New 2019 Jaguar I-PACE EV revealed in production trim
Production I-PACE extends electric range to 386 km
Those who loved the I-PACE Concept and kept fingers crossed that the production version wouldn’t stray too far from its inspirational design can breathe a collective sigh of relief now that the real deal has been revealed, because it’s nearly identical to the prototype launched in Geneva a year ago.
Jaguar introduced the 2019 I-PACE EV to the world on Thursday, March 1 in Graz, Austria, where it will be built alongside the new E-Pace subcompact luxury SUV. The introduction, which was hosted by British comedian Jack Whitehall (Fresh Meat, Bad Education, panellist on the game show A League of Their Own, host of the 2018 Brit Awards) in a similar format to the BBC’s Top Gear, took place in front of a live audience and simultaneously online, a video of which we’ve included in its entirety at the end of this story.
I-PACE to arrive in the second half of 2018
Still scheduled to go on sale during the second half of this year as reported here before, the new I-PACE is admittedly good looking thanks to trademark design cues currently used by the just noted E-Pace, its larger F-Pace SUV sibling, as well as every other Jaguar within the iconic luxury brand’s lineup, including the beautiful F-Type sports car. Production details that differ from the I-PACE Concept include slightly reworked front and rear fascias, larger side mirrors, remoulded side window surrounds, a slightly smaller maximum wheel size of 22 inches (the concept wore 23-inch rims), and other changes both outside and within.
At least as importantly, of all the EVs that have come before, the I-PACE will be one of only two fully electric crossovers available when it hits the market, and the sole compact luxury SUV to be sold without an internal combustion engine (ICE). Considering the success of crossover SUVs in today’s market and newfound challenge of selling traditional cars, the new I-PACE will have a clear advantage over competitive car-based EVs.
We reported on the I-PACE drivetrain in a previous story, but Jaguar provided some more exact details with its March 1 announcement. For starters, range increases from the previous maximum estimate of 355 km to 386 km, which will allow most users multiple days without the need to charge, as well as the ability to head out of town on short trips. The new number is also strategic, as the I-PACE now travels 5 km farther down the road than the base Tesla Model X.
Due to its extended range, an I-PACE owner in Vancouver should be able to drive all the way to Whistler and back again with enough battery storage left over for a few side tours, or alternatively that same person could drive to Kelowna for a weekend of wine tasting, although they’d probably want to top up in Merritt or at best West Kelowna.
Ultra-quick 394-hp I-PACE can be charged 80 percent in just 40 minutes
The I-PACE uses a 90-kWh liquid-cooled battery that’s housed in an aluminum casing within the floor’s structure, and requires just 40 minutes to fill from a fully drained state to 80-percent capacity when hooked up to a 100-kW DC quick charger. On a regular 240-volt Level 2 home charger you’ll need about 10 hours to achieve the same results, or slightly less than 13 hours (12.9) to fully top it up. Considering the range available, a single night of charging makes the I-PACE easy to live with.
If access to a charger isn’t an issue, you might appreciate I-PACE performance more than its range. The British brand calls its newest creation an “all-electric performance SUV,” thanks in part to its balance of power. It uses an electric motor at each axle for standard all-wheel drive, the combination good for 394 horsepower and 512 pound-feet of torque, which means it can sprint from standstill to 100 km/h in 4.8 seconds.
This means it’s the quickest of the brand's “Pace” models, the fastest new E-Pace R-Dynamic good for 6.4 seconds from zero to 100km/h, and the F-Pace S capable of the same feat in 5.5 seconds. In fact, you’ll need to step up to the 550 horsepower F-Type R Coupe in order to beat the new I-PACE off the line, although with 0.7 seconds to spare (or a full second in SVR trim) the iconic sports car doesn’t have to worry about losing its title just yet.
The I-PACE is also quicker to 100km/h than the Tesla Model X, by half a second no less. What’s more, it’s 0.2 seconds faster than the mid-range Model X 100D, with only the $200,000 Model X P100D speedier off the line. Still, it promises exception performance.
Small outward dimensions yet mid-size interior space
Like the F-Type and most other models in the Jaguar lineup, the I-PACE utilizes the automaker’s expertise in lightweight engineering, its monocoque body shell comprised mostly of aluminum. This said it rides on a totally unique EV architecture, the aforementioned battery actually part of the floor’s structure, which allows for much greater flexibility in designing the cabin.
“The I-PACE's electric powertrain offered us unprecedented design freedom,” said JLR head of design Ian Callum. “Starting with a clean sheet enabled the dramatic cab-forward profile, unique proportions, and exceptional interior space—yet it is unmistakably a Jaguar. We wanted to design the world’s most desirable EV, and I’m confident we’ve met that challenge.”
The I-PACE is 287 mm longer than the E-Pace and 49 mm shorter than the F-Pace, the latter of which is already a large compact SUV, but the I-PACE’ wheelbase is 309 mm and 116 mm longer respectively, for much greater front and rear legroom than either. What’s more, the I-PACE Concept’s roof is 84 mm lower than the E-Pace’s and nearly 86 mm down on the F-Pace, resulting in a sleeker, sportier profile. Added to this is much greater width for a sportier stance and greater side-to-side spaciousness, the I-PACE measuring 155 mm wider than the E-Pace and 69 mm more so than the F-Pace.
The unique layout allows for a cab-forward design featuring a windshield that reaches far over the front wheels, as well as a shorter more steeply raked hood, plus shorter front and rear overhangs, with each wheel pushed out as far to its corner as possible, resulting in much greater interior volume and a strong, athletic stance.
