The Jaguar I-PACE Concept car is the start of a new era for Jaguar. This is a production preview of the Jaguar I-PACE, which will be revealed next year and on the road in 2018. Jaguar’s engineering and design teams have torn up the rule book to create a bespoke electric architecture, matched with dramatic design. The result is a no-compromise smart, five seat sports car and a performance SUV in one.
Ian Callum, Director of Design, said: “The I-PACE Concept represents the next generation of electric vehicle 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.
Dr Wolfgang Ziebart, Jaguar Land Rover, said: “This is an uncompromised electric vehicle designed from a clean sheet of paper: we’ve developed a new architecture and selected only the best technology available. The I-PACE Concept fully exploits the potential EVs can offer in space utilization, driving pleasure and performance.”
A motor at each end means near perfect weight distribution. The permanent magnet motors in question are a concentric design – where the driveshaft runs through the middle – helping them to be packaged into an incredibly tight space. As for torque, the car’s brain can distribute it to the front or rear as it sees fit, while an open differential on each axle sends more of it to the side where the most grip is. It can even control the level of regen deceleration on each wheel to help balance the car.
The classic carmaker has promised that the I-Pace will look, feel, handle, and perform like a proper Jaguar, with a 0-60-mph time of around four seconds. Combined power from both motors is 394bhp with a hefty 516lb ft of torque the I-Pace has as much gristle as the pure-bred Jaguar F-Type SVR sports car.
Jaguar is promising that the I-Pace will stretch across to 220 miles of range from its 90-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack. It will also take two hours to charge on a 50-kW fast-charging DC station, or achieve 80 percent charging in 90 minutes, and Jaguar insists commuters who drive about 30 miles a day would only need charging once a week.
The lithium-ion battery uses 36 pouch cells, and Jaguar claim they deliver lower-than-usual internal resistance and “excellent future development potential for energy density,” meaning it thinks it can wind up more range and grunt inside without changing the outside. The I-Pace also uses a two-mode liquid-cooling circuit. In typical weather conditions, the car cools the battery’s liquid coolant via radiator air, but it also has an air-conditioner connection it can switch to if the weather gets hot. Its heat pump is also integrated into the car’s climate-control system, designed to draw energy from outside air to heat the cabin rather than drawing current down from the battery.
It won’t be the last EV from Jaguar Land Rover, either, with its scalable modular architecture designed from scratch to spread across the corporate portfolio and to move down to smaller sedans and coupes or up to full-sized Range Rover contenders. The crossover SUV uses the alloy battery casing as an integral, stressed part of the I-Pace’s chassis architecture, lowering the ride height and adding body rigidity.
With no engine bay to bother it, the cab-forward design allows the 184.25-inch I-Pace to run with short overhangs, 18.71 cubic feet of luggage space at the rear and a Lamborghini-esque one cubic-foot luggage compartment in the car’s nose.
Cricket-ball stitching on the leather seats, the coordinates of the design studio lasered into the dash, the imprint of a glove on a tray above the glovebox, all as necessary as an ashtray on a motorbike, but key in showing this is a car designed by passionate human beings.
Callum is bullish about its chances: “One of the main reasons we’ve done an electric car this way, is that our number one selling vehicle is the F-Pace, and we want to give the I-Pace the best opportunity to find a market straight away, without any hesitation. We don’t want any excuses.”