Jaguar I-Pace-why Not give it a try at Harwoods Chichester?
Our webmaster gets a drive in this new and first all-electric Jaguar..Does it have enough pizazz to win car enthusiasts over…
The Jaguar I-PACE electric SUV is creating a lot of buzz. In many ways, it is the first all electric vehicle that truly challenges the Tesla Model X. It is the boldest of bold moves from Jaguar: an all-electric SUV, the first credible rival to Tesla’s premium EV dominance, a car that beats its German rivals to market and a radical piece of design. The I-Pace won't be for everyone, but hats off to Jaguar for making a car that steps boldly into the unknown, and shows those pesky Germans the way.
It does look good, doesn’t it? Those 18-inch wheels – standard on this SE model and blacked out to merge with the rubber –are probably the Instagram/ride quality sweet spot… there are also 20s available if or 22s if you must. But it’s the proportions that steal the show: the stubbed nose that brings the front wheels forward with it and the high, squared-off rear end set the template, while the rear spoiler, vented bonnet and flush doorhandles provide the detail. Its beauty doesn’t slap you like a botoxed Alfa, it’s a slower burn than that, but eventually its bravery hooks you in.
Acceleration off the line is deliciously constant and linear, pushing you back into those firmer performance seats with some force. The only caveat is that there seems to be a brief scrabble for traction at the front end, as the I-Pace’s 2.2-tonne weight shifts backwards. Like any electric car – whether that’s a Nissan Leaf or Tesla Model S – the relentless acceleration is what hits you first. Performance figures of 395bhp and 513lb ft may be down on the equivalent Tesla but you don’t come way from driving the I-Pace thinking it needs more power. If anything it feels faster from a standing start than Jaguar claims; the I-Pace just digs it and catapults you down the road without any fuss.
Unlike a Tesla the I-Pace is about more than just raw speed; a suspension setup shared with the F-Type and 400 development laps around Nardo and the Nurburgring means the I-Pace is the most rewarding electric car to drive quickly. It remains remarkably flat through high-speed changes in direction, with the intelligent four-wheel drive ensuring there’s no slip in traction. The ride is firm but not uncomfortable and ensures the I-Pace feels composed and settled at all speeds.
With its first all-electric model, Jaguar has not only beaten wealthier rivals to the punch but also set a high bar for those to come after it. But, to keep proper perspective, we must give due recognition to Jaguar: it has produced a true driver’s car here – and a bold, appealing and hugely innovative one at that.
This demonstrator was supplied by Harwoods Jaguar Chichester, if you wish to discuss your interest in the I Pace or any of the other Jaguar range then feel free to contact them on 01243 836500.