The Jaguar I-Pace has striking good looks, setting the sporty styling tone for electric SUVs
Electric SUV Jaguar I-Pace is leader of the pack The Jaguar I-Pace has hot-hatch standards of handling prowess despite weighing 2,133kg. PHOTO: JAGUAR

So far this year, sport utility vehicles have dominated local and international new car launches. Here is yet another one.

Jaguar's I-Pace is a member of the Pace family, which comprises the F-Pace and E-Pace SUVs. However, the company's latest SUV is, in many ways, radically different from any Jaguar thus far.
For starters, the I-Pace has striking good looks that make any of the current crop of SUVs look staid and bulky.
There are no cylinders, V-blocks or turbochargers inside the I-Pace. Instead, it has two propulsion units, both of which are electrically powered.
Jaguar's first pure electric vehicle was designed from scratch as a bespoke model, so except for some suspension components, it shares nothing else with other Jaguar models.
The engineers and stylists at Jaguar optimised the design of the I-Pace around its electric drivetrain, energy storage module and power management components.
SPECS / JAGUAR I-PACE
Price: To be announced
Motor: Twin transverse permanent-magnet synchronous; 90kWh lithium-ion battery
Transmission: Single-stage epicyclic reduction
Power: 400hp
Torque: 696Nm
0-100kmh: 4.8 seconds
Top speed: 200kmh
Maximum range: 480km (Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure cycle)
The basic configuration of two electric motors, each driving its own pair of wheels, enabled a compact motor unit at each end, thereby giving the stylists less constraint in the packaging of the front and rear bodywork.
In between the two axles and sitting in the lowest section of the chassis is the array of 432 lithium-ion cells that, in total, make up the 90kWh battery pack.
Plugged in at home with the 7kW charger, it would take 10 hours to go from zero to 80 per cent battery power.
Jaguar claims that with 100 per cent charge, the I-Pace has an ultimate range of 480km. But liberal use of the maximum 400hp and 696Nm will naturally diminish this range.
In normal daily driving with a mix of city and highway, we would expect to achieve 360km to 400km.
One of our test cars, which started with 90 per cent charge, was down to 7 per cent after 180km.
In all fairness, the route included a mix of highway blasts, city roads, off-roading with steep hills, dirt tracks and even a river.
We also consistently drove at above-average speeds, accelerating flat-out at every opportunity and maintaining a flying pace even on the mountain roads.
Such is the joy of driving the I-Pace. Its zero to 100kmh acceleration time of just 4.8 seconds says nothing of the instant and seamless thrust from any speed to its 200kmh maximum.
The car's handling is just as delightful. There is very little roll, thanks to the low centre of gravity, and together with four-wheel-drive traction, it has hot-hatch standards of handling prowess despite weighing 2,133kg. This is one electric SUV with serious performance aspirations.
The I-Pace has very unusual styling for an SUV. With no electrical or mechanical components ahead of the front axle, the bonnet is extremely short, very unlike any Jaguar past or present.
A truly neat touch is the fender line, which curves over the wheel-arch and flows down to meet the waistline just after the A-pillar. It is the one single styling element that sets it apart from the typical five-door SUV.
A coupe-like roofline and a short, squared-off rear complete the sporty fastback silhouette, begging the question: Is this really an SUV?
Slim LED headlamps flank a characteristic Jaguar grille that does not serve as a cooling inlet. Instead, you will see, upon closer inspection, that the grille-insert curves inwards to channel airflow through the top of the grille. Air then exits from a gap on the bonnet and flows smoothly over the windscreen. It is part of the reason a drag coefficient of 0.29 has been achieved for the I-Pace.
Thanks to the long 2,990mm wheelbase, there is plenty of space in the exquisitely finished interior for both front and rear occupants.
As expected, the dashboard has touchscreens and digital graphic displays in abundance. But there are also several real, rotary knobs such as those for air-conditioning and volume control, which are far more practical to use than tapping or swiping the screen or waving your palm in front of it.
The Jaguar I-Pace is the best-looking SUV by a clear margin and sets the sporty styling tone for electric vehicles of this genre.
Spacious and luxurious, with a terrific chassis and hugely impressive pace from the twin electric motors, Jaguar's first-ever electric car easily earns an A-star.
Jaguar's I-Pace is a member of the Pace family, which comprises the F-Pace and E-Pace SUVs. However, the company's latest SUV is, in many ways, radically different from any Jaguar thus far.

