Jaguar reveals I-Pace electric SUV prior to 2018 launch
Billed as a production preview of the Jaguar I-Pace, which will be revealed next year, the concept is designed to fuse supercar looks, sports car performance and SUV space in an all-electric package and is said to bring “precise, agile driving dynamics as yet unseen on an electric vehicle” plus a 0-60mph time of around four seconds.
Ian Callum, director of design, said: “The I-Pace Concept represents the next generation of electric vehicle design. It’s a dramatic, future-facing cab-forward design with a beautiful interior – the product of authentic Jaguar DNA, electric technology and contemporary craftsmanship.”
The unveiling of the I-Pace comes as a growing number of premium car makers looks to break into the electric SUV arena. Mercedes-Benz recently previewed its electric ‘EQ’ range with a ‘close-to-production’ SUV-coupe concept at the Paris Motor Show. Tesla announced earlier this year that it will launch a compact SUV. Audi is to launch an electric SUV from 2018. And last week saw BMW confirm that it will launch a fully electric X3 from 2020.
The concept is powered by two synchronous, permanent electric motors designed inhouse by Jaguar Land Rover and integrated into the front and rear axles. These offer a combined power output of 395bhp and 516lb.ft of torque, exactly the same torque rating as the F-Type SVR, along with all-wheel drive. The liquid-cooled 90kWh lithium-ion battery, also designed inhouse and featuring latest pouch cell technology, is positioned as low as possible and right between the axles to improve vehicle agility.
The I-Pace delivers a range of more than 311 miles on the NEDC cycle while, using 50kW DC charging, it can offer full charging capability in just over two hours; 80% charge capacity is reached in 90 minutes.
Jaguar’s advanced design director, Julian Thomson said: “What surprised us was how readily this type of vehicle took to being a Jaguar. And how natural it is for Jaguar to do this type of car. It shows how we can translate our values. Proportion, balance and stance are all there – all very important Jaguar characteristics that have to be absolutely perfect – but in a totally different form.”
Based on a compact 4,680mm length, the I-Pace makes use of the electric powertrain and cab-forward design to offer ‘exceptional interior space’ as well as plenty of storage space. The concept brings a 530-litre luggage compartment at the rear plus a 28-litre front luggage compartment where the engine bay would normally be. It also takes advantage of the lack of a transmission tunnel to bring a flat interior floor and an eight-litre storage compartment in the centre console.
Driving position has been set much lower than a traditional SUV and also offers slimline perforated seats. The interior also plays focus on quality materials and brings dark, unvarnished walnut veneers with metal inserts along with capacitive switches and three screens – two touchscreens in the centre console and a virtual instrument cluster behind the steering wheel. It also features gearshift buttons integrated into the floating metal legs and a full-length panoramic glass roof.
The I-Pace draws on the double wishbone and Integral Link suspension set-up from the XE, XF and the F-Pace, and rides on 23-inch alloy wheels.
The I-Pace concept debuts at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show tomorrow, Wednesday 16 November.