The Jaguar I-Pace electric SUV concept has been revealed at the Los Angeles motor show this week, signalling the company’s plans to rival the likes of the Tesla Model X.
Closely previewing the British marque’s first-ever electric vehicle, due in 2018, the I-Pace concept – which appears production-ready even now – is touted as an electric performance SUV that combines a supercar silhouette with sports car performance and five-seater SUV practicality.
Powered by a 90kWh liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery pack, Jaguar claims the I-Pace has a range of up to 500km.
Each axle is driven by a 147kW/350Nm electric motor, giving a total system output of 294kW and 700Nm along with a single-speed transmission sending drive to all-four wheels.
Jaguar claims the I-Pace can sprint from 0-60mph (0-96km/h) in ‘around 4.0 seconds’, a second quicker than the equivalent Tesla Model X 90D which also features a 90kWh battery pack.
Contrary to previous reports, the I-Pace isn’t an EV version of the recently-launched F-Pace SUV, riding on an all-new architecture and dimensionally smaller than its conventionally-powered stablemate.
Measuring 4680mm long, 1890mm wide and 1560mm tall, the I-Pace is 51mm shorter, 285mm narrower and 92mm lower than the F-Pace.
However, the I-Pace’s 2990mm wheelbase is a significant 116mm longer than the F-Pace’s, allowing for superior rear passenger legroom and likely part of the company’s bid to win over Chinese-market buyers with this new model.
Despite its swoopy ‘sportback’ roofline, the I-Pace still manages a luggage capacity of 530L behind the rear seats, along with a 28L ‘frunk’ under the bonnet, which is 120L less than the F-Pace’s 650L boot, though it’s not impractical.
In terms of its design the I-Pace looks like a Jaguar, though borrows elements from numerous models in the company’s portfolio.
The cab-forward proportions and front bonnet scoop are inspired by the C-X75 hybrid supercar, while there are hints of the F-Pace in the roofline, F-Type in the tail-lights while the wide and flattened look at the front resembles the XE and XF sedans.
Numerous aspects of the car’s design also help it to achieve a drag coefficient of 0.29 Cd, including flush door handles that slide out when activated that reduce drag, along with optimised side skirts than channel air more efficiently around the wheels.
Speaking of wheels, filling the arches are massive 23-inch ‘Nighthawk’ rims finished in ‘Technical Grey’ with Gloss Black inserts in a diamond-turned finish. Wrapping around these wheels are 265/35/R23 tyres with a unique tread pattern.
Inside, the I-Pace sports a ‘digital car’ theme, including a new ‘flightdeck’ design which sees all the major controls angled towards the driver.
A 12.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system is the primary interface, while a 5.5-inch secondary touchscreen display is positioned lower down between two aluminium rotary dials for the climate controls with their own LCD displays.
The driver is also treated to a 12.0-inch fully-digital instrument cluster and colour head-up display.
A new three-spoke steering wheel features multi-function capacitive switches that also have a ‘micro-click’ haptic function when pressed.
Other in-car technologies include a Wi-Fi hotspot which allows occupants to stream music, video and other data to their devices, along with access to the company’s InControl apps through the central infotainment system.
Under the skin, the I-Pace sports a double-wishbone front suspension set-up like the F-Type and F-Pace and the same Integral Link rear suspension which is featured in the XE, XF and F-Pace.
Jaguar claims the I-Pace delivers the sporty ride and handling characteristics its cars are known for thanks to its suspension systems and low centre of gravity.
Charging the I-Pace is a relatively time-efficient process, with an 80 per cent charge taking 90 minutes and 100 per cent taking just over two hours using 50kWh DC charging.
The liquid-cooled 90kWh battery pack features 36 modules, housed in lightweight aluminium and forms an integral part of the I-Pace’s body structure.
While the I-Pace is still in the concept stage, the company says the production version will be revealed in late 2017 before hitting the road sometime in 2018.
Ian Callum, director of design at Jaguar, said: “The I-Pace concept is a radical departure for electric vehicles”.
“It represents the next-generation of battery electric vehicle design. It’s a dramatic, future-facing design – the product of authentic Jaguar DNA matched with beautiful, premium details and British craftsmanship.”
“This isn’t just a concept. It is a preview of a five-seat production car that will be on the road in 2018. This will be Jaguar’s first-ever battery-powered electric vehicle and opens a new chapter in the history of our legendary brand,” he added.
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