I-Pace Test Drive


Jaguar I-Pace …. Electrified Horse Power!

 

The headlines are currently full of praise for the I-Pace ….

“Jaguar’s electric performance SUV triumphed over six other finalists – the Alpine A110, Citroën C5 Aircross, Ford Focus, Kia Ceed, Mercedes-Benz A-Class and Peugeot 508”

 

“JAGUAR I-PACE IS UK CAR OF THE YEAR”

The Jaguar I-PACE all-electric SUV has been named UK Car of the Year ahead of a number of highly competitive models from the likes of Rolls-Royce, Bentley and Volvo.

Since its launch, the I-PACE has been winning awards around the world, having been named Car of the Year by the top automotive experts in Norway, Germany, Scotland and Switzerland. Designed and engineered in Britain, I-PACE has picked up a total of 54 awards to-date, including Sunday Times Car of the Year, Auto Express Car of the Year, T3’s ‘Best Car’, Stuff’s ‘Best Car’ and Top Gear Magazine’s Electric Vehicle of the Year. It is also on the shortlist for World Car of the Year, World Car Design of the Year and World Green Car of the Year.

The Jaguar I-PACE’s next shot at glory comes with the European Car of the Year Awards, when the winner is announced on March 4th, the eve of the Geneva Motor Show. The I-PACE is on the final shortlist of seven cars vying for the title.

Rawdon Glover, Jaguar Land Rover UK MD, said: “This latest major award for I-PACE is something we can all be extremely proud of. This car was conceived, designed and engineered in Britain, so to have a selection of the nation’s leading automotive journalists vote it as the overall UK Car of the Year against some stiff competition is a special moment for us. What’s more, I-PACE has been a global sensation, picking up awards in 15 different countries; the British reputation for excellence in innovation and engineering is certainly alive and well.”

The UK Car of the Year Awards are nominated and shortlisted by 29 top UK automotive journalists from publications including Top Gear Magazine, The Sunday Times and Autocar. Designed to highlight the best new cars on sale for UK customers, the UK Car of the Year Awards team puts over 80 vehicles to the test to decide which is deemed the best all-rounder for the British public.

UK Car of the Year judges praised the I-PACE for being ‘miles ahead of the premium EV pack, designed and engineered without compromise for an electric future, unlike big-name rivals still to launch.’ According to other judges the I-PACE ‘gives executives good reason to switch to electric mobility, packaging a long-range battery and powerful drivetrain into a sporty SUV body. It’s an electric car that appeals to both head and heart.’

John Challen, Director of UK Car of the Year Awards, said: “As vehicle manufacturers take electric vehicles more seriously, Jaguar is leading the pack with I-PACE, which offers fantastic range and performance as well as a stylish and spacious interior for driver and passengers. The UK Car of the Year Awards judges are always keen to recognise innovation and that is certainly the case in 2019.”

I-PACE is the most high-tech Jaguar ever produced, featuring a fully-electric powertrain fitted with two electric motors. It is also Jaguar’s first vehicle to include the Touch Pro Duo infotainment system, capable of over-the-air software updates, and uses artificial intelligence to adapt to a driver’s personal preferences, ensuring driving and infotainment settings are matched to each individual using the car.

The I-PACE is able to achieve a 0-80 percent battery charge in 40 minutes (100kW DC), while home charging with an approved Jaguar AC wall box (7kW) will achieve the same state of charge in just over ten hours – ideal for the overnight charging used by the majority of buyers.

 

“JAGUAR I-PACE IS EUROPEAN CAR OF THE YEAR 2019”

The all-electric Jaguar I-PACE has been voted ‘Car of the Year’ at the European Car of the Year Awards 2019. This is the first time a Jaguar has won the coveted prize.

Only last week, I-PACE was named UK Car of the Year and was praised for being ‘miles ahead of the premium EV pack’. To win European Car of the Year in a strong finalist’s category, yet being the only vehicle to boast zero emissions is a testament to the I-PACE’s design and capability.

The European Car of the Year jury comprises 60 motoring journalists from 23 countries, and the award recognises technical innovation, design, performance, efficiency and value for money.

Prof. Dr. Ralf Speth, Chief Executive Officer, Jaguar Land Rover, said: “For our first electric vehicle to also be the first Jaguar to win European Car of the Year gives us a huge sense of pride.”

“I-PACE was designed and engineered in the UK from a clean sheet of paper. It is the most technologically advanced battery electric vehicle. It’s a true game-changer. Winning European Car of the Year is an honour and real recognition of what our world-class team has delivered.”

Designed and developed in the UK, the Jaguar I-PACE has had profound sales success globally, with more than 8,000 customer deliveries to date – 75 per cent of them in Europe*.

Rawdon Glover, Managing Director, Jaguar Land Rover UK, said: “It’s fair to say that the Jaguar I-PACE is on a roll; only 10 weeks into the year and Jaguar’s first all-electric model has already received a further 13 major international awards. This latest European Car of the Year title is a real testament to the skills and dedication of the entire Jaguar Land Rover workforce in our home market. It’s not just the experts that love I-PACE, either; UK customers have been rushing to our showrooms to experience the very latest in hi-tech British innovation and engineering.”

