The iconic Jaguar marque has leapt into the future with its first ever purely electric vehicle – the 2019 Jaguar I-Pace. Jaguar’s newest zero-emission crossover comes in three trim levels. There’s the base S, the upscale SE, and the top-grade HSE.
Jaguar’s first venture into the SUV marketplace was the Jaguar F-Pace, which in turn was followed by the Jaguar E-Pace. Both are compact crossovers powered by either a turbocharged inline 4-cylinder or a turbocharged V6. Now, there’s an electric offering to round out the numbers that’s longer, lower and faster than its gasoline-powered compatriots. The 2019 Jaguar I-Pace clicks off 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds. That’s quick in its own right, and would be quicker if not for its 4,784-pound curb weight. That’s attributable in large part to the batteries, which alone weigh 1,329 pounds.
There will be those who will argue that Tesla’s Model X 75D is superior. But, the Jaguar i-Pace starts off more than $10,000 less, and offers a slightly higher driving range.
The i-Pace is instantly recognizable as a member of the Jaguar family. It sits low over its massive 22-inch alloy wheels with carbon fiber inserts. It’s also extremely aerodynamic, with a drag coefficient of just 0.29. That’s significantly lower than its higher-riding siblings, which both score a 0.34.
The rounded top edge of the grille directs air under the bridge of the hood, out through the functional scoop, up over the sharply raked windshield and roof, and beneath the rear wing, settling the airflow off the car’s tail. There is no rear wiper, as Jaguar explains that this airflow works in effectively clearing moisture from the streamlined rear glass.
The Jaguar design team stretched the greenhouse forward while pushing all four wheels out to the corners. The visual proportions give the I-Pace the initial appearance of a small hatchback in photos. But in person, it’s actually larger that it looks at first glance. The 2019 Jaguar I-Pace packs a wheelbase that is longer than a BMW X5, with the overall length measuring more than an inch less than an X3.
In profile, the Jaguar i-Pace displays a coupe-like presence, with pronounced wheel well arches and fenders connected to the cabin’s beltline. The rear diffuser is, as you’d expect in an electric car, devoid of exhaust outlets. Since there’s not a traditional engine, fuel or exhaust systems, the front and rear overhangs are extremely short.
COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE
The interior is both simplistic and futuristic, as well as being wide and spacious. There is plenty of headroom up front, but not quite as much in the rear. The interior is well-finished and detailed, with a symmetrical balance to the instrument panel.
Controls and switchgear are positioned for ease of use, but are not immediately intuitive. The console-mounted, button gear selectors are fine, but in place of a “B” selector for enhanced regenerative braking, there is a setting for low and high regen instead. In the high setting, one pedal operation is possible without using the brake except to come to a complete or quick stop.
The panoramic roof brightens the entire cabin, adding to its spacious feel. On the non-plus side, I was unable to find the controls for the HUD display for height and brightness level in the system, the touchscreen response could be quicker, and the visors need to be extendable to be really effective in the side position. The 2019 Jaguar I-Pace will come standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support.
The motive force for the I-Pace is provided by two separate electric motors. There’s one for each axle, connected to a 90kWh battery pack. Horsepower stands at 394, while the available 512 pound-feet is available instantly, from 0 RPM. Energy from the electric motors is delivered to the driving wheels as needed via a concentric single-speed transmission.
At light load and speeds under 30 mph, the I-Pace uses only the rear-axle motor for better efficiency and less noise. When accelerating hard, the front motor engages. The car’s speakers also generate an artificial noise (called Active Sound Design) that increases in tone with speed. While that’s designed to generate at least some noise in the cabin, you can turn it off by switching from Dynamic to Calm. Doing that provides for a more serene driving experience.
Acceleration is rocket-like off the line, as with most electric vehicles. That said, the 2019 Jaguar I-Pace seems smoother and more predictable than some. Its top speed is 124 mph, at which rate you will rapidly deplete the car’s 234 mile range. Steering response is positive and delivers an on-center feel.
Air springs are standard and can raise the body 2.0 inches as an off-road mode. It can also lower itself by 1.6 inches for easier entry and exit. At speeds in excess of 65 mph, the I-Pace lowers automatically by 0.4 inches to improve aerodynamics. Given the car’s ground clearance and low mounted battery weight, the car’s stability in cornering is admirable. The ride quality is firm, but it is comfortable and compliant.
The 2019 Jaguar I-Pace may get top marks in the electric luxury SUV department for now, but the segment is growing as we speak. More competition is coming from Audi with their e-tron, From Mercedes-Benz with the EQ line, and there’s also Porsche’s Taycan EV. Despite the other manufacturers coming on the horizon, the 2019 Jaguar I-Pace is competitively priced with an impressive level of refinement and crisp driving dynamics.
Those looking to charge their Jaguar I-Pace can do so in 40 minutes on a 100kW fast charger. On a 7kW Level 2 AC charger, it will take 12.9 hours to completely recharge the battery. The 2019 Jaguar I-Pace accommodates the standard SAE J1772 combined charging system for AC and DC charging.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2019 Jaguar I-Pace EV400 HSE
|Price as Tested:
|Engine:||Dual electric motors w/ 90kWh Battery Pack|
|Drivetrain (Layout):||All-wheel drive|
|Horsepower:||394 hp @ 4,250 rpm|
|Transmission:||Concentric single-speed automatic w/ selectable drive modes|
|Suspension:||Front: Dual wishbone and air springs
Rear: Integral multi-link and air springs
|Brakes:||Power-assisted four-wheel discs with regenerative braking|
|Tires:||Pirelli P-Zero – 255/40 R22 103V|
|Battery capacity:||90 kWh|
|Estimated Range:||Up to 234 miles (WLTP cycle)|
|Width:||84.2 inches (incl. mirrors)|
|Turning Circle:||39.3 feet|
|Curb Weight:||4,794 pounds|