The way of the future: Jaguar i-Pace Concept unveiled

Published: 15 November 2016

All-electric Jaguar i-Pace Concept car revealed
Claimed 220-mile range; 0-62mph in 4.0sec
Two motors produce 395bhp and 516lb ft

Finally, the mainstream manufacturers are beginning to catch up with the likes of Tesla. That, at least, is the impression given by Jaguar following the reveal of its new i-Pace concept at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show.

The Jaguar i-Pace Concept is a high-performance electric SUV prototype that previews a production car due to arrive in 2018. It features an electric motor on each axle, granting all-wheel drive, a 90kWh battery and seating for five. 

Jaguar claims that the new concept combines ‘a supercar silhouette with sports car performance and the versatility of a five-seater premium SUV’ – and, if you study the pictures, there certainly are shades of C-X75 to its design…

CAR magazine drives the Jaguar i-Pace concept car

Will the i-Pace perform like a Jaguar?

The claimed performance figures for the i-Pace make for impressive reading. As follows:

  • Motor 197bhp, 258lb ft (x2)
  • Transmission single-speed epicyclic (x2)
  • Total output 395bhp, 516lb ft
  • Battery 90kWh liquid-cooled Li-ion
  • 0-60mph Approximately 4.0sec
  • Top speed TBC
  • Range (NEDC) 311 miles+
  • Range (EPA) 220 miles+
  • Drag coefficient 0.29
  • Weight 2100kg (est)
  • Weight distribution Circa 50:50 

2018 Jaguar I-Pace Concept

To put some perspective on it, the i-Pace has a footprint slightly larger than that of a BMW 3-series and is around 13cm taller. That 220-mile EPA rating, a supposedly more realistic reflection of real-world EV range, should also ensure the i-Pace proves a serviceable option for more owners.

What underpins the i-Pace?

A ‘skateboard’-style chassis, like that found under a Tesla or in Volkswagen’s recently revealed ID concept – which uses the VW Group’s new MEB architecture.

The Jaguar i-Pace features one ‘Electric Drive Unit’ per axle, double-wishbone suspension front and rear, air suspension and an electromechanical steering rack. The lithium-ion battery pack is situated in the main structure of the chassis, helping keep the centre of gravity low.

2018 Jaguar I-Pace Concept

The electric motors can also be configured to employ high levels of regenerative braking, allowing you to drive the i-Pace as a one-pedal car if desired.

How long will it take to charge the i-Pace?

Jaguar claims that the i-Pace’s 90kWh battery can be charged from from 0% to 80% in 90 minutes, using a 50kW DC charging point.

You’ll have to find a rapid charging point to enable this, however, as conventional slow- and fast-charging points tend to put out between 3kW and 2kW. 

Tell me more about the exterior 

Jaguar’s taken advantage of the lack of a conventional powertrain to lengthen the wheelbase and shorten the overhangs, giving the i-Pace a squat stance. Because there’s no engine up front, the i-Pace features a prominent cab-forward layout, in an effort to maximise interior space.

2018 Jaguar I-Pace Concept

Other highlights include stereotypically oversized concept wheels, measuring a whopping 23 inches in diameter, drag-reducing flush door handles  – à la Tesla – and slim LED lights front and rear.

A lot of attention has been paid to reducing drag, in an effort to eke out the best range and performance. Jaguar claims a Cd of 0.29, matching that of the BMW i3. Not hugely impressive on paper (the ’69 Dodge Charger Daytona and countless others match it), but a decent effort for something far taller and more SUV-alike.

Any neat tricks inside?

Outside of seating for five and a decent 530-litre boot – bolstered by an additional 28-litre storage compartment up front? Plenty. Inside the i-Pace you’ll find a flat floor, floating centre console, slim lightweight seats and a customisable digital instrument cluster.

2018 Jaguar I-Pace Concept

Pleasingly, Jaguar appears to have opted for conventional rotary controllers for the climate control system, while a 12-inch TFT touchscreen provides access to the media and navigation system.

A full-colour heads-up system serves to present key information in the driver’s eyeline, reducing the need to glance down at the high-definition digital instrument cluster.

When will the Jag i-Pace go on sale?

The production version of the Jaguar i-Pace is expected to arrive in mid-2018, at around the same time as the Tesla Model 3. Prices are expected to start at around £55,000. 

Want to find out more about the new electric Jaguar? Then pick up the new December 2016 issue of CAR magazine, which features a 12-page spread – including interviews with Jaguar design chief Ian Callum – on the new Jaguar i-Pace.

Read more Los Angeles Auto Show news

CAR magazine December 2016

By Lewis Kingston

Formerly of this parish. Inveterate car buyer and seller; currently owner of a '68 Charger project car