By: Al Stockard
My wife and I went to the new Germain Jaguar dealership at Easton to test drive the new I-Pace. It had only been 2 weeks since they started receiving them so the sales team didn’t know a lot more about them than I did. The General Manager rode with us during the test drive, who is admittedly starting to become an EV fan after getting them.
The I-Pace is categorized as a Crossover Utility Vehicle (CUV). In comparison to the only other all-electric luxury CUV out, the Tesla Model X, it is quite a bit smaller. It sits in between the Tesla Model X and the Tesla Model S in most specs. The interior appointments are what you’d expect from Jaguar. The surfaces felt more premium than a Tesla. Like many EVs, the interior also felt bigger than what you’d expect from its outside appearance. It has 2 center touchscreen consoles. One for the NAV and Infotainment that is 10”, and the second one controls the HVAC. The HVAC screen felt misplaced as it’s low, and mostly horizontal with a slight tilt upward toward the driver. During the test drive it felt unsafe having to look almost straight down to change the temp.
When it comes to EV specs it gets 234 miles of range from a 90kwh battery. That isn’t very efficient compared to the Model X 90D it competes against which gets 257 miles of range and is significantly bigger and weighs more. The Jag has a maximum DC charging rate of 100kW which is on par with Tesla’s charging rate. Jag says the I-Pace can achieve a 0-80% charge in 45 minutes.
Comparing 0-60 times the apples to apples is a little hard since the I-Pace has only one battery pack option, 90 kW across all trims. So the best comparison would be to compare to a discontinued Model S 90D or X 90D. But then, do you factor in the Ludicrous option or not? Since the I-Pace has the same performance across the board it’s probably fair to compare to the non-Ludicrous Teslas. They are around the same price as well. The I-Pace comes in at 4.5s, while the Model S is 4.2s and the Model X 4.8s. Looks like Jaguar has made an EV that’s in the hunt when it comes to the luxury EV leader.
The way the Jaguar EV accelerates compared to my Tesla Model S is the exact opposite. All EVs have almost no hesitation due to EVs having instant torque and Tesla’s hesitation is even less than other EVs. You’re instantly pinned to your seat from 0-40 or so then it feels like the aggressiveness flattens out for the rest of the 0-60 run. Launching the I-Pace you do feel a slight hesitation off the line then it ramps up in speed. The back half of the 0-60 run is where you start to feel it accelerate much more aggressively. Needless to say both cars are really quick.
The last thing we compared was the front trunk or "frunk". Some EV makers take the space where an engine would be in a traditional car and turn it into an additional trunk space. The I-Pace does have a frunk but it isn’t very big. It’s more like a giant glove box under the hood. Even the new compact Tesla Model 3 has a bigger frunk.
All in all the I-Pace is a well rounded luxury EV. It doesn’t do anything in terms of EVs better than Tesla but balances it out with more luxury options and off-road ability.
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