British Luxury marque Jaguar has today taken the wraps off its first ever all-electric SUV concept, dubbed the I-Pace.
And it did so, via a world-first virtual reality experience, ahead of its official reveal at the 2016 Los Angeles motor show this week.
From VR hubs in London and Los Angeles, more than 300 guests - including A-list stars Miranda Kerr, Michelle Rodriguez and James Cordon - wore HTC Vive headsets, which put them inside the concept vehicle, enabling them to interact with other users across the Atlantic as the I-Pace was built around them.
It was a unique experience for what is a very unique car for the Jaguar brand.
Ian Callum, Director of Design at Jaguar, told CarAdvice tonight that “the I-Pace is the most important car since the legendary Jaguar E-Type".
“One day in the not-too-distant future, all cars will probably be electrically powered, so the I-Pace Concept and the production version, which will hit the road in 2018, is critically important to the future success of the Jaguar brand.”
Interestingly, though, the I-Pace shares very little with the F-Pace. Instead, it uses an all-new aluminium architecture designed to incorporate the additional weight of the battery packs, as well as the car’s more aerodynamic shape.
“It’s smaller than the F-Pace, similar in size to the Audi Q5, and that’s important when we’re talking about the vehicle’s intended range of 500+ km and 0-60 mph performance in four seconds," said Callum.
“There are two things to consider with a car like the I-Pace when it comes to range: weight and aerodynamics. This car is probably going to be lighter than the competition given it will be made from aluminium, and we worked hard to get down to a drag coefficient of 0.29," he added.
“Like the I-Pace, the C-X75 is a cab-forward car, with exaggerated lines and the emphasis on the front, but that’s where it ends, as this new concept has a unique character - but still very much a Jaguar from any angle”.
“Our brief was to create a spacious performance SUV that could comfortably carry five people. Otherwise we had a clean sheet of paper. To deliver this we embraced the freedom that electrification offers designers.
“The electric powertrain and the cab-forward layout positions the driver further forward, increasing the space for the second row passengers. This allows the 530-litre luggage volume without compromising the profile”, he added.
While Jaguar will show a production version of the I-Pace in 2017, prior to customer deliveries commencing in 2018, prospective buyers can go to jaguar.com and click the ‘I want one’ button to be one of the first owners.