Competes with: Tesla Model X or Model S, depending how you fancy it
Looks like: A better-looking electric car than most
Drivetrain: Multiple electric motors with 400 horsepower and 516 pounds-feet of torque; all-wheel drive
Hits dealerships: Late 2018
If you’re interested in luxury electric cars, get ready to add another non-Tesla brand to the list: Jaguar. The automaker has unveiled the all-new I-Pace, an electric SUV — or hatchback, given its low-slung appearance — that made its rounds at the 2017 Geneva International Motor Show.
Related: Jaguar I-Pace Concept Preview
The I-Pace is technically still a concept, but Jaguar says it’s production-intent for U.S. dealerships in the second half of 2018 as a 2019 model. That’s coming from a brand whose C-X16 and C-X17 concepts later became (respectively) the F-Type roadster and F-Pace SUV, so whatever the I-Pace becomes, the apple shouldn’t fall far from the tree.
It’s a svelte apple at that. The iPace — er, I-Pace — is a low-slung SUV, complete with short overhangs and oversized, fender-hugging wheels. The C-pillars frame a rear window that’s sloped enough to work on a sedan. The door handles sit curiously low, aligned with the top of the front wheel well. The nose and tail tread familiar Jaguar territory (think F-Pace), but that’s a good thing, as the brand is on a styling roll these days.
Absent the garish features and impractical proportions that often characterize pure concept cars, the I-Pace looks near-production ready. Minus the enormous wheels and tiny mirrors, this could largely become what you see at dealerships in 2018. Jaguar says a production version will debut in late 2017, so stay tuned.
Things get a little more conceptual inside, where the I-Pace has a highway overpass of a center control panel that towers above the rest of the console. Elsewhere are plenty of overlapping panels and interesting-looking textures, with high-res displays for the gauge, multimedia and climate readouts. The cabin seats five, with futuristic chairs that look like something out of the Enterprise from “Star Trek” — though the tall backings would cause fits for Riker. It’s anyone’s guess how much of this makes it to the production car.
Under the Hood
The I-Pace employs a 90-kilowatt-hour battery pack, the same capacity as Tesla’s ludicrously quick Model S P90D (now the P100D). Jaguar touts considerable performance: With electric motors driving both axles, the I-Pace makes a combined 400 horsepower and 516 pounds-feet of torque — enough to hit 60 mph in a lickety-split 4 seconds or so, which is about as quick as an F-Type R with its supercharged V-8. The brand targets approximately 220 miles of range in EPA test cycles, a figure only Tesla and the Chevrolet Bolt can exceed. The I-Pace accepts DC quick charging, and Jaguar says it can hit 80 percent of its charge in 90 minutes.