Skimming along your favorite back road you just might begin to feel the hefty curb weight of the Jaguar iPace — but only if it’s country-lane blacktop. This all-wheel-drive and larger-than-most EVs, is a performance Jaguar that feels tight as a slab of aluminum with sports-car steering and one-pedal function for acceleration and regenerative braking, which happens to be quite useful for some stabilizing trail-braking when powering into a turn.
Weighing 4,784 pounds, the iPace shrugs off the poundage with potent acceleration to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds and from 30 mph to 60 it is like turning up a rheostat of instant lights-on power. And, what the heck, while your foot’s in it, it’s just a moment longer to brush triple digits. I was not expecting that from a Jaguar SUV.
Jaguar is stalking the Tesla X to be the next luxury performance electric SUV. And Mercedes-Benz, Audi and others are poised to power into the luxury-EV segment.
The iPace is a five-seat, compact performance SUV that will be in dealers by November. By technical terms the iPace is an SUV (crossover) with a slightly raised ride height, a liftback to the cargo area and a height-adjustable air suspension for a selection of Jaguar Land Rover’s off-roading modes.
Sold in four trim levels, starting prices range from $70,495 SE to $86,595 for the loaded First Edition (available only for 2019 model year). The HSE tester, with gorgeous red leather upholstery, was $88,235. It included such extras as the $2,400 Windsor leather upholstery with 14-way heated and cooled front seats and heated rear seats. Also onboard were the useful head-up display ($970) and Light Oyster suede-cloth headliner ($900).
The powertrain consists of two 197-horsepower, Jaguar-engineered motors, at the front and rear axles, and a 90 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The iPace has a driving range of 240 miles, depending on how much you engage the high-performance Dynamic driving mode. The liquid-cooled battery pack has an energy capacity of 388 volts from 432 cells, weighing 1,329 pounds.
The powertrain is laid out skateboard style along the base of the chassis. The position of the powertrain allows a low center of gravity, which contributes to its stability at high speeds, Jaguar says.
Charging times for an 80-percent charge range from about 10 hours on household current to 85 minutes on a 240-volt home system or 40 minute on a public fast-charge system.
The battery warranty of eight years or 100,000 miles is part of the Jaguar EliteCare ownership package. If the battery falls below 70 percent of holding a 100 percent charge at any point within the first eight years of ownership, the battery is covered under warranty.
While it has the exterior footprint of a compact SUV, the I-Pace has the interior space of a midsize. The cab-forward layout has been smartly rethought because there is no engine under the hood and no transmission to cut into front cabin space. The dashboard is a clean sheet for the array of controls and center console function. It is fully electronic and quite functional.
The three-section gauge array has a large center dial for speed, state of battery charge and range, with a map graphic to the right and audio or other info to the left. The multimedia display in the center instrument panel is wide and easily viewed in all daylight conditions. Two large dual-purpose dials adjust temp control and fan speed is selected by lifting the dial. And there is a separate audio volume knob, plus redundant steering-wheel controls.
Headroom is tall at nearly 40 inches and the power seats are fully supportive and multi-adjustable, heated and cooled.
Sightlines are excellent over the front fenders, enabled by the quarter windows at the side mirrors. The rear view might look constricted because of the small half-moon glass, but in a couple hundred miles of driving it was of no consequence to me. And the camera system with a 360-degree view is liberating in any parking situation.
The back seat has more roominess than most midsize sedans. The center tunnel is low, for good footroom, and the shoulder room is wide at 54.6 inches window to window. The doors open wide from comfortable entry and headroom is generous at 38.1 inches with good legroom of 35 inches. Details include two USB charging ports and a 12-volt plug, with grab handles and coat hooks over each door and ceiling lights, even with the panoramic glass roof.
Cargo space of 25.3 cubic feet is wide and flat, expandable to 51.3 with the back seat folded.
With so many brands set to debut $100,000 EVs it is yet to be seen how fast this segment will grow — it’s a thin market for combustion cars. But electrification will rule the combustion dinosaurs and shocking styling and high performance will still sell cars.
2019 Jaguar iPace EV HSE
• Body style: compact, 5-passenger AWD SUV
• Electric powertrain: 2 197-hp motors (394 hp) and 90 kWh, 388-volt liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery pack
• Transmission: 1-speed reduction gear automatic
• Driving range: 240 miles
• Drag coefficient: 0.29 cd
• 0-60 mph: 4.5 secs (Jaguar est.)
• Front trunk space: 1 cu. ft.
• Cargo space: 25.3-51.3 cu. ft.
• Front head/leg room: 39.9/40.9 in.
• Rear head/leg room: 38.1/35 in.
• Length/wheelbase: 184.3/117.7 in.
• Curb weight: 4,784lbs.
• Turning circle: 39.3 ft.
• HSE standard equipment includes: keyless entry and push
-button start, panoramic roof, navigation system, LED headlights with auto high-beam assist, 825-watt Meridian surround-sound audio, blind-spot assist, 360-degree camera system (front, rear, overhead), adaptive cruise control with steering assist, high-speed emergency braking, hands-free tailgate, 20-inch gloss black wheels, 60/40 folding back seat
• Safety features include: 6 air bags, hill-start assist, driver-condition monitor, lane-keep assist, parking assist, rear-traffic monitor, traffic-sign recognition
• Base price: $81,495, including $995 freight charge; price as tested $88,235
• Where assembled: Graz, Austria
• Warranty: 5-years/60,000-miles with roadside assistance and free scheduled maintenance
• Battery warranty: 8-years/100,000-miles and degradation replacement at 70% state of health