The fully electric SUV market is about to heat up and quickly. At the moment, there’s only one car in this segment — the Tesla Model X. While the Model X is riddled with issues, from the Falcon Doors malfunctioning to having to be seen by the sighted world, it’s currently the only pure-EV SUV. That makes it in a class of its own. However, Audi has planned on entering the segment with its upcoming Audi e-tron, which should put the Model X in its place. But now, Audi has a new competitor to worry about once the e-tron finally debuts — the Jaguar I-Pace EV Crossover Concept.
While this new Jag is still just in concept form, Jaguar’s Ian Callum, Director of Design, claims that it’s much more than that and nearly production-ready. This isn’t just a concept. It is a preview of a five-seat production car that will be on the road in 2018.”
And when we learned what Jaguar’s baked into this I-Pace EV, we can tell that Callum isn’t kidding. This isn’t just some pretty design concept designed to wow onlookers at the LA Auto Show. It’s a proper, fully-fledged car with incredibly impressive technology.
Firstly, Jaguar developed a brand-new electric vehicle architecture, designed only for EV use. This means that Callum’s team was able to “tear up the rulebook on vehicle layout,”. Because of that, Callum and his team were able to create a car that’s not only stunning to look at, but also spacious and comfortable for adult passengers. It’s a great design that’s dynamic, exciting, instantly recognizable as something from the future and it also pays homage to the Jaguar C-X75 supercar concept. Yet the inside is spacious and open.
The new architecture also allows it to stretch the wheelbase out quite far, as it’s longer than the Jaguar F-Pace SUV’s wheelbase, but actually be shorter than the F-Pace it overall body length. This longer wheelbase allows Jaguar to fit a large lithium-ion battery in between the axles, giving the I-Pace a very low and wide center of gravity.
Powering the I-Pace are two electric motors, one at each axle, that combine to make 400 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. That’s almost as much as the Audi e-tron’s projected 429 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. However, the I-Pace is claimed to be faster, doing 0-60 mph in 4.0 seconds flat while it’s claimed to take the Audi e-tron about 4.6 seconds. The Jag is likely going to be a lot lighter, which is where the extra performance comes from.
However, the Audi e-tron should have it beat in the range department. While the Jag I-Pace boasts an impressive 220 miles of range, the Audi e-tron will pack 310 miles, besting the Jag by a lot. But still, 220 miles is damn good and way more than 90 percent of people drive daily.
On the inside, the Jaguar I-Pace houses a superb looking cabin. With tons of space, rich materials and natural light, it has a very minimalistic yet luxurious look to it. It reminds us of the BMW i3 cabin, as it’s open and airy while also being made out of funky and renewable materials. While the Audi e-tron will likely have a more tech-focused, traditional Audi style cabin, this I-Pace looks positively futuristic.
The Jaguar I-Pace is much more than just a design concept. It proves that Jaguar has the capability to develop a genuinely competitive electric car with technology and performance to rival the best in the business. Considering that Jaguar is a much smaller company than Audi and it’s going to be developing the battery packs and electric motors in-house, it’s an even more impressive car. We can’t wait until it and the Audi e-tron are out to see which is the better car.