By Nauman Farooq
Unless you’ve been living in the middle of the Sahara desert with no means of communicating with the modern world for the last 15 years or so, you’d be well aware of the fact that electric cars are the future of mobility!
While there are those who disagree with that statement, there is no doubt that electric vehicles are becoming more and more visible out on our roads, and their numbers are only going to grow.
While there are quite a few plug-in hybrid and fully electric vehicles on sale currently, only one took home the award for “Utility Vehicle Of The Year” by the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), and that vehicle is the 2019 Jaguar I-PACE.
Not ones to take someone else’s word on a vehicle, we put one through a week long test, to see what it’s really like!
Styling: If there is one thing that Ian Callum – the recently retired design director of Jaguar Land Rover – is incapable of, it is to design an unattractive car. Honestly, just peruse through the portfolio of Mr. Callum and look at the vehicles he had designed while at Aston Martin, and Jaguar Land Rover, and you won’t find a single ugly car! The man sure knows how to make attractive designs, and the I-PACE might be his best yet!
It’s an interesting design, which to some looks like an SUV, and to some like a wagon. I think it’s a CUV (Crossover Utility Vehicle), and it looks wonderful, especially when fitted with the optional 22-inch wheels – yes, that’s not a misprint, you can factory order the I-PACE with 22-inch wheels – this is one attractive ride!
The design is also full of clever touches, such as air passages that start from the nose of the vehicle, and go to the tail, creating a wind curtain – which according to Jaguar even eliminates the need of a rear screen wiper.
There are also active shutters that feed airflow to the battery pack if it needs cooling, and a flat under tray and venturi tunnels to minimize drag, which helps increase its driving range.
So, the Jaguar I-Pace is proof that you can create a functional design that is also attractive.
Interior: That attractiveness continues when you step inside. Your first impression is that the interior is very well made – this Jaguar might be electric, but it still feels like a proper Jaguar when you get in.
It is well laid out, and extremely spacious, and full of clever details, such as using any available space to turn it into a storage area, and a clever spot between the cup holders that swallows your smart phone with ease – the folks at Jaguar truly had their thinking caps on when doing the I-PACE, not to say they usually don’t!
The front row of the cabin gets to play with three TFT screens; as the instrument binnacle, infotainment system, and climate control is all done through screens, with the latter two being touchscreen devices. These seem quite intimidating at first, but use them for a day or two, and they become second nature.
The second row of passengers have very little to do, but at least there is usable room for three people. The trunk is fairly spacious (656 litres), and the trunk floor also lifts up to reveal extra storage space.
The I-PACE also has a 27 litres front trunk – also known as, the frunk – but it really only has enough space to throw in the level-one charger that comes with the vehicle.
Powertrain: Powering the I-PACE are two permanent magnet synchronous electric motors, that in total produce 394 hp, and 512 lb-ft of torque. Powering these motors is a 90 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, which resides in the floor of the vehicle, giving the car a lower center of gravity, and giving the cabin more space. This battery pack takes 13 hours to fully charge from a level 2 charger, while a level 1 charger would take roughly 4 days! If you find a level 3 super charger, your vehicle can be charged in about 4 hours.
On a full charge, Jaguar says you can travel about 377 km. In my testing, in real world conditions and using air conditioning, I managed 335 km – excellent!
Performance & Driving Dynamics: As you’d expect from a 394 hp electric vehicle, the I-PACE certainly has… pace! In my testing, the 0 to 100 km/h acceleration run took just 4.9 seconds (just 0.1 seconds off Jaguar’s claimed time), while top speed is limited to 200 km/h – you honestly don’t need to go any faster!
Performance numbers are one thing, but how a car feels is quite another. The I-PACE is always lively, it is quick, ready to pounce whenever you twitch the throttle. It truly is a fast commuter; good thing then that the brakes are equally as good – in fact, it’ll stop even faster than it accelerates.
Couple that with a chassis and suspension system that is tuned by the masters at Jaguar, and this is one of the few EVs that will plant a huge smile on your face. Even if the world goes fully electric, the I-PACE is proof that the car enthusiast will still enjoy driving.
Fuel Economy: Since this is an electric vehicle, the I-PACE doesn’t burn any fuel. But, if you factor in the cost of charging the I-PACE, 100 km of driving cost about $2.00 – a similarly powerful gasoline powered, luxury CUV would cost you about $15.00 to cover that distance – so this Jaguar is far more affordable to run.
Pricing: The 2019 Jaguar I-PACE has a base price of $89,800 – which means it is priced better than its rivals from Tesla and Audi.
Verdict: The future of mobility is electric, there is no denying that. Thanks to vehicles such as this I-PACE, the future of the automotive enthusiast is secure. AJAC got it right, the I-PACE is a worthy winner. Now, I hope Jaguar is working on a fully electric sports car – that’ll be truly awesome!