This Is What Its Like to Ride in Jaguar’s First All-Electric Vehicle
December 6, 2017 Kirsten Korosec
A year ago, during a presentation in Milk Studios in Hollywood, Jaguar
revealed to the world its vision for its first all-electric vehicle. Now
we’re finally getting a chance to experience, albeit briefly, how the SUV
known as I-PACE will perform once it goes into production next year.
The British automaker brought the I-PACE back to Los Angeles last week for
the LA Auto Show—this time for a drive from West Hollywood into Beverly
Hills—for its final range and durability tests. Jaguar Land Rover also took
it for a 200-mile test drive from Los Angeles’ Sunset Boulevard to Central
California’s Morro Bay on a single charge of its battery.
And Fortune was along for the Hollywood portion of the ride. Though Jaguar
wasn’t ready to show off the final exterior and interior touches—the
interior was completely covered, a standard practice among automakers,
except for the steering wheel—it was possible to gauge the space. In short,
it’s roomier than the car’s small stature would suggest.
Still, even under the camouflage wraps, this looks like a Jaguar. The
five-seat SUV pulls its design inspiration from its C-X75 hybrid concept in
the front and the F-PACE performance SUV in the rear. A scoop on the hood is
The all-electric vehicle has a distinct cab forward and aerodynamic feel.
Designers, untethered from the constraints of an internal combustion engine,
were able to push the cabin forward and extend the wheelbase. The battery is
under the vehicle giving it a low center of gravity. As a result, the I-PACE
has a sportier feel, at least as a front seat passenger.
And yes, it does accelerate quickly. The I-PACE doesn’t have the same 0 to
60 mph neck-snapping zoom as the Tesla Model S in ludicrous mode. But it has
punch and it corners well.
Courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover
“This car is about 99% complete in terms of what the customer is going to
get,” Simon Patel, the senior manager of battery electric vehicle propulsion
at JLR told Fortune during the drive. The company says it has more than 200
production prototypes that have completed 1.5 million miles and 11,000 hours
Ian Hoban, Jaguar’s vehicle line director, contends the I-PACE is ready for
long distances and will be able to charge the battery quickly. “Our target
is a zero to 80% charge being achievable in a short break,” Hoban says.
The I-PACE marks an important juncture for Jaguar as it moves into the
electric car market. More than 500 engineers have been working on this car
for four years now.
But the company wouldn’t go into specifics with Fortune on all the details.
Pricing and specifications will be announced in March 2018. Deliveries are
expected to begin in early third-quarter of 2018, Patel says. The I-PACE
will be produced by Magna Steyr, an operating unit of Magna, in Graz,
Austria. JLR’s compact E-PACE SUV is also built at the factory.
JLR says the specs released last year are a good guide to what the final
product will contain. At the time, the company said the Jaguar I-PACE would
have a targeted range of 220 miles and be able to accelerate from 0 to 60
mph in about 4 seconds. The vehicle also has dual electric motors for
all-wheel drive traction.
The first “ride” also offered some clues. There are two forms of
regenerative braking in the I-PACE. Regenerative braking, sometimes called
regen, is when the vehicle’s kinetic energy is converted into chemical
energy that can be stored in the battery and used later. This “braking,”
which occurs when you take your foot off the accelerator, also slows the
vehicle. This has the added benefit of saving the brakes on the car.
The standard mode of regen in the IPACE mimics the feel of an internal
combustion engine. It’s a gradual slowdown. Another mode will put it in
high-regen, which provides a more sudden stop. This high-regen mode allows
for “one pedal” or “single foot” driving, a term that allows the driver to
control the speed and braking using only the accelerator pedal.
Earlier this year, Jaguar Land Rover accelerated its plan to add hybrid
electric and all-electric vehicles to its portfolio. The company announced
in September that all Jaguar Land Rover cars will be available in an
electric or hybrid version from 2020.
[© 2017 Time]
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