Jaguar I-Pace Concept: Electric Cat to Slink Onto Roads in 2018

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
jaguar i pace concept electric cat to slink onto roads in 2018

Jaguar has pulled the wraps off its I-Pace Concept SUV ahead of the Los Angeles Auto Show, but this prototype isn’t just a one-off piece of vaporware, never to be seen again.

The automaker’s first electric vehicle is a go, and is expected to hit the road in 2018 to challenge Tesla’s Model X in the fledgling premium electric SUV segment.

Riding atop a homegrown EV platform built to underpin a range of EV models, the I-Pace aims to be the emissions-free brother of the brand’s popular F-Pace. Make that a cousin, as the I-Pace looks nothing like its conventionally styled stablemate. Low, with a short nose, severely slanted rear glass and a cab-forward layout, the I-pace might have some wondering if it fits the “SUV” label.

Well, Jaguar says it does, and the fact that it has a liftgate and a name that doesn’t end in “Type” should (apparently) be all the evidence one needs.

Power and traction are easy to come by, but the I-Pace needs to satisfy another element if it wants to compete: range. Jaguar claims the I-Pace should be good for 220 miles of it, thanks to its 90 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Like the platform, the vehicle’s battery pack was also designed in-house. The company claims that a full recharge at a public 50 kW DC charging station should take two hours.

Motivating this beast are two electric motors, each driving one axle. The combined output — 400 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque — should see the all-wheel-drive vehicle accelerate to 60 miles per hour in four seconds. The low center of gravity provided by the in-floor battery pack coupled with lag-free electric torque should equal a compelling ride, assuming platform and body stiffness is up to snuff. The company claims it has borrowed some suspension components from the F-Pace, so the tossability factor could be high.

Jaguar’s director of design, Ian Callum, claims he wants the I-Pace to ooze British craftsmanship, both mechanical and technological. Once it hits the roads, drivers can expect two touchscreens and a host of creature comforts, including a panoramic sunroof and probably half a herd’s worth of supple hide.

A production version of the I-Pace should appear next year, ahead of its 2018 on-sale date.

[Image: Jaguar Land Rover]

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  • GS 455 GS 455 on Nov 16, 2016

    @Jagboi what models/years of Jaguar are a good buy?

    • See 12 previous
    • Jagboi Jagboi on Nov 16, 2016

      @Jagboi There is a place that puts LS1's into the X308's, but it's not a popular conversion, unlike 350's into the old Series III XJ6. The bolt pattern of a Jaguar application GM trans is different than a GM application, so the Jaguar version of the 4L80E won't bolt up to a GM engine. That is true of the older TH400 Jaguar used as well. The earlier cars were easier to do an engine swap, I'm in the process of putting a 6 cylinder XJR engine and trans into an older Daimler, but I wouldn't try it with an X308. The electronics are much more complicated and everything is networked. I looked at using a V8 XJR engine as my donor, but dismissed it after studying the Electrical Guide. The 6 cylinder will be relatively easy, as it has discrete ECU's for the engine and transmission. Beacham in New Zealand has put the modern V8 into older Jags, but what they do is basically put everything from a modern car into an old bodyshell. It's a recreation, not a restoration. I have no idea if everything works on an LS1 converted X308 as the factory intended. I suspect not. Usually things like cruise control or the trip computer don't work after the swap. The 6.0 V12 in the XJ81 and X305 is quite reliable, no reason to swap it out. Quite rare cars too! I think they will be future collectables. So smooth, and they make such nice noises. I have a 6.0 XJS convertible, it's great to drive, that unending wave of torque makes passing effortless.

  • GS 455 GS 455 on Nov 16, 2016

    So would you roll the dice on a 2013 XF AWD with 52,000 km for $32,995 CDN rather than a 2017 Camry XLE for the same price?

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    • Jagboi Jagboi on Nov 17, 2016

      @Jagboi 28 - You're quoting USD I assume? I see lots of cars asking low to mid 30's in CAD. Come north to buy a car and make it up on the currency difference! Even cheaper in Quebec, but the first rule of used cars is don't buy one in Quebec. Too many rebuilds and chopshop specials with "clean" titles. Have to pay sales tax too, no matter of the car is exported from Quebec or not.

  • Cprescott I remember when Fords were affordable.
  • Cprescott As a once very LOYAL FORD buyer, I had to replace my 22 year old Ford (bought new in 1997) once it finally started to have problems at 180k miles. I would have gladly purchased something like this from Ford but they abandoned me as a car buyer. Oddly, Hyundai still builds cars in a variety of flavors so I became a customer of theirs and am very happy. Likely will consider another once this one gets up in mileage.
  • SCE to AUX A friend once struck a mounted tire that was laying flat in the middle of her lane on the PA Turnpike. She was in a low late-90s Grand Prix, and the impact destroyed the facia, core support, radiators, oil pan, transmission, subframe, and suspension. They fixed it all.
  • Dukeisduke Lol, it's not exactly a Chevrolet SS with Holden badging.
  • Dukeisduke Years ago, I was driving southbound along North Central Expressway (south of Mockingbird Lane, for locals), and watched a tire and wheel fall out of the bed of a pickup (no tailgate), bounce along, then centerpunch the front end of a Honda Accord. It wasn't pretty.