The I-Pace is naturally a five-passenger crossover vehicle – no big surprise as the crossover is taking over the automotive world – but it’s designed from the ground up to be an electric vehicle. Jaguar’s Director of Design Ian Callum said in a company press release that the electric powertrain opened up the design possibilities for the I-Pace.
Not having a combustion engine or transmission to worry about means that designers had a lot more space to work with, both inside and out. The 117-inch wheelbase is pushed to the edges of the 184-inch-long vehicle. Borrowing a phrase made famous by Chrysler in the 90s, the I-Pace has a cab-forward design that evokes a mid-engine sports car, as the front end doesn’t have to be long enough to cover a combustion engine.
The overall proportions are muscular, with the current Jaguar corporate grille in front, but the design is very much in the vein of modern luxury crossovers. The raked rear window and upper spoiler are seen in many modern crossovers, and the taillights are reminiscent of current Jaguar offerings.
Taking a nod from Tesla, whose Model X is an obvious competitor, the I-Pace has flush door handles and an ultra slippery shape, resulting in a drag coefficient of .29. Good for a crossover, but not as good as other cars like the Toyota Prius at 0.24.
Inside, the lack of any drivetrain means the cockpit could be opened up, resulting in more interior space. The cockpit is designed to be more like a sports car and less of a crossover. The space also means more places for stuff, including smartphone storage and an 8-liter storage area in the console.
Of course, the new Jag has a completely modern interior chock full of LCD screens, both for driver information and for infotainment. There are three screens in all – a 12-inch screen for driver information, a 10-inch screen on the center console, and a 5.5-inch screen that allows for climate and other settings to be changed without having to change what’s on the larger screen.
The bigger story is the I-Pace’s all-electric powertrain, the company’s first. Two electric motors drive each axle, giving the I-Pace all-wheel-drive traction. Each motor makes 200 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Combining the motor’s power together means 400 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque, and of course all of the torque is available at zero rpm.
Storing energy for the two motors is a 90kWh lithium-ion battery pack that should allow a range of 220 miles based on the company’s EPA target. The batteries can charge to 80 percent in 90 minutes or to full charge in two hours using fast charging.
Jaguar said that a final production version should be released in 2017, and the I-Pace should be on the road by 2018.
Check out the full TFLcar video above, and stay tuned for more news from the Los Angeles Auto Show.