Lightweight Jaguar I-PACE to deliver traditional handling prowess
Having much of its weight down low, thus reducing its centre of gravity, plus endowed with the advantages of the lower roof height, increased wheelbase and the more substantive track that comes from the greater width mentioned a moment ago, handling should be another I-PACE strongpoint. The standard chassis appears to use unequal-length control arms and a stabilizer bar up front, plus an Integral Link setup with a stabilizer bar in the rear, while it all floats upon a standard Active Air Suspension featuring auto-leveling as well as the ability to reduce the I-PACE’ drag by automatically lowering 0.5 inches at highway speeds. Additionally, Jaguar says the I-PACE achieves ideal 50:50 weight distribution, so we should prepare ourselves for a particularly well-balanced EV.
The driver-configurable continuously variable Adaptive Dynamics system is optional, which analyzes vertical wheel positions, vehicle acceleration, steering inputs, plus throttle and braking actuation before it automatically adjusts the suspension damping settings depending on your personal drive mode choice (Dynamic being the sportiest setting), while Adaptive Surface Response is also available, this system harvesting info from myriad sensors in order to calculate approximate adhesion levels on low-grip surfaces, such as ice, before you even apply steering input, and then after making your turn it minimizes understeer and oversteer levels by controlling throttle and braking inputs.
Speaking of those binders, two levels of regenerative braking come as part of the I-PACE’ standard package, with either its high or low settings providing different degrees of “engine braking” when lifting off the throttle. It’s in the nature of EVs to slow down when lifting off the accelerator pedal, but providing firmer automatic powertrain braking makes using the brake pedal less necessary, easing everyday driving and saving on brake maintenance.
High-tech features join classic Jaguar quality and refinement
As anyone familiar with modern-day Jaguars will appreciate, the I-PACE will combine contemporary design with rich traditional materials, not to mention state-of-the-art digital interfaces. The overall interior design is very similar to the I-PACE Concept, featuring available contrast stitched padded leather over most surfaces that aren’t finished in standard metals or hardwoods. To be specific, Jaguar will include its best Windsor leather as standard unless opting for a sport interior that features a premium textile in Dapple Grey. The four leather-covered cabin motifs will include Ebony (black), Light Oyster (light grey), Mars Red (crimson), and Siena Tan (caramel/saddle), while light beige and black headliners will be available in woven cloth or Suedecloth. Even the steering wheel rim will be available in Suedecloth or traditional leather, while decorative inlays, which highlight key areas on the instrument panel and doors, include Gloss Charcoal Ash veneer, a piano black lacquer Gloss Black, a patterned Monogram Aluminum, and Aluminum Weave Carbon Fibre.
Like with other Jaguar models a head-up display system will be optional, but take note that a fully configurable 12.3-inch primary gauge cluster will be standard fare, as will two infotainment touchscreen displays that Jaguar dubs InControl Touch Pro Duo, the main top screen measuring 10 inches diagonally and a 5.5-inch secondary display, used primarily for the climate controls, sitting lower on the sloped centre console. All displays feature voice activation via Amazon’s Alexa, which should promote the use of hands-free interaction.
Artificial intelligence improves comfort and usability
Speaking of the latest tech, the I-PACE’ climate control system makes use of an artificial intelligence (AI) system that senses the number of occupants on board before adjusting the temperature, while the AI system is also capable of calculating the I-PACE’s remaining range based on climate control usage, weather conditions, topography, driving style, and traffic conditions.
The HVAC controls sit atop a centre console that slants up toward the main display upon two flying buttress-style supports that house controls for the gear selector and driving mode switchgear, this at least partially paying homage to a design theme used by Jaguar in its F-Type sports car and new E-Pace utility, although the overall look of the new climate control interface, which incorporates large dials that appear as if they’re floating on top of a digital background, is more reminiscent of the new Range Rover Velar.
Interestingly, a total of 12.2 litres of storage space can be found under the centre armrest, its impressive size due to the absence of a transmission tunnel, whereas the rear seating area incorporates trays for tablets and laptops.
A large panoramic sunroof will shed light over both rows of occupants, while rear passengers will have the option of another two automatic climate control zones for a total of four. Rear passengers will also be able to enjoy the brand's “Click and Go” front seatback attachment system, which will allow features such as display screens to be mounted quickly and easily, while plenty of cargo area add-ons will help enhance load space functionality.
That cargo area measures 656 litres, incidentally, which makes it considerably larger than the E-Pace’s 577-litre rearmost compartment and similar to the F-Pace’s 685 kilos of usable luggage space when the rear seats are upright.
Jaguar Canada is currently promising S, SE, and HSE trims on its website where you can now configure everything but pricing. We won’t know its exact MSRP until closer to launch, but you can place an order right now.
To reserve your 2019 Jaguar I-PACE or find out more, contact Jaguar Vancouver by phone at (604) 738-5577 or drop by the showroom at 1730 Burrard Street, Vancouver.
Also, make sure to check out this entertaining video introducing the new 2019 I-PACE at its Graz, Austria production facility (1:00:04):
Or if you don’t have an hour to dedicate to a video right now, check out this shorter 12-minute video on its features and benefits (12:21):
Or how about an even shorter 4-minute video showing the new I-PACE going head-to-head with the Tesla Model X SUV? (3:47):
Story credits: Trevor Hofmann, Canadian Auto Press
Photo credits: Jaguar
Copyright: Canadian Auto Press Inc.
Date Posted: March 4, 2018