Nothing else on the road looks or drives like the I-PACE. It is engineered to take full advantage of its electric powertrain and bespoke aluminium architecture, offering sports car performance and SUV practicality.

Charging is made easy for customers using the Jaguar public charging service, accessed via a dedicated app or using an RFID key. With tailor-made charging packages and tariffs compiled into a simple monthly bill, it gives I-PACE customers access to more than 85,000 charging points throughout Europe.

The I-PACE has received 55 awards worldwide since it was revealed a year ago, including German, Norwegian and UK Car of the Year, BBC TopGear magazine EV of the Year, China Green Car of the Year, and Autobest’s ECOBEST Award.

*Figures correct up to 31 January 2019

 

 

Jaguar Magazine have given over 10 pages to

‘The I-Pace Revolution!’ in their next issue!

 

TO ORDER YOUR COPY, CONTACT:

Letitia@exclusively-jaguar.co.uk

 

An Introduction to the I-Pace

Jaguar I-Pace Chief Engineer, Graham Wilkins, gave an excellent presentation on the I-Pace at the Andrew Whyte Memorial Lecture last November and Jaguar petrolhead, Kev Riches asked Rob Jenner and Letitia Mace if they had driven an I-Pace …. on hearing the answer, he implored us to take one out for a day, assuring us that we would love it!

With such high praise as this, it had to be done!

To qualify Graham’s comments, he did afterwards advise us that it isn’t the car for us because we do such huge mileage, with few stops between destinations – the I-Pace is for the daily short haul commuter and weekly shopper – ideal for someone who does short journeys – it is, in fact, the antithesis of a diesel – thriving on the lifestyle that would kill a diesel engine!

 

 

First Impressions

We borrowed this one, finished in Caesium Blue with Ivory hide trim, from Pentland Jaguar in Edinburgh, on a stunning Spring day in February – the bright sunshine brought the colour out a treat and drew a few complimentary remarks from other visitors to The Kelpies later that day.

 

 

On collecting the I-Pace and starting it up for the first time, there was the oddest sensation, as there is no starter motor bursting into life, just absolute silence with the only clue that it is running being the dashboard instrumentation coming to life.

Inside the car it is almost, but not entirely, silent – having the noise level of a modern luxury petrol driven car, because in the absence of engine noise you begin to home in on other sounds, such as the air conditioning and tyre noise. There is also a distinct whirring from the motors when you put your foot down – a bit like a supercharger whine.

As a pedestrian, it is equally odd listening to it driving away with no engine noise.

 

 

User Friendly

I haven’t looked into I-Pace specifications, but this demonstrator had a full glass roof panel (which didn’t squeak like an X351), driver AND passenger seat memory pack and heated steering wheel. We felt that this had a nicer interior than the F-Pace.

Having just become accustomed to the ‘Jaguar-Drive’ in the X351, I found myself going to twist the big chunky heating controls on the console before remembering to press the buttons below them …

D: drive

N: neutral

R: reverse

That’s it!

The interesting new centre console design boasts a huge seamless display panel which when not in use appears as gloss black panelling, but when activated becomes a touch screen display for all of the cars functions and infotainment facilities.

As in the X351, the instrument panel in the I Pace is a virtual display and with very little instrumentation necessary, the I Pace is really a Godsend for those who don’t do cars – no rev counter, no oil pressure, just a BIG round dial with current speed shown as a number – no excuse for not knowing how fast you are going!

Directly below the speedometer is another number in much smaller graphics, this is the estimated number of miles you have left on this charge. It starts off around 240 at full charge and decreases with use, and just like a petrol driven car, if you put your foot down hard, you can literally watch one number going up as the other goes down!

The ring which surrounds the current speed figure has a needle sitting at the top when the car is at rest. This moves to the right as you accelerate. As the car decelerates, the needle flies back around to the left hand side of the ring, indicating battery regeneration. The lower the charge gets, the further this needle moves into the left hand side of the ring and the more aggressive the braking sensation becomes.

It’s amazing how intuitive this car is to drive. We were told that you rarely need to use the brake pedal – it is almost one foot driving – and I wasn’t convinced until I actually got behind the wheel and found it to be true!

You climb into the car, start up, accelerate to move away and as soon as you move your right foot away from the accelerator pedal the car begins to slow down, so, humans being naturally lazy, the action of moving the foot to the brake pedal is aborted! A few miles down the road and it is all second nature.

Braking is hardly ever needed to reduce speed – I only touched the brake when standing at a roundabout or junction, to avoid rolling backwards on a slope.

 

The I-Pace sits on 20 inch alloy wheels
The model we drove was an EV400 AWD
Door handles are recessed into the body when the car is locked and pop out when the car is unlocked.
The VIN is located under the plastic panelling that lines the under-bonnet area, instead of being in full view at the bottom of the windscreen.

