Jaguar has just shown off a preview of their first-ever electric vehicle. The I-Pace is a performance SUV that Jaguar says will handle like a Jag should. It just won’t have the exhaust note of an F-Type to let you know about it.
This is a preview, with a production model expected to be shown later next year, and launching in 2018. The I-Pace has two electric motors, one on each axle, to provide 400 hp and a massive 516 lb-ft of torque. Combined with a 90 kWh lithium battery pack, Jaguar is predicting a range of around 350 km on the EPA test cycle. A unique feature for the I-Pace is that Jaguar has fitted a heat pump to the climate control system, instead of the more common conventional electric heater. That helps to warm the interior more efficiently and reduces battery use in the winter.
The platform is from the F-Pace SUV, but there are some big changes. The most noticeable is that Jaguar has pulled the base of the windshield forward by 200 mm, made possible by the lack of engine and gearbox. Combined with very short overhangs front and rear and a wheelbase stretched 114 mm, it gives the I-Pace a coupe-like roofline. It also lets the company pull the front seats forward, giving increased space to rear passengers. The batteries are under the floor, and there is no need for a transmission or driveshaft tunnel. That has let Jaguar designers add an 8L storage space where the transmission used to be. Under the hood there is room for 28L of cargo, and the rear has space for 530L.
The infotainment system uses a 10.0-inch screen, and operates Jaguar’s InTouch system. That gives Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility. There is a separate 5.5-inch touchscreen below it, and the two can be configured to display the information you want. The instrument cluster is a 12.0-inch virtual gauge cluster that can be programmed to display the instruments the driver wants to see.
Outside, the tall, muscular arches help frame the road, like the sports coupes Jaguar is known for. The nose is clearly shared with the rest of the family, even if it looks more F-Type than F-Pace up front. There are vents in the rear that look like exhaust tips, but actually let air vent from the rear wheel wells, helping to make the SUV more aerodynamically efficient.
The I-Pace will be all aluminum in construction, but the battery pack and additional cooling mean that there will be a weight gain of around 300 kg over the F-Pace, for a total of 2,100 kg. Weight distribution should be 50:50, and the center of gravity is 20 mm lower than F-Pace, so handling should still be excellent. There is an air suspension system that can lower the body at high speeds and can raise it if someone wants to take the I-Pace off-roading.
This is a concept, a preview of the production I-Pace set to debut later next year, but most of the details look production-ready. Expect larger mirrors and smaller wheels than the 23-inch monsters on the show car. If you’re interested, Jaguar expects to start taking orders next week.
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