If it seems as if everyone you know owns a Tesla, or most of your neighbors drive one, perhaps you should try something a bit different, something a bit more British?
Let me suggest the 2020 Jaguar I-PACE, which looks unlike any Jaguar that’s come before. There’s no long hood. Instead, there’s a long passenger cabin, and a very short hood. That’s because this is the first all-electric Jaguar, with its battery pack nestled between the front and rear axles.
This one not only ably handles light off-road duty, but it also fords an 18-inch-deep stream. Now, stop and think about taking an electric vehicle with its undercarriage battery pack of 432 cells effortlessly wading through water. After emerging from the stream, and driving up an unpaved road, I headed to a Formula One racetrack, where the I-Pace swiftly yet silently generated speeds of more than 100 mph.
And why not? It’s a Jaguar.
It reaches 60 mph in 4.5 seconds and has a top speed of 124 mph. If you’re used to conventional gasoline engine, going fast this silently takes some getting used to, as the I-PACE uses a Jaguar-designed electric motor on each axle fitted around a compact, single-speed transmission and differential, enabling power delivery to all four wheels. For 2020, its battery pack now provides up to 8% longer driving range, increasing its range to 253 miles — 19 more than before. The car uses regenerative braking to capture energy generated while decelerating to recharge the battery.
Base prices: $70,875-$81,925
Motor: Permanent magnetic electric motors
Torque: 512 pound-feet
EPA rating (MPGe): 80 city, 72 highway
Estimated range: 253 miles
Charging time (80%/100% - 230 V): 10.1/12.9 hours
Wheelbase: 117.7 inches
Length: 184.3 inches
Curb weight: 4,800 pounds (estimated)
Cargo capacity: 25.3-51 cubic feet
Unchanged are the thoughtful touches used throughout the car to extract the most mileage. That’s why the climate control adjusts airflow to the number of passengers, so that air doesn’t blow on empty seats. The I-PACE can also pre-condition the cabin to the proper temperature while plugged in, rather than drawing power to do it once underway. It also maintains the battery pack’s optimum temperature while charging to deliver the most range. And the navigation system factors in the topography of routes, driving styles and available range to accurately calculate the best route, while showing charging locations along the way.
A standard air suspension delivers an impeccable ride/handling balance in the best Jaguar tradition, lowering the car by 0.4 inches above 65 mph, and raising it 2 inches in off-road mode. And as you’d expect of a car with such a huge battery pack, the I-Pace perfectly plants itself during cornering even as its driving position and component setup give it a futuristic vibe that gives it uniquely futuristic driving feel.
That feeling is enhanced by the two large high-definition screens anchoring the instrument panel, augmented by a pair of rotary switches that are modern, elegant and intuitive. A full-color head-up display, which projects key information onto the windshield in front of the driver, is available. Finally, a panoramic glass roof lends the roomy cabin an enormous feel far beyond this vehicle’s 184-inch length.
Once seated, little will prepare you for the I-Pace’s consummate performance. In another time, they might have even called it the E-Type.