While it might come as a surprise to some, Jaguar says the Tesla Model X wasn’t the benchmark for the development of its all-new I-Pace electric SUV concept, revealed today in Los Angeles.
Ian Hoban, Vehicle Line Director, Jaguar Land Rover, is adamant the company did not benchmark Tesla or any other EV manufacturer during the all-out development of its first ever electrically powered SUV.
“When we started development on the I-Pace nearly three years ago, we didn’t actually set out to compete with anyone in particular. We already knew what a Jaguar EV needed to be, and we knew the demand for SUVs was still going gangbusters - so we said, let’s go and do this.
“That said, Tesla has to be commended for its electric vehicle development and how far it has pushed EV performance and technology. It’s very impressive, but it’s not the only dimension that you need to get right.
“For sure the I-Pace had to be a performance SUV, as that’s what Jaguar buyers would demand of us. However, we’re comfortable the I-Pace will absolutely have the right level of performance to meet customer expectations.”
Power is provided by two state-of-the-art electric motors and a 90kWh lithium-ion battery pack designed in-house by Jaguar Land Rover.
Combined output is a relatively potent 294kW of power and 700Nm of torque right from the get-go via an all-wheel drive setup. Expect the I-Pace to go from a standstill to 100km/h in around 4.2 seconds, or better.
It’s also unlikely production models of the I-Pace will be built on the same line as the F-Pace, given the new platform and unique construction of electric vehicles.
Hoban is also tight-lipped around prospective pricing for the I-Pace, except to say that “typically an electric vehicle in this category will command a premium of between 10 -15 per cent over the equivalent fuel-powered vehicle, plus any local taxes.”
Hoban also said it was important for Jaguar to be one of the first luxury car manufacturers to produce an all-electric SUV, “but only if it delivered the same core attributes as any other Jaguar vehicle we build”.