Full details of the Jaguar I-Pace have been unveiled, claimed to be the first all-electric SUV from a premium European brand.
What is expected to be a vital model to the future of the manufacturer – the first of several electric Jaguars – was revealed in a live online broadcast, ahead of its public debut at the Geneva motor show next week.
And Jaguar has already opened order books for the car, at prices from £63,495 – the Government’s £4,500 grant to electric vehicle buyers will bring this down to £58,995. First deliveries are expected as soon as July.
The I-Pace has been designed from the outset as an electric vehicle (EV) and also a performance one. Its all-wheel-drive powertrain promises a 400hp output and a resultant 0-60mph time of only 4.5 seconds.
The car is built around a bespoke aluminium architecture with the battery placed between the axles to create both a low centre of gravity and perfect 50:50 weight distribution. Emphasising the car’s sporting credentials, Jaguar will even organise a race series for the I-Pace alongside the Formula E international championship for electric single-seater race cars.
However Jaguar insists that the I-Pace is also a practical EV, quoting a range between charges of up to 298 miles. It will recharge from 0 to 80% in 85 minutes using a public 50kW fast charger, and a half-hour charge will give it an 80-mile range. The car is also fully compatible with the 100kW DC rapid-charging technology being rolled out across the UK, which will cut the 80% charge time to 40 minutes.
Using a 7kW home-charging wall box for overnight charging will achieve the same 80% charge in three hours. “For I-Pace customers fuel stations are a thing of the past, after overnight charging they’ll wake up every morning with a ‘full tank of fuel'” says Jaguar I-Pace line director Ian Hoban.
Jaguar adds that while in terms of exterior dimensions a mid-sized SUV, the I-Pace will offer interior space to compare with larger SUV rivals. The lack of internal combustion engine infrastructure, such as a transmission tunnel, frees up extra interior space and storage, while the 656-litre boot expands to 1453 litres with the seats folded flat.
New technology will feature heavily in the I-Pace. The debuting Touch Pro Duo infotainment system includes a navigation system directly focused on EVs, assessing such aspects of the planned route as hills and recalling previous journeys to calculate a personalised range and charging status to provide highly accurate information.
Also debuting will be Amazon Alexa Skill. Drivers will be able to ask questions of an Alexa-enabled device on such aspects as the car’s range and whether the next journey is achievable without a recharge. The I-Pace will be the first Jaguar to update its software over-the-air.
While, however, the I-Pace will be the latest product from a thoroughly British brand and designed and developed in the UK, it will not be a strictly British car. With space at a premium in its UK plants, not to mention Brexit concerns, Jaguar has contracted Austrian giant Magna-Steyr to build the car.