Due in Australia in October, and carrying a $119,000 price tag, the small SUV will recognise when the car’s key, or a driver’s mobile phone, is approaching, and set the climate control, radio station and seat settings to just the way they like it. This ability to flip-flop between settings hints that Jaguar expects the I-Pace to be a shared, rather than owned, car.
Over time, Jaguar said, the I-Pace would offer “driver-tailored choices” based on the time, location, weather and behaviour patterns, meaning that in winter it could pre-heat the steering wheel and seats for a particular journey, and in summer, cool them.
Looking something like an SUV-styled five-door, Jaguar says the 294kW/696Nm twin electric motor I-Pace packing a 90kWh lithium-ion battery has a range of 480km in between recharges, and will tap its all-wheel-drive traction to sprint from 0-100km/h in 4.8 seconds. Made from aluminium and with the low-mounted battery pack built into its structure, it features a double wishbone front suspension and a multilink rear, with air suspension featuring adaptive damping as an option.
The five-seat I-Pace is a car that bucks conventions in many different ways. It’s a Jaguar that won’t be built in Britain; instead, it will be built on car maker-for-hire specialist Magna Steyr’s Austrian manufacturing line that has produced cars for brands as diverse as Aston Martin, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Ford, General Motors and Tesla.
Just like a Tesla, Jaguar will send updates to the I-Pace’s software wirelessly, so as improvements are developed in the lab they can roll out to the real world overnight.
It will also be the first Jaguar to tell you to catch the bus rather than drive. “The advanced navigation system can sync with a multi-mode smartphone travel app, making it easy for customers to plan journeys that include driving, walking and public transport,” Jaguar said. “This is supported by Arrival Mode, which can suggest the nearest available parking space in networked car parks or direct the driver to the closest charging point at the end of a journey.”
The navi system will also learn from the driver, taking into account the topography and previous trips to work out what range the batteries will realistically hold.
Cars sold overseas will include Amazon Alexia Skill, software that will allow the driver to ask natural questions about the I-Pace relating to how much charge the car has, and if there’s enough in reserve to get them home from work.
A multimedia touchscreen will feature in the cabin, but Jaguar has also provided traditional dials to provide “an essential physical connection between car and driver”. Other features inside include a 10.5-litre storage bin in between the front seats, a 656-litre capacity boot, and up to 1453-litres of Ikea-friendly space with the rear seats folded flat.
Jaguar says the I-Pace will be able to add 80 percent of charge in as little as 40 minutes from a rapid charging station. In 15 minutes, it says, a driver can add 100km of range. Plug it into the wall, and the I-Pace will take 10 hours for an 80 percent capacity.