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

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

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]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • GS 455 GS 455 on Nov 16, 2016

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

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    • 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.

  • Bkojote Allright, actual person who knows trucks here, the article gets it a bit wrong.First off, the Maverick is not at all comparable to a Tacoma just because they're both Hybrids. Or lemme be blunt, the butch-est non-hybrid Maverick Tremor is suitable for 2/10 difficulty trails, a Trailhunter is for about 5/10 or maybe 6/10, just about the upper end of any stock vehicle you're buying from the factory. Aside from a Sasquatch Bronco or Rubicon Jeep Wrangler you're looking at something you're towing back if you want more capability (or perhaps something you /wish/ you were towing back.)Now, where the real world difference should play out is on the trail, where a lot of low speed crawling usually saps efficiency, especially when loaded to the gills. Real world MPG from a 4Runner is about 12-13mpg, So if this loaded-with-overlander-catalog Trailhunter is still pulling in the 20's - or even 18-19, that's a massive improvement.
  • Lou_BC "That’s expensive for a midsize pickup" All of the "offroad" midsize trucks fall in that 65k USD range. The ZR2 is probably the cheapest ( without Bison option).
  • Lou_BC There are a few in my town. They come out on sunny days. I'd rather spend $29k on a square body Chevy
  • Lou_BC I had a 2010 Ford F150 and 2010 Toyota Sienna. The F150 went through 3 sets of brakes and Sienna 2 sets. Similar mileage and 10 year span.4 sets tires on F150. Truck needed a set of rear shocks and front axle seals. The solenoid in the T-case was replaced under warranty. I replaced a "blend door motor" on heater. Sienna needed a water pump and heater blower both on warranty. One TSB then recall on spare tire cable. Has a limp mode due to an engine sensor failure. At 11 years old I had to replace clutch pack in rear diff F150. My ZR2 diesel at 55,000 km. Needs new tires. Duratrac's worn and chewed up. Needed front end alignment (1st time ever on any truck I've owned).Rear brakes worn out. Left pads were to metal. Chevy rear brakes don't like offroad. Weird "inside out" dents in a few spots rear fenders. Typically GM can't really build an offroad truck issue. They won't warranty. Has fender-well liners. Tore off one rear shock protector. Was cheaper to order from GM warehouse through parts supplier than through Chevy dealer. Lots of squeaks and rattles. Infotainment has crashed a few times. Seat heater modual was on recall. One of those post sale retrofit.Local dealer is horrific. If my son can't service or repair it, I'll drive 120 km to the next town. 1st and last Chevy. Love the drivetrain and suspension. Fit and finish mediocre. Dealer sucks.
  • MaintenanceCosts You expect everything on Amazon and eBay to be fake, but it's a shame to see fake stuff on Summit Racing. Glad they pulled it.