The all-electric Jaguar I-PACE delivers outstanding performance figures and its impressive range dispels any range anxiety fears. It looks amazing, boasts exhilarating driving dynamics, is packed with technology and is good for the planet too. Quite an all-rounder then.
The goodStyling, driving dynamics, range and on-board technology
The badNot enough compatible fast-chargers around
Jaguar I-PACE 400PS Electric HSE
It’s a fact that pace runners are leaders of the pack and that’s exactly what Jaguar is doing with its new all-electric, luxury SUV that’s aptly named the I-PACE.
Currently in its slipstream are all sorts of potential rivals mainly from the German marques and most recently the Audi e-tron. But it’s Jaguar who delivered first and first impressions count.
The I-PACE is a beautifully proportioned and dynamically styled SUV with sports car handling credentials and all the on-board technology you could possibly wish for. Prices start from £63,495 (not including the Government EV grant) and would-be buyers can select from four trim levels called S, SE, HSE and First Edition.
The I-PACE is an instant attention-grabber guaranteed to stop onlookers dead in their tracks. It simply oozes class taking its inspiration from the C-X75 supercar with a short, low bonnet, an aero-enhanced roof design and curved rear screen. There are active vanes in the grille that open when cooling is required but close again when not required and so redirect air through the bonnet scoop, smoothing out the airflow. Other stand-out design features include 20-inch alloys, a fixed panoramic sunroof, flush door handles that push out when the car is unlocked and automatically slide back into place as the car moves away, privacy glass, a tailgate spoiler and Matrix LED headlights.
Step inside and the charming cockpit is beautifully designed with the finest materials incorporated to create an elegant cabin environment with a wealth of technology at your disposal. The I-PACE is the first vehicle from the Jaguar Land Rover stable to finally get smartphone connectivity via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – other models will follow in 2019.
Other creature comforts include a 12.3-inch touchscreen where all the infotainment systems are easily accessed such as Jaguar’s Touch Go Pro set-up with full navigation, DAB radio, Bluetooth and ambient lighting. A lower screen is where all the climate control settings can be found and the instrument panel behind the steering wheel can be personalised according to taste and offers all sorts of data regarding charging, regenerative braking, power outputs and, of course, driving range limits.
Comfort levels are truly sublime with Windsor leather sports seats that can be power adjusted, heated or cooled. The slightly elevated seating position means the driver benefits from a clear view of the road ahead, but the small rear windscreen and large B pillars do impact on all-round visibility a little.
Our I-PACE in HSE trim had a price-tag of £74,445 but a number of optional extras bumped up the final cost to £78,010, before the Government’s £3,500 EV grant has been deducted.
When it comes to performance, ‘Pace’ is the perfect name for this car. Powered by a 90kWh battery which drives two electric motors delivering 400hp and 696Nm of torque, it can fire its way to 60mph from a standing start in just 4.5 seconds and maxes out at 124mph. Clearly not a car for the faint-hearted then.
Being an EV the power and acceleration is instant – you don’t have to wait for the revs to gradually build up. Simply touch the accelerator and go. The road holding is beautifully assured and car feels well balanced even when being pushed into tight corners at speed. That’s because the battery is positioned centrally between the two axles and as low down as possible, thus creating perfect 50:50 weight distribution and a low centre of gravity for dynamic handling ability.
There are different driving modes that alter the way the I-PACE reacts called Rain, Ice, Snow; Eco; Comfort and Dynamic which really livens things up and is aptly illustrated by a chequered flag. In addition, the all-wheel-drive and all-surface traction deliver extra grip when driving in more challenging weather conditions.
It would be fair to say that the I-PACE is no lightweight weighing in at just over 2.1 tonnes, but it feels firmly planted with precise steering and ample driver feedback. And it’s worth noting too that the vehicle is very capable off-road.
As is the case with EVs, regenerative braking plays a big part in maximising energy levels and there are different levels of regeneration on the I-PACE. If the highest level is selected, you barely need to touch the brakes at all. Jaguar claims the car has a ‘real world’ driving range of 292 miles although this would be in ideal conditions. The figure would be reduced considerably if driven hard and during colder winter months. But it’s still an impressive range and should eliminate any range anxiety issues.
And there are financial benefits to the zero CO2 emissions figure. The car would be exempt from VED and congestion charges. That said; there will be a £310 annual fee due to its cost being above the £40k luxury car threshold.
SUVs need to be practical and the I-PACE ticks that box too. There is ample room for four adults to travel in style (five at a squeeze) and back seat passengers are treated to heated seats. There is a number of USB ports throughout the car along with 4G WiFi for up to eight devices, so it would be easy to stay connected on the move.
The boot capacity of 656 litres can be increased to 1,453 litres with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats dropped flat and there is a further 27-litre storage compartment beneath the bonnet – after all there’s no need for an engine.
Charging depends on the supply used. For example, the car can be charged up to 80 per cent in 40 minutes on a DC 100kW charger; it takes 10 hours on an AC 7kW charger to reach 80 per cent or 12.9 hours to a full charge on an AC 7kW point.
Another factor that the I-PACE excels in is safety where it was awarded the maximum five stars when it was tested for its Euro NCAP rating. It’s the 10thconsecutive vehicle from JLR to secure a top score. It is jam-packed with safety features and driver aids to protect occupants and pedestrians alike, as well as helping to prevent accidents occurring in the first place.
All in all, the Jaguar I-PACE is the ultimate proof that EVs can be beautifully styled, packed with the latest innovative technology and still deliver blisteringly quick driving dynamics. Yes, they are pricey to buy, but they are great fun to drive and are also good for our planet.