Single-motor Electric Vehicles? Lame, Says Jaguar

single motor electric vehicles lame says jaguar

Jaguar’s I-Pace seems to be Tesla’s greatest threat, if pre-orders in Europe (and glowing reviews) are anything to go on. The electric SUV, which arrives in the U.S. later this year, features twin motors and a combined output of 394 horsepower and 512 lb-ft of torque funnelled to all four wheels.

This is the only way to build a sporty electric car, Jaguar claims. Speaking at the model’s recent global launch, Jaguar Land Rover’s head of vehicle development, Wolfgang Zeibart, said the company threw out any ideas for a two-wheel drive version.

“If you really want a lame duck then you can do it,” he said. This mantra applies to future Jaguar electrics, which will almost certainly appear with the I-Pace’s platform underneath.

According to Wheels, Zeibart made sure to slam Tesla as he rhymed off the vehicle’s attributes. Features, it should be noted, that required a dual-motor setup to pull off. These include handling, traction, regenerative braking, wheelbase, and interior volume.

“The Tesla S was a single-motor design initially, and what that means is if you have only one driven axle you cannot put the wheel into this (I-Pace) position,” he said. “You must move it forward as you need load on the driven axle. When it moves forward you reduce the interior space and the available space for the battery. It’s one compromise after the other and therefore we decided two motors – full stop.”

To recoup maximum energy during regenerative braking, you’d want the electric motor mounted in the front, Zeibart said, but that would impact the car’s launch abilities.

“If you accelerate, the rear motor is the better motor,” he said. “If you want to recuperate, the front motor is the one. We can recuperate up to 150 kW, but if you only do it on the rear axle you are limited to about 60 kW. If you recover (only) from the front, any longitudinal force you apply reduces your available side force. This then makes the car unstable.”

The I-Pace’s purpose-built platform is “definitely scaleable,” Zeibart added, meaning we’ll likely see a range of vehicles built off the I-Pace’s bones. Perhaps a flagship sedan will be among those future models?

But back to Tesla, which Zeibart took every opportunity to poke in the eye.

“The Tesla has a disadvantage as the battery cooling is so poor,” he said. “They have round cells that are basically cooled by air and then they have a water plate underneath. Here (I-Pace), the cells are standing on a water plate so the cooling is much better.”

Tesla apparently refutes this assertion, but Zeibart doesn’t seem to care.

“What we have seen on the Nurburgring, the Tesla degrades rather quickly whereas this car runs the full lap,” he said.

When the I-Pace appears on these shores, it will carry a base sticker of $70,495 (after delivery). Food for thought for luxury EV buyers, as that’s $10k less than Tesla’s Model X. All Teslas stand to see their federal tax credit diminish before too long, too, thus widening the price gap between the two rivals.

[Image: Jaguar Land Rover]

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  • Civicjohn Civicjohn on Jun 10, 2018

    At least they didn’t tweet out the specifications.

  • Chopperjamie Chopperjamie on Jun 10, 2018

    How far have we come in this world when Jaguar is an expert in anything electrical?

    • See 2 previous
    • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Jun 11, 2018

      @peeryog Probably many engineers are still from India. How I know that - I work in Silicon Valley. BTW I doubt Jaguar develops electrical systems in house, rather outsources to specialists. My friend from Detroit worked at Lear on keyless entry systems for Jaguar and Nissan. He told me he saw lot of Indians in Jaguar HQ when he was there on business trip.

  • Arthur Dailey For the Hornet less expensive interior materials/finishings, decontent just a little, build it in North America and sell it for less and everyone should be happy with both the Dodge and the Alfa.
  • Bunkie I so wanted to love this car back in the day. At the time I owned a GT6+ and I was looking for something more modern. But, as they say, this car had *issues*. The first of which was the very high price premium for the V8. It was a several thousand dollar premium over the TR-7. The second was the absolutely awful fuel economy. That put me off the car and I bought a new RX-7 which, despite the thirsty rotary, still got better mileage and didn’t require premium fuel. I guess I wasn’t the only one who had this reaction because, two years later, I test-drove a leftover that had a $2,000 price cut. I don’t remember being impressed, the RX-7 had spoiled me with how easy it was to own. The TR-8 didn’t feel quick to me and it felt heavy. The first-gen RX was more in line with the idea of a light car that punched above its weight. I parted ways with both the GT6+ and the RX7 and, to this day, I miss them both.
  • Fred Where you going to build it? Even in Texas near Cat Springs they wanted to put up a country club for sport cars. People complained, mostly rich people who had weekend hobby farms. They said the noise would scare their cows. So they ended up in Dickinson, where they were more eager for development of any kind.
  • MaintenanceCosts I like the styling of this car inside and out, but not any of the powertrains. Give it the 4xe powertrain - or, better yet, a version of that powertrain with the 6-cylinder Hurricane - and I'd be very interested.
  • Daniel J I believe anyone, at any level, should get paid as much as the market will bear. Why should CEOs have capped salaries or compensation but middle management shouldn't? If companies support poor CEOs and poor CEOs keep getting rewarded, it's up to the consumer and investors to force that company to either get a better CEO or to reduce the salary of that CEO. What I find hilarious is that consumers will continue to support companies where the pay for the CEOs is very high. And the same people complain. I stopped buying from Amazon during the pandemic. Everyone happily buys from them but the CEO makes bank. Same way with Walmart and many other retailers. Tim Cook got 100m in compensation last year yet people line up to buy Iphones. People who complain and still buy the products must not really care that much.