Jaguar brought a concept version of its I-Pace all electric sport utility vehicle to the Los Angeles auto show this year. Clearly intended to compete against the Tesla Model X, the Jaguar offering is 12″ shorter, 3″ narrower, and a tiny bit taller than the Tesla product. It will feature a 90 kWh battery that should give the car approximately 300 miles of range using the US testing standard. 0-60 performance is said to be in the 4 second range.
The I-Pace seen in LA will have two electric motors — one mounted in the front and the other in the rear for all wheel drive capability. Together, they will have about 400 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque. The motors are said to be smaller than those used by its competitors, leaving more room inside for passengers and their luggage. Like the Tesla Model X, the I-Pace will also have a front luggage compartment, popularly known as a “frunk.”
The company says the car will have “precise, agile driving dynamics as yet unseen on an electric vehicle.” Part of that handling prowess will result from the battery being mounted low in the chassis and closer to the centerline of the car than it is in the Model X. The battery cells are organized in 36 “shoe boxes” each containing 12 pouch battery cells. Unlike the cells used by Tesla and most other car companies which are 65 millimeters long, the battery cells for the I-Pace will be 110 millimeters in length.
The 5 seat SUV will be built in Austria by Magna-Steyer. Production is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2018. The first cars should find their way to US showrooms in the second half of that year. Pricing according to Seeking Alpha should begin at less than $90,000. Ian Callum, Jaguar’s Director of Design, told the press in Los Angeles, “The I-Pace Concept represents the next generation of electric vehicle design. It’s a dramatic, future-facing cab-forward design with a beautiful interior — the product of authentic Jaguar DNA, electric technology and contemporary craftsmanship.”
Jaguar has concentrated much of its effort on the interior of the I-Pace, which is “finished with beautiful, premium materials and an unwavering attention to detail. Throughout the interior you will discover a host of beautiful details to surprise and delight. From the expansive panoramic glass roof to the sporting, beautifully finished seats, every feature bears the hallmark of British craftsmanship.” Callum says. “And there is digital craftsmanship too, with two touchscreens serving up information when and where you need it, limiting distraction, and improving the driving experience.”
The timing of the I-Pace arrival is interesting. It will trail the Model X by about 3 years. The new Audi Q6 all electric SUV should arrive about a year before the I-Pace goes on sale. The Mercedes EQ electric SUV will arrive sometime afterwards, perhaps as much as a year later. The field for electric SUVs will soon be quite crowded, with offerings from BMW and Volvo also in showrooms. The question now will be whether any of these companies can turn a profit on their electric cars.
Source: The Telegraph Photo credit: Jaguar