell you the I-Pace can compete in terms of sheer straight-line performance.
What I can tell you, however, is that the I-Pace has more power than you will ever need. It reaches 100 km/h in less than 5.0 seconds and gets of the line with more force than many high-performance models coming out of Italy or Germany. Like many EVs, it feels faster than it is. In the case of the I-Pace however, it’s actually fast.
A 90 kWh battery supplies power to the engines. It provides 378 kilometers of range which is about the same as the Model X 75D, but quite a bit less than the 100D versions. Up to you to figure out if that’s enough range to quell your anxieties. You will have to make sure you set aside enough time for charging, however, as the I-Pace needs almost 13 hours even on a 240V outlet. I get that the battery is massive but still. The I-Pace charges a lot faster using a 50kW DC charger which gives it about 270 kilometers of range after an hour.
There’s a ton of technology in the 2019 Jaguar I-Pace as you may expect. There’s a heat pump that uses air from outside to reduce demands on the climate system, a rather advanced braking regeneration system that can capture almost the entirety of the energy generated when braking, and the new AdSR system which scans road and environmental conditions in order to adjust brake and engine parameters for optimal performance.
Read Also: Mercedes-Benz unveils new EQC electric SUV
There’s obviously all-wheel-drive to keep you going in the right direction as well as a torque vectoring system that uses braking to improve cornering.
The 2019 Jaguar I-Pace is a luxury SUV first and foremost which happens to have two electric engines powering it. It has enough range to be useful, but ultimately it would be a great vehicle even if it was powered by a traditional engine. Personally, I think that’s the key to making an EV people will want to buy.