Jaguar has previewed its first electric vehicle concept on the streets of London’s Olympic Park – the Jaguar I-PACE, to become available in late 2018.
The Jaguar I-PACE concept will be fully revealed later this year, but it is known to be an electric performance SUV which will be on the road in the second half of 2018. The company says it has ‘torn up the rule book’ with the I-PACE, creating a vehicle with “inspired aesthetics”, sports car performance and SUV space in one complete electric package.
The aim is to provide a vehicle that represents the next generation of battery electric vehicle design. The I-PACE will be a long distance sprinter that accelerates to 60 mph in around 4 seconds, with a range of more than 500km (NEDC cycle) from the 90kWh lithium-ion battery. Charging will be easy and quick, with 80 per cent charge achieved in just 90 minutes using 50kW DC charging. The vehicle will be equipped with compact, lightweight electric motors at the front and rear axles to generate a combined output of 400PS and 700Nm of torque and with the all-weather benefits of all-wheel drive.
“People tell me they think the car is going to change”said Ian Callum, Director of Design at Jaguar.“Well, as long as we’ve got eyes in our heads and sit the way we do in cars they’re not. What changes with a battery electric vehicle is the absence of mechanical machinery sitting in particular places. That’s the opportunity. We like the idea that people are sitting between the wheels. My favourite is still the C-X75; you work around what you have. It liberates you to be able to put the people where you want them to be, which naturally is further forward. It’s practical to do so also; you get more space between the wheels when you’re not constrained by the engine package. But also we don’t like to see a lot of mass over the back of the car. You want to push that mass forward, otherwise the car looks like it’s falling back. That’s just an instinct and so it was incredibly gratifying to have had the opportunity to do just that with the I-PACE Concept.”
Jaguar’s Advanced Design Director, Julian Thomson, added that the I-PACE is probably the most exciting era of car design he’s seen in his career and that it’s great to see the market opening up suddenly with alternative propulsion systems and totally different customers with totally different attitudes about how they use their vehicles.
The future models taking shape in Jaguar’s Advanced Design studio will have to meet those demands while remaining, identifiably, a Jaguar. The I-PACE Concept is intended to make a very clear statement of intent. It is inspired by the F-TYPE sports car, with an interior that is ‘driver-focused’. The driving position is much lower than a traditional SUV and is accentuated by a cantilevered centre console and slimline perforated seats. A ‘seamless, textured look’ is achieved by the layering of dark, unvarnished walnut veneers sitting flush with metal inserts. Meanwhile, a full- length panoramic glass roof floods the interior with natural light.