Jaguar has unveiled its I-Pace electric concept car and there is a little bit more interest in this concept, because Jaguar have confirmed that the I-Pace will go into production. The production version of the I-Pace will be revealed next year and will go on sale in 2018.
The aim with the I-Pace, Jaguar says, was to combine supercar looks, sports car performance and SUV space in an electric vehicle.
The looks are something you can judge for yourselves from the pictures, but to our eyes it looks pretty good, although arguably not in supercar territory.
In terms of performance, it looks, on paper, as though it will deliver. There are two electric motors driving the front and rear wheels. Together they produce a combined power output of 400PS and 700Nm of torque. This translates into a 0-60 mph acceleration of just four seconds.
Jaguar promise that the I-Pace will not just produce the performance in a straight line, it will also have “agile driving dynamics as yet unseen on an electric vehicle”.
The company describes the I-Pace as the start of a new era for Jaguar. We have known that Jaguar has envisaged an electric future for some time. That is why the former Formula 1 entrants have re-entered motor racing with a team in the Formula E championship for electrically-powered cars.
“Range anxiety” is a well known electric car concern. Drivers worry about running out of battery power before they have reached their destination. The I-Pace will have a range of more than 500km (310 miles) on the European NEDC test cycle, or 354km (220 miles) on the US EPA test cycle.
Based on the European test, that would allow you to drive from Birmingham to Edinburgh on a fully-charged battery pack. Connected to a 50KW charging point in Edinburgh, you could fully recharge the batteries in two hours, ready for the return journey.
“The I-PACE Concept represents the next generation of electric vehicle design,” says Ian Callum, Jaguar’s Director of Design. “It’s a dramatic, future-facing cab-forward design with a beautiful interior – the product of authentic Jaguar DNA, electric technology and contemporary craftsmanship.”
It’s appropriate for a futuristic vehicle that Jaguar have chosen to launch the I-Pace concept with what they call a “social VR” reveal. From VR hubs in London and Los Angeles, groups of 66 guests used VR headsets to put themselves inside the concept car, interacting with other participants in the process.
Sat in the virtual seats, the participants had a 360º view of Venice Beach as the concept car was built around them. Later they were able to watch as the I-Pace raced towards them across a virtual desert.