Jaguar has revealed a production-ready version of its all-electric I-Pace SUV that faithfully follows the look and specification of the concept unveiled at the 2016 Los Angeles motor show.
The I-Pace will be priced from $119,000 when it goes on sale in Australia later this year, putting it about $13,000 below the cheapest version of Teslar’s Model X.
As well as the cheapest S version, there will be SE and HSE variants, along with what Jaguar Australia is calling a First Edition that comes with the concept car’s Photon Red paintwork and extra equipment including a panoramic glass roof, 20-inch wheels and air suspension.
The claimed 480km range is due largely to the size of the I-Pace’s battery, which forms a large section of the vehicle’s floor and led to Jaguar informally referring to the platform as the “electric skateboard”.
The battery – or rather, the grouping of 432 lithium ion pouch cells - stores 90kWh of energy and powers two motors, one for each pair of front and rear wheels giving the I-Pace true four-wheel-drive ability.
Each motor produces 147kW of power for a very healthy total of 294kW. Total torque output is fully 696Nm and, as with all electric motors it’s on tap from just above zero revs, that promises performance in the realms of 0-100km/h acceleration in 4.8 seconds.
That’s despite a hefty kerb weight of 2133kg, plenty of which is taken up by the battery pack and a probable reason the 0-100km/h time has blown-out compared with the concept car’s projected low four second bracket.
To counteract the weight of its energy storage units, Jaguar has done as much to lower the total vehicle weight by constructing it mainly from aluminium, and says the vehicle has a 50/50 front/rear weight distribution to aid handling balance.
Although nominally referred to as an SUV the I-Pace differs markedly from more conventionally powered examples of the ilk, including the F-Pace, which is Jaguar’s top-selling model.
The I-Pace is 4682mm long, 1895mm wide and 1565mm tall, making it smaller in every dimension than the F-Pace yet bigger than the more compact E-Pace.
More than the bald figures however is the overall proportions of the electric Jaguar; with no internal combustion engine to package under the bonnet the cabin and windscreen could be moved forward, and together with a long wheelbase that pushes each wheel to the corner of the vehicle (at 2990mm, its wheelbase is a huge 126mm longer than the F-Pace’s) it promises plenty of interior space.
With no transmission tunnel the floor inside is flat, allowing space for three sets of feet in the rear and a 10.5-litre storage bin between the front seats. As with the concept vehicle, luggage space under the rear hatch is a handy 656 litres.
The compact nature of the drivetrain has even allowed an extra luggage compartment under the bonnet that holds another 27 litres.
The low-slung nature of the I-Pace, together with the placement of the batteries in the floor has been done partly to give a low centre of mass to give decent handling – although Jaguar’s claims of “agile handling and outstanding ride comfort” will need to be verified independently.
However, Jaguar’s chassis and driveline engineers have opted for a pronounced rear-bias to the power delivery of the electric motors when needed by using a version of its current torque-vectoring system.
Jaguar Australia has already announced it will begin investing in recharging stations, starting with its retail outlets then moving “beyond the dealerships” according to managing director Matthew Wiesner.
No details have been given about the availability or operation of domestic charging points or if specific ones are needed, but given a big enough output the I-Pace promises convenient charging times within, say, the time it takes for lunch or to watch a TV show.
“With I-Pace we’ll be able to charge the vehicle from a complete flat battery to 80 per cent charge in around 45 minutes using a 100kW charging infrastructure,” said I-Pace senior engineer Adam Brant.
However with a more standard seven kilowatt home wall-box charger, achieving 80 per cent charge – and therefore less than the full range – will take “just over 10 hours”, according to Jaguar. A total top-up at this lower input is a 12.9 hour proposition.
2018 Jaguar I-Pace Price and Specifications
Price: From $119,000 (plus on-road costs)
Engine: Electric motors, front and rear
Power: 294kW (combined)
Torque: 696Nm (combined)
Transmission: Direct drive, AWD
Fuel use: 0L/100km