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.
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?
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.