For starters, the I-Pace has striking good looks that make any of the current crop of SUVs look staid and bulky.

There are no cylinders, V-blocks or turbochargers inside the I-Pace. Instead, it has two propulsion units, both of which are electrically powered.

Jaguar's first pure electric vehicle was designed from scratch as a bespoke model, so except for some suspension components, it shares nothing else with other Jaguar models.

The engineers and stylists at Jaguar optimised the design of the I-Pace around its electric drivetrain, energy storage module and power management components.

The basic configuration of two electric motors, each driving its own pair of wheels, enabled a compact motor unit at each end, thereby giving the stylists less constraint in the packaging of the front and rear bodywork.

In between the two axles and sitting in the lowest section of the chassis is the array of 432 lithium-ion cells that, in total, make up the 90kWh battery pack.

Plugged in at home with the 7kW charger, it would take 10 hours to go from zero to 80 per cent battery power.

Jaguar claims that with 100 per cent charge, the I-Pace has an ultimate range of 480km. But liberal use of the maximum 400hp and 696Nm will naturally diminish this range.

In normal daily driving with a mix of city and highway, we would expect to achieve 360km to 400km.

One of our test cars, which started with 90 per cent charge, was down to 7 per cent after 180km.

In all fairness, the route included a mix of highway blasts, city roads, off-roading with steep hills, dirt tracks and even a river.

We also consistently drove at above-average speeds, accelerating flat-out at every opportunity and maintaining a flying pace even on the mountain roads.

Such is the joy of driving the I-Pace. Its zero to 100kmh acceleration time of just 4.8 seconds says nothing of the instant and seamless thrust from any speed to its 200kmh maximum.

The car's handling is just as delightful. There is very little roll, thanks to the low centre of gravity, and together with four-wheel-drive traction, it has hot-hatch standards of handling prowess despite weighing 2,133kg. This is one electric SUV with serious performance aspirations.

The I-Pace has very unusual styling for an SUV. With no electrical or mechanical components ahead of the front axle, the bonnet is extremely short, very unlike any Jaguar past or present.

A truly neat touch is the fender line, which curves over the wheel-arch and flows down to meet the waistline just after the A-pillar. It is the one single styling element that sets it apart from the typical five-door SUV.

A coupe-like roofline and a short, squared-off rear complete the sporty fastback silhouette, begging the question: Is this really an SUV?

Slim LED headlamps flank a characteristic Jaguar grille that does not serve as a cooling inlet. Instead, you will see, upon closer inspection, that the grille-insert curves inwards to channel airflow through the top of the grille. Air then exits from a gap on the bonnet and flows smoothly over the windscreen. It is part of the reason a drag coefficient of 0.29 has been achieved for the I-Pace.

Thanks to the long 2,990mm wheelbase, there is plenty of space in the exquisitely finished interior for both front and rear occupants.

As expected, the dashboard has touchscreens and digital graphic displays in abundance. But there are also several real, rotary knobs such as those for air-conditioning and volume control, which are far more practical to use than tapping or swiping the screen or waving your palm in front of it.

The Jaguar I-Pace is the best-looking SUV by a clear margin and sets the sporty styling tone for electric vehicles of this genre.

Spacious and luxurious, with a terrific chassis and hugely impressive pace from the twin electric motors, Jaguar's first-ever electric car easily earns an A-star.