Jaguar I-Pace: The Beast with an Electric Heart
The name Jaguar implies a sense of power, speed, agility and an imposing presence. Although the company started out as a humble manufacturer of motorcycle sidecars in 1922, Jaguar has since lived up to its name and become one of the world’s most esteemed luxury car brands, with a distinctive logo and a range of cars that combine comfort and performance in one beautiful streamlined package. As the world marches steadily toward a bold new era of carmaking, where environmental concerns are at the forefront, Jaguar has continued to make its presence felt with the introduction of the Jaguar I-Pace (Jaguar Electric Car). First unveiled in early 2018, the I-Pace is Europe’s first high-end electric SUV. Could it be the new benchmark for luxury car ownership?
The whole concept of the I-Pace can be summed up in one key word: efficiency. This is evident just from looking at the vehicle, with a tapered design that allows for a smooth and stable ride. The I-Pace sits fairly low to the ground and is widest around the driver’s cabin. The flowing waistline combines well with the cleverly designed front grille and bonnet scoop, which create a flow of air that rushes over the curved roof. Aside from looking very sleek, this also results in an aerodynamic silhouette that lets you glide effortlessly over the road.
Jaguar’s signature ‘J-Blades’ frame the headlights, which have the option of Adaptive Matrix LED lights that automatically adjusts the light angle so you can keep the path ahead of you lit without blinding oncoming drivers. The same technology is used in the rear lights as well.
On the inside, the I-Pace blends its defining element of efficiency with the beauty and elegance that the Jaguar brand has long been renowned for. Hidden behind its compact look is an abundance of storage space that is intelligently integrated into the design of the vehicle. You have 656 litres of storage in the back, and an additional 27 litres under the bonnet. If that isn’t enough, you have more storage options under the rear seats, and a 10.5 litre area under the front armrest. The central console on the I-Pace has a revolutionary cantilevered design that allows it to ‘float’ above the area that a console would generally occupy, which frees up even more space for your phone, keys and other items. Whether you need to pack for a family vacation or a long solo trip, this car has you covered.
The seats are leather, of course, with twin-needle stitching for durability and a more refined look. You can choose from a range of colours and two different types - Sports Seats, designed for comfort with in-built heating and cooling, or Performance Seats, which provide additional support for off-roading and high-speed driving. The aerodynamics of the exterior factor into the interior as well, as the curving design reduces noise from the wind. Acoustic laminated glass helps with noise reduction as well, essentially soundproofing the windows and the windshield. The end result is a quiet, relaxing ride.
The I-Pace is packed with different technological functions to make driving it easier and packs it all in seamlessly, while keeping it user-friendly. Two touchscreen consoles form the command centre of the vehicle, and are collectively known as the Touch Pro Duo. The first console is built into the dashboard and controls the radio, media playback and navigation. It also connects to your phone. The second console is cantilevered and manages the interior ambience of the control with dials for climate control and to manage the comfort level of the seats. An option called Smart Settings recognises drivers by their keys and phone, customising seat and mirror positions accordingly, and even queuing up a favorite playlist.
A 15-speaker surround system from Meridian, Britain’s audio experts, gives you an immersive listening experience while an optional windscreen heads-up display cuts out the clutter to only feed important information about the vehicle, such as its speed and direction.
And one of the most important features for daily use is phone connectivity. Through the Android Auto or Apple CarPlay apps, you can control your phone’s functions via the touchscreen. Conversely, the Jaguar Remote app lets you manage the major functions of the I-Pace using your phone. Tracking technology is also integrated, letting you know of any theft attempts. Further add-ons can help you keep your car even more secure.
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The I-Pace is a good-looking car with plenty of features, but how does it fare on the road? While efficiency is still a major factor, the performance of the I-Pace can be summed up by another word: adaptability. All of the vehicle’s systems and drive features are designed to monitor and mold themselves to different driving conditions, driving speeds and environments. Driving slow because the roads are slippery? A torque control system helps you out upto a speed of 30kph. Cruising on the highway? Active Air Suspension lowers the body of the car by 10mm at speeds higher than 105kph over long stretches. Regenerative braking allows you to maintain a smooth ride when you’re not accelerating and the braking levels can be enhanced when driving in heavy traffic to eliminate jerky, stop-and-go motion.
All of this is powered off a 90kWh battery designed to provide maximum performance over long periods of time and, thanks to its positioning along the wheelbase, it also provides the I-Pace with a lower centre of gravity and greater stability. The I-Pace isn’t at the top of the list for acceleration, going from 0 to 100kph in just under 5 seconds, but it does deliver a solid kick.
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In a short span of time, the Jaguar I-Pace has garnered an impressive reputation. In 2019, it racked up three wins at the World Car Awards, which are organised and voted on by a panel of automotive journalists from around the world. The I-Pace was awarded World Car of the Year, World Car Design of the Year and World Green Car.
The Jaguar I-Pace is a bold step forward for one of Britain’s leading luxury car brands. It is designed to have a minimal carbon footprint with zero emissions and it offers all the space and practicality you would expect of an SUV, but it still maintains the impressive performance and the stunning design you would expect from a Jaguar. This beast is very much the king of the urban jungle.