A bit of trivia before we delve deeper into what we think is the finest luxury EV vehicle sold in any market, the all-new Jaguar I-Pace. Well before the mass-produced Model T was manufactured by Ford in 1908, practical electric motor vehicles were found in multiple territories around the world since as early as 1859. Moreover, Ferdinand Porsche built the first practical four-wheel-driven alternative fuel vehicle called the Lohner-Porsche Mixed Hybrid for Jacob Lohner, at his Lohner-Werke plant in Vienna, Austria in 1898! Ferdinand was so advanced that the Lohner-Porsche design was supposedly studied by NASA and Boeing when they were creating the Lunar Rover for the Apollo program. So, the concept of electrified propulsion pre-dates the classic mass-produced combustion engine powered automobile, but it was always a challenge to manage the myriad variables of cost, performance, manufacturing, and utility. There are dreamers and there are doers, we need them both.
Fast forward to our current time period and a few associations still linger. The man that I personally credit the pure electrified revolution to, Elon Musk, must be graciously thanked. Most car manufacturers may have alternative opinions about his influence but the results are profoundly real, especially for the common man and the general consumer. With Musk’s SpaceX, SolarCity, and Tesla, he is determined to reduce global warming through sustainable energy production and consumption while setting his goals toward space exploration.
We are all aware of the incredible performance numbers that Tesla cars can achieve, and because of this alone, every manufacturer in the business needs to adapt to survive and thrive and we all benefit from the process. As much as I respect Musk and his products’ vast abilities, I am still not ready to commit to a Tesla. Shocked? Again, I repeat, I acknowledge that through Musk’s progressive efforts combined with his company taking the ball from fundamental car manufacturers, he has influenced government policies and our general mindset toward taking care of our environment and reducing our consumer spending on fossil fuels. BUT, even Tesla’s most attainable product, the Model 3, is very expensive to the point that it still challenges convention to switch over despite all the merits. It doesn’t help that production times are still excessive and fit-and-finish/build quality are still lingering issues as well. Basically, consumers buy a Tesla because of its fashionable popularity, ability, travel benefits, incentives, and ease of use. But they are very expensive to buy negating any short-term cost savings.
Enter the Chevrolet Bolt EV also tested in this issue and our Glacier White Jaguar I-Pace HSE test unit. The versatile Bolt serves its purpose of a fun, affordable, and practical EV. The Jaguar I-Pace, the first full EV from the company, was designed to take on the more expensive Tesla X and Model S, while still maintaining its core. And it has outdone itself. Bravo Jaguar! The competition has risen to the challenge successfully. As progressive and dynamic as the Teslas are, not a single model has excited me visually. The I-Pace is an aerodynamic premium four-door hatch with a .29 cd drag coefficient that reminds me of a Battlestar Galactica Cylon spaceship, how ironic, and it captured my attention instantly.
Once you enter the attractive predominantly red and brilliant cabin, you know you are in the cabin of a very special groundbreaking car that just so happens to be fully electric. Jaguar didn’t need to expend efforts making new gullwing doors or push the envelope in unorthodox cabin design like in the Tesla Model 3, which makes it very difficult for motorheads to transition to EV. Not with the Jaguar. You get all the benefits of electrified propulsion combined with a design and driving behavior that we all can relate to with joy. The familiarity with the rest of the updated Jaguar model range is obviously deliberate but the execution is at its best with larger control screens. Naturally, I felt like I was driving a polished working concept car.
The Jaguar I-Pace is all-new with an aluminum-intensive structure incorporating the battery pack on the floor and fully independent aluminum adaptive suspension, with adjustable ride height, at a long wheelbase of 117.7 inches to accommodate 5 adults comfortably with their baggage. Size-wise, the I-Pace is sized between a BMW X3 and Audi Q5. The low center of gravity gives the I-Pace an almost perfect 50/50 weight distribution. The I-Pace is also a proper crossover that can actually be raised by 9.5 inches while moving up to 50 km/h and gives the looker the ability to ford 500 mm without frying yourself. At legal speeds in excess of 105 km/h, the I-Pace will drop 0.4 inches to further improve aerodynamics.
When I picked up our test unit, it had 275 miles (440 kilometers) of indicated range with its 90-kWh battery. It has two 197-hp permanent-magnet synchronous electric motors to manage both ends with real AWD ability. Top speed is unfortunately governed to 200 km/h and if your battery is completely exhausted, you will need almost 13 hours to charge it completely using a 240-volt, 32-amp wall charger.
While on the road the Jaguar I-Pace is actually not completely silent, unless you disable the function, which you can, synthetic sci-fi noises are piped in through the speakers, being a geek at heart, I liked it and kept it on. The regenerative brakes, 13.8-in vented discs up front with 12.8-in vented discs at the rear, were spot-on and worked flawlessly for me too. Even on large 20-inch alloys wrapped with 245/50R20 105V Good Year Eagle Sport tires, the I-Pace was always enjoyable with a flat but compliant ride.
At the end of our testing procedures, I did not want to return the Jaguar I-Pace; it is my absolute favorite Jaguar ever. Without a doubt in my mind, it is the new standard for luxury electric vehicles. You will feel rewarded every second behind the cool steering wheel and get the feeling that you are driving something so special yet attainable for less money spent on a Tesla Model S without the compromises. The Jaguar did not have diluted refinement at all and drove like a well-rounded and accomplished sports sedan with genuinely sharp driving dynamics.
|Engine||Dual Permanent-magnet synchronous AC motors, 90-kWh lithium-ion battery pack|
|Max Power (bhp @ rpm)||394 hp|
|Max Torque (lb/ft @ rpm)||512 lb-ft|
|Transmission||1-Speed Direct Drive|
|Top Speed||200 km/h (125 mph) Governed|
|0-100 km/h | 0-62 mph||4.7 sec.|
Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions
|Fuel Milage (km/l)||MPGe 87 City / 86 Highway|
|Price as Tested (PHP)||US$ 81,495.00|
|What's Great||Great looking, very desirable with impressive athleticism, outstanding packaging, ultra-sophisticated and luxurious, a proper Jaguar that attacks in silence.|
|What's Not So||Not available in our market yet. Speed governed.|
|C! Editors Rating||10/10|