New Jaguar will be the first electric SUV from a premium European car maker when deliveries start in July. The 395bhp I-Pace is the first pure-electric model from the Coventry-based brand and spearheads a range of forthcoming electrified Jaguars. The next electric model, due next year, will be a new-generation XJ luxury saloon, and hybrid versions of its other models will start arriving by 2020.
The I-Pace is 4,682mm long - so just 10mm longer than Jaguar’s own XE. But the new model’s all-electric construction means that engineers have been able to stretch its wheelbase to 2,990mm, some 16cm longer than the saloon’s. Jaguar insiders claim that the new car is slightly shorter than a Porsche Macan, but that its rear kneeroom is actually more generous than that car’s bigger brother, the Cayenne.
The I-Pace’s mechanical make-up will be pretty much universal across the car’s range. In particular, Jaguar is offering just a single configuration of electric motors and battery - preferring this simple approach to the idea of differing price points based on larger and smaller battery pack sizes.
The set-up will comprise a 90kWh battery pack, made up from 432 lithium-ion cells and mounted in a frame that’s an integral structural component in the car’s floor.
Jaguar says that under the forthcoming, tougher WLTP economy and range tests, the I-Pace’s batteries will be good for 298 miles. As a rough guide, this would equate to around 335 miles in the current NEDC evaluation - or about 50 miles up on the Tesla Model 3.
New Jaguar I-Pace: performance
The car’s total power output, meanwhile, is 395bhp and 696Nm of torque - enough to take the I-Pace from rest to 60mph in just 4.5 seconds, Jaguar claims.The I-Pace is compatible with fast charging at up to 100kW - although even Jaguar admits that these speeds aren’t supported in many regions (including the UK) just yet. However, using this fastest set-up can take the car’s battery from zero to 80 percent charge in just 45 minutes.
By contrast, a 7kW home charger will need 10 hours to perform the same feat. Jaguar says the I-Pace will support battery preconditioning, allowing the car’s systems and cabin to be warmed up while it’s still plugged into the mains. Engineers estimate this could add up to 75 miles onto the typical range on a cold winter’s day.
New Jaguar I-Pace: interior and tech
Inside, the I-Pace has been toned down a little from the original show concept. But it retains elements like the widescreen infotainment system, which uses a pair of displays in a layout that’s not too far removed from that of the recently launched Range Rover Velar. There are also rotary dial controllers for the temperature - “I’m a great believer in still having tactile switches that you can interact with,” insists Callum - although the units themselves will still have integrated LCD displays for a hi-tech touch.
I-Pace batteries: EV could get different battery sizes in future
Unlike many of its rivals, Jaguar is offering only one battery size for its I-Pace, which promises a range of up to 298 miles.
But vehicle line director Ian Hoban told Autocar that the car maker did look at a modular system for batteries, in the same vein as Tesla and upcoming electric brands such as Volkswagen’s ID. He said: “We did consider it, but we decided one propulsion system and one specification was most appropriate for launch.”
The car’s batter is located centrally in the base of the car, which provides a 50/50 weight distribution split between the back and front of the vehicle according to Jaguar. Those batteries power front and back axle motors, which means it’s also an all-wheel drive vehicle, and of course emits zero emissions.
Source: Autocar, 2018
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