Jaguar reveal Tesla-beating I-Pace EV ahead of 2019 release
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Jaguar has unleashed its first all-electric car – the I-Pace. The British luxury sports car firm says its new EV, with zero-emissions and all-wheel-drive, will deliver electrifying performance, accelerating from rest to 60mph in just 4.5 seconds and up to a top speed of 124mph. Yet it still promises a range of 479 kilometers.
Jaguar bosses say they have ‘torn up the rule book’ with the I-Pace, which offers enough space for five adults and their luggage, and places the company ‘at the forefront of the electric vehicle revolution’.
It aims to take on US electric car pacesetter Tesla and German rivals, such as Audi’s electric E-tron range and the expected expansion of BMW's i cars that will follow in the footsteps of the i3 and i8.
Jaguar has even filmed the I-Pace in a race against both the Tesla Model X 75D and 100D from a standstill to 100km/h and back to stationary again - beating both with New Zealander Mitch Evans at the wheel, according to the footage.
Had it gone up against the top of the range Model X P100D - with a claimed sprint-to-100km/h time of 2.9 seconds - it would probably have been a different story (and not the best way to introduce a new car).
Ahead of its public debut at next week’s Geneva Motor Show, it was launched officially on Thursday night by British comedian Jack Whitehall during a special ceremony beamed online around the globe from Graz, in Austria, where the vehicle is being built under licence for Jaguar by contract manufacturer Magna Steyr. Jaguar’s E-Pace SUV is also being built there.
The electric all-wheel drive I-Pace is powered by two Jaguar-designed electric motors – one at each axle - developing a total of 298kW; the equivalent of about four Ford Fiestas.
Providing the power is the I-Pace’s hi-tech 90kWh Lithium-ion battery comprising 432 pouch cells delivering a claimed range of up to 479 kilometers.
The battery unit sits centrally between the two axles, and as low down as possible to give perfect 50:50 weight distribution and a low centre of gravity. Similar methods have been employed by Tesla to mean that while its electric cars are heavy, they are also nimble and praised for their handling.
But what's most important for many when it comes to going electric is range and easy charging. Jaguar says owners will be able to achieve an 80 per cent battery charge in 85 minutes using a 50kW DC charger.
A 30-minute charge will give a range of about 128 kilometers. The car is also fully compatible with 100kW DC Rapid Chargers, which will enable an 80 per cent charge in just 45 minutes, as the technology is rolled out.
Home-charging overnight with a 7kW AC wall box will achieve the same 80 per cent state of charge in just over ten hours, while a full charge would take almost 13 hours. To maximise energy use and save the battery's charge, a new navigation system is specially set up to help the electric vehicle take the most efficient route available.
It assesses the topography of the planned journey and uses insights from previous trips - including driving style - to calculate a personalised range and charging plan.
The aim is to reduce the driver’s range anxiety – the fear they may run out of juice before they reach their destination.
The hi-tech system also uses artificial intelligence to identify individual driver preferences, and then tailor the I-Pace’s driving and interior settings accordingly.
A smart battery pre-conditioning system automatically raises or lowers its temperature to maximise range before driving away.
Jaguar says the I-Pace is ‘clean, smart and safe’ and delivers instantaneous and ‘sustainable sports car performance’. Largely unchanged from the prototype unveiled two years ago, the production version of the I-Pace features a sleek, coupe-like silhouette, echoing Tesla's Model X and the popular BMW X4 and X6 and Mercedes GLE coupe - although arguably the Jaguar is better looking than all of those.
The I-Pace's aerodynamic styling includes active vanes in the grille which also open when cooling is required, but close when not needed, to smooth the airflow.
For driver and passengers, the absence of a convention engine and transmission tunnel means there’s a flat floor and more interior space. That includes 890mm of rear legroom and a useful 10.5-litre central storage compartment.
Beneath the seats in the rear is stowage for a laptop and tablet, while the rear luggage compartment offers a 656-litre capacity which is expandable to a capacious 1,453-litres with seats folded flat.
The interior also feels airy thanks to a full-length panoramic roof which absorbs ultra-violet light so there’s no need for a blind. The upmarket hi-tech Touch Pro Duo infotainment system uses intuitive touchscreens, sensors and tactile physical controls.
It also features Amazon’s Alexa to allow the driver to ask the car questions such as ‘Is my car locked? What is the charging level? Do I have enough range to get to work?’
As a connected car, the I-Pace will also be the first Jaguar to provide wireless over-the-air updates to ensure owners always have seamless access to the latest infotainment, telematics and battery energy control software.
More than 200 prototypes were tested around the world over 2.4million kilometers (60 times around the globe) in extremes of frost and heat (from - 40C to +40C) by 500 engineers, including 11,000 hours of rig-testing.
It even ventured into enemy territory when it was put through its paces in Tesla's own backyard at the end of last year.
Jaguar says: "There will be nothing else on the road that looks or drives like the Jaguar I-Pace.
"It is designed and engineered to take full advantage of its smart electric powertrain and maximise the potential of the packaging benefits it brings.
"With zero tailpipe emissions, I-Pace owners may be eligible to benefit from lower road taxes, reduced tolls and even reduced congestion charges."
For a company which built its reputation on sexy sports cars and luxury executive limousines, the newest member of Jaguar’s ‘Pace family’ of higher riding sports utility vehicles - which also includes the F-Pace and E-Pace – marks another significant step into the growing SUV market.
Jaguar Land Rover chief executive Dr Ralf Speth said: ‘Where other companies talk about the future, we build it. We have torn up the rule book.
Ian Hoban, vehicle line director for the model added: ‘For I-Pace customers, fuel stations are a thing of the past. After overnight charging they’ll wake up every morning with a full tank of fuel.
‘We set out with a clean sheet approach to harness new battery electric technology with an architecture engineered from the outset to optimise performance, aerodynamics and interior space. The result is the I-Pace – a true Jaguar and truly driver-focused electric vehicle.’
- Daily Mail