This model is Jaguar’s first move into the electric vehicle (EV) market and a bold one at that; the first mainstream manufacturer to produce a competent full EV, launched in 2018.
Before that date, only the Silicon Valley Tesla and German BMW were really bothered about it, but with increasing government legislation coming forward, along with the consumers’ rising awareness of climate change, they are now all very expensive – and the less expensive, have a range to the corner shop and back.
After incremental updates over the years, the I-Pace uses two concentric electric motors, one on each axle for permanent four-wheel drive, producing 395bhp and 513lb ft of torque, delivered through a single-speed gearbox. The lithium-ion battery, placed under the floor is sized at 90kWh, good for a claimed 286-mile range on the WLTP cycle. Give it the beans and 0–60mph in 4.5 seconds and a 124mph top speed is rapid by any measure.
Charging and range anxiety persist – with a standard 100kW public charger, you can pump 78 miles in 15 minutes. Use a home charger and you will get 33 miles per hour. The anxiety can raise its ugly head when you consider that the range quoted is about as accurate as the fuel consumption figures of old – they lie. Give it to your granny and send her on a smooth B-road with no traffic and Burt Bacharach playing and you might get somewhere close, but in the real world, you will never get the quoted range. The I-Pace offered me 224 miles which is not half bad, but not what is quoted. That is really 112 mls if you actually want to get home again of course and outside of that you will need a public charger.
But remember, this is just a car that has to be comfortable, go fast, stop fast, get your passenger and luggage in and have wheels.
I think this is a very good looking car.Although it doesn’t slap you in the face with its looks they do grow on you. The short nose brings the front wheels forward and the high rear end actually works and the spoiler, flush door handles and vented bonnet offer that all-important detail.
The drive is fabulous. Smooth, silent of course, and well planted to the tarmac. The kicker with any EV is the linear acceleration – doing 0-62mph in 4.5 seconds is the reserve of many sub-super cars – but it’s the silence that astonishes all the way to 124mph. Whilst doing that you will notice it is comfortable, spacious and well-built with acceleration on tap in an instant – it gets quite addictive. And there’s the kicker – it is the lack of having anything to do in EVs – when you want to pass that tractor – no gear selection, never off turbo boost, just floor it and whoosh, you are gone. It really is the generation of plug and play.
You get 4x4, although this isn’t really an off-road vehicle but it makes a decent fist of it and will get you out of most rough conditions. Pop it into Dynamic mode and it’s like your pants are on fire with additional weight to the steering and throttle response ensuring it’s fun to drive.
The interior does not disappoint. Several screens adorn the dash with Jaguar’s always alert Pivi Pro system across the three displays screens, gear selection is via buttons, temperature on rotary dials and everything else can be found on the screens. The Recaro seats are superb, well bolstered and hold you in place. Boot space with 1452 litres with all the seats down and, as it missing an engine, you get an extra 27 litres under the bonnet.
As with all top end EVs, the price is high. At nearly £70,000, this is far from a cheap car, but then you get what you pay for – and do not forget that you have zero fuel bills, greatly reduced servicing bills and a large dollop of smugness for helping to save the polar bears. Oh, and you’ll fly past almost every fossil fuelled car on the road.
Model tested: I-Pace 400PS SE
Speed:0-60 - 4.5 secs
Top: 124 mph
Range quoted:286 mls (actual 224 mls)
Price from: £69,796
As tested: £76,045