 

Not so User Friendly

When the car is fully charged, deceleration is gentle and the needle doesn’t move far to the left. As the charge is depleted, braking becomes more harsh and the needle plunges downward into the lower left hand quarter.

This begs the question ‘How will it handle in icy conditions?’ So, we had a look around to see what we could find and the handbook and instrumentation both led us to a ‘RAIN, ICE, SNOW’ setting which we then tried out. This setting softened the braking so that the car moved smoothly between acceleration and deceleration. It was tempting to leave it in this mode, but it is at the expense of battery regeneration, so you will reduce the range, which brings me onto my next point – Range Anxiety!

I had never heard of Range Anxiety before, but it is a genuine term, described by Google, thus:

“Worry on the part of a person driving an electric car that the battery will run out of power before the destination or a suitable charging point is reached.”

“range anxiety is often cited as the most important reason why many are reluctant to buy electric cars”

 

The twin cup holder is topped with a small plastic free-standing tray – guaranteed to be the first thing to go missing – in years to come it’ll be the equivalent of finding the targa panel bag still in the boot of an XJ-S Cabriolet …. but not so exciting !!!

 

A gap behind the lower part of the console, presumably for styling purposes only, strikes me as merely a dust trap?

My other gripe is the ridiculously small rear window, as in all modern Jaguars, so you rely on door mirrors for driving and a camera and parking sensors for reversing – lose those and you won’t be going anywhere safely.

 

Usability

We were assured that the I-Pace is blisteringly fast and we can now vouch for that – nought to naughty in the flash of a driving licence!

(What was that mate? That was your driving licence! Do I get another one? Nope!)

Fortunately this example was fitted with speed control to eliminate temptation, should you care to employ it. This, along with the ‘rain, ice, snow’ setting is one of a number of settings available to make the car react in different ways for differing conditions.

The I-Pace is easy to drive in towns, and where there are so many distractions from multiple signs, lanes, junctions, pedestrians, cyclists and other motorists. This can only be for the good of us all, because you are able to fully concentrate on your surroundings.

I could see why this car would appeal to ‘non petrol-heads’ because it is so superbly easy to drive (slowly and imperceptibly we are heading for autonomous motoring), but I couldn’t see why it would appeal to those of us who are petrol-heads until we got it onto country lanes where, if you wish, you can see a different side of its character!

It is extremely tractable and accomplished. With no engine to cause vibration, no conventional gears to hinder progress, and all four wheels being driven, it is creamy smooth, mega fast, and sticks to the road. Its ability to gain and lose speed so rapidly, with minimal effort, makes it absolutely magic to drive in challenging conditions.

Having said that, we found it totally boring on the motorway as no real input is required, and thirsty in static traffic because while you are standing still it is still feeding the infotainment systems, air conditioning, heating, lights and wipers, but with no opportunity to regenerate.

 

It has a huge boot with a hatch back and split fold-down rear seats – this picture doesn’t do justice to the expanse of the boot area.
Under the bonnet in place of an engine, you will find more stowage space ……..
ideal for storing the selection of cables you will need for plugging the I-Pace into electric charging points.
At the moment, driving an electric car gives you the distinct of advantage of easy parking in huge bays! We haven’t yet worked out why the bays need to be so big …. but, what a bonus!

 

Conclusion

I liked it more than Rob did ….. I knew that, when he willingly handed me the key fob, soon after we’d collected the car ….. try getting Maserati keys off of him !!

I would choose an I-Pace in preference to an XF, XE, F-Pace or E-Pace, but only if I didn’t have to drive long distances, however, I’d still choose an XJ40 or X300 over an I-Pace because they are so much more involving to drive.

After listening to accounts from others of their driving experiences I was expecting something quite different, but found that driving the I-Pace was truly intuitive from the very start.

I enjoyed it in principle and when all the potential problems with recharging have settled down I would happily use an I-Pace as my daily Jaguar. As longer journeys become more viable, I would imagine that the smoothness of the ride should allow you to arrive at your destination feeling fresh and unaffected by a long journey.

At the moment the world of electric cars is a bit like the beginnings of video, with several incompatible formats all competing for the same market. So presumably, given time, one format will become dominant over the others, but at the moment we are in that situation again, with several different charging types all vying to win the market, making charging difficult because not all charging points fit all electric cars.

We returned the I-Pace to Pentland Jaguar with an estimated 75 miles to run, because we are not well-versed enough in these cars to be confident in the ‘real’ number of potential miles left in the available charge – Edinburgh traffic could have sapped the remaining charge and left us short of our destination!

 

These are my thoughts only, and whenever I am asked to test drive a Jaguar I make a point of not reading up on the car so that I don’t just repeat what I have seen or heard. What I have said is based on what I learnt on the day from using the car, speaking to the salesman at Pentland Jaguar and discussing the car with Rob. Try one and see ….. you may disagree!

 

The Jaguar I-PACE is available to order now, priced from £60,995 (including government incentives).

Pentland Jaguar