Driving Electricity Forward: The Jaguar I-Pace

By Geoff Maxted on 27 March, 2019


The science of electric cars has moved forward substantially in the last couple of years and, up to a point, range anxiety is not quite what it was. It seems like new battery technology is coming on fast to deliver more miles per charge. 

Sadly the world’s EV public charging infrastructure has not followed suit and it remains an issue unless the car can be charged at home or at work. 

Enter the I-Pace

After being a bit slow to get in on the act, the brand has embraced the electric vehicle challenge, taking it’s time to develop this bespoke new car. In doing so they have given the opposition a sound thrashing rivalling even mighty Tesla. The I-Pace is designed and engineered to take full advantage of its smart electric power train and maximise the potential of the benefits that brings. In short, this is one great car.

The sleek, coupé-like (it is a four door) silhouette is influenced by the company’s famous sports cars with a short, low bonnet, aero-enhanced roof design and curved rear screen. This cab-forward design contrasts with its squared-off rear, which helps reduce the drag coefficient to just 0.29Cd. To optimise the balance between cooling and aerodynamics, Active Vanes in the grille open when cooling is required, but close when not needed to redirect air through the integral bonnet scoop, smoothing airflow.

It’s worth mentioning the motor

Power is derived from a state-of-the-art 90kWh Lithium-ion battery using 432 pouch cells. The I-PACE, we learn, delivers a range of 292 miles (470km), although this excellent figure has to be tempered by how the vehicle is used and in what conditions. Owners will be able to achieve a 0-80% battery charge in 40 minutes using DC rapid charging (100kW). Home charging with an AC wall box (7kW) will achieve the same state of charge in just over ten hours – ideal for overnight charging.

The power

A pair of Jaguar-designed electric motors, featuring driveshafts that pass through the motors themselves for compactness, are placed at each axle, producing exceptional performance courtesy of 394bhp and 696Nm of torque driving an all-wheel-drive system. To put it another way this generates sports car performance, launching the I-Pace from a standing start to 62mhp (100km/h) in just 4.8 seconds. 

The drive

Quality is high (watch out Tesla)  and the cabin is spacious, despite the relatively compact proportions. There’s plenty of room for five and the boot will swallow 656 litres of luggage; more than twice that with the rear seats down. There’s even a tiny front boot, handy for a bit of shopping. This car drives beautifully with steering and body control that belies the fact that this is a 2.2T SUV. The earlier analogy to sports cars is demonstrated by how well this car handles on tight, fast roads. 

Any buyer ready for a switch to all-electric motoring and has the budget for it would be doing his or herself a disservice by not putting this EV at the top of the list.

Geoff Maxted