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Meet the COTY finalists: Jaguar I-Pace

By Cameron Kirby, 29 Jan 2019 COTY

Meet the COTY finalists: Jaguar I-Pace

British electric SUV wows the judges by upending almost a century of Jaguar tradition in effortless style

WHEELS Car of the Year is well and truly entered a new era, with a British electric SUV named a finalist in 2019 at a canter.

A pre-event favourite for this year’s COTY gong, the all-electric Jaguar I-Pace stunned the judges with the breadth of its ability in the first round of testing.

Read next: Wheels Car of the Year 2019: the judging process

Jaguar entered the electric vehicle fray swinging. The company celebrated its 97th birthday last year, but instead of creaking with old age, its I-Pace exudes youthful innovation and clever design.

Trading in the traditional long bonnet, low-slung appearance of classic Jags, the Ian Callum-penned I-Pace instead opts for a long wheelbase, short bonnet combo.

The British manufacturer has developed a ground-up electric architecture for the I-Pace, with judges praising its ride on both air and steel suspension.

Interior room is spacious, thanks to the expansive 2990mm wheelbase, with the I-Pace seamlessly blending traditional and futuristic materials and design.

Wheels Car of the Year 2019: the judging criteria

The I-Pace uses a 90kWh battery (of which 84.7kWh is useable), and twin electric motors (one on each axle), to send 294kW/696Nm to the treads via a single-speed ‘box.

Despite the SUV body, the I-Pace was praised by judges for its agile dynamic abilities, with typically forceful electric acceleration matched by decent body control.

The I-Pace demonstrates that even the most traditional motoring companies can join the electric revolution, and send a bolt of fear through the hearts of its competitors.

While it impressed at the proving ground, can the I-Pace maintain the performance on the open roads?

Read next: Meet the judges of Wheels Car of the Year 2019

To find out if the Jaguar I-Pace has what it takes to be crowned Wheels Car of the Year 2019, tune into whichcar.com/wheels on the night of Wednesday, January 30.