2019 Jaguar I-PACE Review | Asian Car Guide
April 4, 2020

2019 Jaguar I-PACE Review

2019 Jaguar I-Pace

The history of Jaguar is quite interesting. What started as a company building motorcycle sidecars became Jaguar Cars Limited, makers of high-end sports and saloon cars, blending luxury and performance that nothing else in the period could match, with powerful engines, high-quality engineering and typically lavish British wood-and-leather interiors, epitomised following World War2  by the 1961 E-Type and 1968 XJ6.

Now the emergence of the peculiar SUV genre has created a new family of Jaguars founder Sir William Lyons would never have imagined.

The F and E-Pace, both typically SUV in styling and driving character, are neither particularly unique nor special among the growing sea of SUVs from almost every manufacturer out there.

Latest to join the Pace family is the I-Pace, which, apart from the F-Type’s front suspension and F-Pace’s rear suspension, shares little else with any Jaguar model.

Certainly not the engine – It has two electric motors compactly mounted transversely along front and rear axle lines. Low, between the axles, is the 432 lithium-ion celled, 90kWh battery pack, ideally balanced in 50:50 weight distribution.

There is a short sloping front and greatly reduced rear overhang. The shape is a refreshing departure from bulky-station-wagon style traditional SUV’s, redefining passenger vehicle proportions. You will notice the gracious sleek contours of the body, which can be seen from all angles of the car.

Short front, steeply raked windscreen, sloping roofline, sharply abrupt tail-end and dramatically minimal overhangs are the stuff of styling sketches, but the I-Pace is real, present in the metal.

A truly neat touch is the front fender profile , curving over the wheel-arch down to meet the waistline just after the A-pillar, setting the Jaguar I-Pace apart from any typical five-door SUV.

The familiar Jaguar grille dominates the front, but is largely blanked off, with no radiator behind. The upper fifth of the grille insert curves inwards to create a gap, serving as a duct inlet  channelling air through the middle of the bonnet and over the windscreen, effectively reducing frontal area, helping achieve 0.29 drag coefficient, reducing energy consumption.

To compensate for 450 kg battery weight, 94% of the body is aluminium alloy, for a five-occupant vehicle weight of 2,133 kg.

Figures which will remain in any driver’s mind are 294kW of power and 696Nm of torque, delivering zero-to-100km/h acceleration in just 4.8 seconds.

Electric performance feels like a seamless thrust from any speed, because torque is always maximum, whenever you demand it.

What Jaguar has achieved with the I-Pace is more than that. Sophisticated control of its twin drive units delivers impeccable traction and unflappable stability in a wide variety of situations.

Driving quickly on twisty Dandenong roads in Victoria revealed impressive dynamic traits. Despite big wheels and relatively high ground clearance, the I-Pace rolled very little, even on fast and tight curves.

Very low centre-of-gravity plays a huge role, combined with 50:50 weight distribution and electronically controlled four-wheel-drive traction.

Jaguar’s engineers have made it all work brilliantly. Grip is prodigious even on wet roads, and there is barely any under or over steer at the extremes, while the suspension coped admirably with the often rutted surfaces driven on.

The cabin is exquisitely finished and the long wheelbase gives plenty of space for both front and rear occupants.

Jaguar I-Pace features Touch Pro Duo infotainment, an app and supplementary technology to remember the driver’s digital drive style, including numerous useful features for specific driving routines, including journey tracking, battery regeneration and driving modes.

Touchscreens and digital graphic displays abound, also several real rotary knobs, such as air-conditioning and volume control – more practical than tapping, swiping or waving your palm in front of the screen.

The cabin is spacious for passengers + belongings + luggage, comprehensively equipped, ready for everybody’s gadgets, and with barely any motor noise, very quiet.

A new smartphone app enables status monitoring, such as battery charge levels, interior temperature and immobiliser/security, and distant Remote Locking.

The 7kW home charger takes 10 hours to recharge batteries 0% to 80%, and Jag claims 100% charge range of 480 kilometres. Over-indulging the intoxicatingly addictive performance naturally diminishes this range.

One test starting with 90% juice had charge down to just 7% after 180 kilometres. It’s a vehicle that encourages this sort of driving.

Driven normally, using the most efficient combination of settings in a mix of city traffic and expressway trips, expect 350 to 400 kilometres.

This “cat” is a huge leap for a company bypassing petrol-electric hybridisation straight to building a fully electric vehicle.

Its styling is ground-breaking, its twin-transverse-motor setup providing a neat and clever solution to SUV packaging, while it’s dynamic brilliance and electrifying pace put it comfortably in the category of performance cars.

With eight-year/160,000km warranty for the battery, the I-Pace’s standard warranty is five years/200,000km compared with three years/100,000km for every other Jag’. Five years of servicing and roadside assistance are thrown in.

Jaguar I-Pace EV400 Pricing and Specifications

  • Price: $119,000 plus on-road costs
  • Engine: Two synchronous electric motors
  • Power: 294kW
  • Torque: 696Nm
  • Transmission: Single-speed epicyclic, AWD
  • Range: 480km