With their SUV sales on a roll, it’s no surprise that Jaguar would come to market with an all-battery electric vehicle (BEV) to satisfy the demands of buyers who want an upscale SUV alternative to a Tesla. Range is probably the first question on any BEV buyer’s mind, and here, the I-Pace clocks in at 240 miles, a respectable distance for a two-way day trip.
The battery produces 90 kWh of juice from lithium-ion cells and, plugged into a 50 kW DC rapid charger, replenishes 80 percent of its charge within 85 minutes. Drive power comes from two motors—one at each end—that together make 394 hp and an impressive 512 ft lbs of no-noise torque. The silent onslaught of torque—which, as with all electric motors, is available from 0 rpm—shoots the I-Pace to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. All-wheel drive and a low center of gravity allow Jag’s 4,784-pound SUV to exhibit respectable handling characteristics, while a passenger capacity of five and a payload capacity of 51 cubic feet (with rear seats folded) make the I-Pace a utilitarian workhorse as well.
The exterior is well-proportioned and balanced, remarkably so for an SUV, and incorporates the signature grille that makes it unmistakably a Jaguar. LED head- and tail lights and flush door handles eliminate visual distraction and emphasize the sleek shape, which is made even more aerodynamically efficient through Jaguar’s Active Air Suspension that lowers the I-Pace at speed and raises it for added off-road ground clearance. An optional Adaptive Dynamics system uses continuously variable dampers to adjust suspension settings.
Inside, it’s Jaguar business as usual, with stitched leathers and premium trims, an infotainment display, and an optional Meridian 15-speaker surround sound system. And, naturally, the I-Pace is a rolling computer, with connectivity and driver assistance systems made possible by exponential tech advances.
Three models are available: I-Pace S, SE, and a full-house HSE edition. The latter features 20-inch wheels and other functional and interior enhancements. Sporty options include 22-inch wheels, Performance Seats and carbon-fiber trim. The exterior color palette is limited to three versions of black, and two each of gray, silver, white, and red, along with one shade of blue available. Interior colors are more inventive, and with judicious specification, one can configure a refined BEV SUV well worthy of the Jaguar name.