Every new car is lauded by its maker as being a breakthrough, the next best thing since the last one was the next best thing. But the new Jaguar I-Pace, just unveiled, is one of those once-in-a-generation cars, maybe even a once-in-a-lifetime car.
It’s the first all-electric SUV from a major European brand, and its breadth of capabilities throws off many of the known Electric Vehicle (EV) shortcomings of old. It will travel almost 300 miles on a single charge, comparable to the range of a conventional car on a single tank of fuel.
Charging, on a public 50kw charger, to 80% of its capacity will take just an hour and 25 minutes, but by the time first deliveries take place in July upgraded 100kw chargers will be in place, reducing that time to just 45 minutes. It’s the car as a phone.
It has an electric motor on each axle, which means four-wheel-drive, for optimum traction, acceleration and performance. And since we’ve mentioned performance, consider this – the I-Pace will hit 60mph from standstill in just 4.5 seconds, which is Ferrari fast.
The interior (a light, airy and rather lovely place to be), since a lot of conventional car hardware is no longer needed (no engine, no gearbox, no transmission tunnel), offers more space than a Porsche Cayenne, a hefty, regular old-school 4x4. Five can go anywhere in comfort. The exterior, meanwhile, is one sharp suit of clothes – identifiably a Jaguar, but cut for the 21st Century.
It’s not cheap, prices start at £63,495 before a Government contribution of £4,500 drops that to £58,995. But it’s cheaper than an equivalent Tesla by a very healthy margin, backed by a major car brand and there’ll be no more trips to the fuel pumps and the Wild Bean Café, no more road tax, no congestion charges and service intervals are two years apart. The battery technology has an eight-year warranty.
We may just have seen an infinitely greener future, and it works.
More details at jaguar.co.uk.