The latest development in Jaguar’s eagerly anticipated EV, the I-Pace, confirms claims made by the company ahead of its initial launch as the I-Pace concept. Jaguar now prepares to launch the production version of the car at the Geneva motor show, in March.
The British carmaker has confirmed that its first EV will be capable of charging to 80 percent of its capacity within 40min, from a 100kW charger – a significant improvement over its previous estimate of 80 percent charge in 90min. The car’s maximum range on a fully-charged battery is about 499km.
The I-Pace is on course to beat the Audi E-Tron into showrooms, later this year, to become the first electric SUV from a premium carmaker. Sure, the Tesla Model X is technically the first EV SUV; but insiders claim the Jaguar and Audi will offer a more traditional SUV experience, thus segregating them into a slightly different segment.
Jaguar’s brief for its long-anticipated first electric vehicle was to “create a performance SUV that is spacious, sporty and usable.” The final design, though, is more than just an electric version of its successful F-Pace SUV. The I-Pace exploits the packaging advantages of an electric powertrain and a sleek four-door body style, along with generous cabin space, four-wheel drive capability and performance at par with a rear-wheel-drive Jaguar F-Type R.
Jaguar has revealed that the car has been testing in Sweden, with temperatures as low as -40deg testing the batteries’ efficiency, since low temperatures traditionally lower the range of EVs.
The I-Pace uses a new, bespoke battery-electric vehicle architecture designed in-house. Jaguar says the electric architecture, informally referred to as the ‘electric skateboard’, is production-ready.
The I-Pace’s drive is provided by a pair of synchronous permanent magnet electric motors. These provide four-wheel drive, immediate response from a standstill and rapid torque distribution between the two axles. Each motor produces the equivalent of 200hp, so the I-Pace concept has 400hp and 700Nm of torque, on tap. Jaguar has claimed 0-97kph time for the car is 4.0sec.
Jaguar’s engineers designed and developed the motors in-house. As a result, the motors are compact, efficient and have their desired power density. Jaguar has also thoughtfully future-proofed the electrical architecture. The car has been outfitted with a charging socket in the car’s front wing which is designed to accept higher-capacity charging than 50kW DC – in anticipation of when such charging points become commonplace.
“It’s a true Jaguar,” said Mike Cross, JLR's chief engineer of vehicle integrity. “This will be the first electric vehicle developed for enthusiasts who love driving.”
At 4,680mm long, 1,890mm wide and 1,560mm tall, the I-Pace Concept is smaller in each dimension than the F-Pace – more noticeably with respect to its height. However, the most significant difference is in the wheelbase: Jaguar has pushed the electric car’s out to 2,990mm, as compared with the F-Pace’s 2,874mm.
The exterior colours of the I-Pace Concept mirror those of the I-Type – Jaguar’s single-seat electric racing car which is currently competing in Formula E.