Meet The Jaguar I-Pace Concept: A 400-HP Tesla-Fighting Electric SUV

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Jaguar's stunning I-Pace will arrive next year. You might want to hold off on that Model X purchase.

Announced today at the LA Auto Show, the I-Pace Concept previews Jaguar’s first-ever EV that will be revealed next year before hitting the road in 2018. Jaguar describes the I-Pace as having supercar looks, sports car performance and SUV interior space. Ian Callum, Jaguar’s Director of Design, said the five-seater “opens a new chapter in the history of our legendary brand. It represents the next generation of battery electric vehicle design." Tesla, you have been warned.

It’s a dramatic, future-facing design – the product of authentic Jaguar DNA matched with beautiful, premium details and British craftsmanship” The cab-forward design was inspired by the C-X75 supercar, and with the freedom that electrification affords designers, an entirely new architecture, fondly referred to as an 'electric skateboard' was created to “to optimize electric vehicle performance, aerodynamics and interior space.” The coupe-like silhouette and roofline, with shortened overhangs and 2,900-mm wheelbase, makes for a visually dynamic car yet one that has ample space for five. While having a footprint of a mid-size SUV, rear passengers will enjoy more than 70-mm of knee room, usually only found in full-size SUVs.

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Muscular wheel arches house monster 23-inch Nighthawk alloys in Techincal Grey and Gloss Black, while aerodynamically-optimized side skirts, a C-X75-derived hood scoop, and flush door handles ensure a low drag coefficient of 0.29 Cd. Jaguar’s DNA can be seen in the hexagonal grid front grille, and signature Double-J DLRs. But the rear is a totally new animal, with rear vents replacing tailpipes and a rear diffuser aiding the I-Pace’s aeros and low-slung stance. Driver-focused performance is another Jaguar hallmark, and with synchronous, permanent magnet electric motors built in-house at the front and rear axles, 395 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque will be sent to all four wheels offering immediate response.

It also offers the traction benefits of all-wheel drive and the ability to hit 60 mph in four seconds. A double-wishbone front suspension, Integral Link multilink rear suspension, and low center of gravity thanks to the placement of the battery below the floor will provide the ride, handling and refinement you’d expect of a proper driver’s car, as from the outset Jaguar wanted the I-Pace to be “the first electric vehicle developed for enthusiasts who love driving." A liquid-cooled 90kWh lithium-ion battery pack provides more than 220 miles of range, taking just two hours to fully charge using a 50kW DC charging unit. Jaguar predicts most consumers will need to charge the car just once a week.

Inside the I-Pace, driver and passengers sit lower than your average SUV in slimline seats.The sports-car seating position is married to an expansive view of the road thanks to the EV’s short overhangs and low hood, and front wings frame the road akin to the E-Type. A floating center console, and simple instrument panel with 12-inch TFT touchscreen and minimalist switchgear enhance the sense of space. Two metal struts with integrated buttons replacing the traditional gear shifter frame a stowage area under the control panel, and Jaguar says this will be a design feature that will recur in future models.

A separate 5.5-inch touchscreen can be used for infotainment and climate control, and the new three-spoke steering wheel boasts switches that remain invisible until illuminated. High quality, natural materials feature throughout the luxury cabin, including laser-cut, twin-needle stitched Windsor leather seats, trimmed with colored carbon and Alcantara, and the doors are layered with walnut, aluminum and Alcantara. A full-length panoramic roof provides plenty of natural light, while LEDs embedded in the roof create a unique visual effect at night. Jaguar hints the production model will closely follow the concept, live pictures of which we will share with you once the car is unveiled at the show this week.

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