2019 Jaguar I-Pace

By October 8, 2019

The 2019 Jaguar I-Pace is the British automaker’s first battery-electric vehicle. It’s a revolution inside and out.

Four trim levels are offered: base S, SE, HSE, and First Edition. Beneath the hood, a 90-kwh lithium-ion battery pack supplies current to twin electric motors. Working together, they generate 394 horsepower (294 kilowatts) and 512 pound-feet of torque, splitting power among the front and rear wheels. As sensors detect wheelspin changes, they adjust the power delivery accordingly.

Estimated by the EPA, the I-Pace’s potential range is 234 miles. With a 100-kw quick-charge unit, an I-Pace can take 40 minutes for 80-percent recharging of its battery pack. Full charge takes about 12.6 hours when plugged into a Level 2 outlet.

Jaguar has estimated 0-60 mph acceleration time at a brisk 4.5 seconds, with a top speed of 124 mph. Not many vehicles of any type can boast of acceleration even close to that level.

Standard all-wheel drive, coupled with a torque-vectoring system, produces a confident sense of handling stability.

The I-Pace crossover has not been crash-tested by either the NHTSA or the IIHS. Then again, neither has any other recent Jaguar model.

Despite an aluminum body skin, the I-Pace is no lightweight. The battery pack alone weighs 1,329 pounds.

Standard safety features include a rearview camera and parking sensors. All I-Pace models also offer low-speed automatic emergency braking and LED headlights, as well as active lane control. Step-up models may add such safety technology as high-speed automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitors, and a head-up display. Jaguar’s extensive warranty covers the battery pack for 8 years or 100,000 miles.

Model Lineup

Prices do not include $995 destination charge.

I-Pace S ($69,500), the base model, has standard all-wheel drive. Standard equipment includes 18-inch wheels, synthetic leather upholstery, an air suspension, and a 380-watt sound system. Also included are 8-way power front seats, LED headlights, keyless start, and a huge panoramic glass sunroof.

SE ($75,850) adds leather upholstery, 20-inch wheels, a power tailgate, adaptive cruise control, and blind-spot monitors.

HSE ($80,500) provides a richer grade of leather, 18-way cooled front seats, heated rear seats, a gesture-controlled power tailgate, 825-watt audio, and a surround-view camera system. Adaptive cruise control incorporates steering assist.

Exterior

Unconventional in shape, yet rakish in presence and profile, the classy I-Pace wears a compact yet elongated wagon body. Tall wheel wells and oversize body details help conceal vehicle height.

Flowing, organic body lines might suggest other Jaguar models, and the front face may look familiar, but the I-Pace emits a more futuristic aura. Wave-shaped bodysides appear to rise and fall, reaching toward the somewhat truncated hatchback. Dramatic curves highlight the grille and front haunches.

Interior

The I-Pace has a tall, wide passenger compartment, free of gimmicks in its warmly technical atmosphere.

On the dashboard, a conventional gauge display is joined by a 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen. A lower touchscreen displays climate settings and vehicle functions. Instead of Jaguar’s familiar rotary drive selector, the I-Pace driver faces three silver buttons: Reverse, Neutral, and Drive, plus a black button for Park mode.

Passenger space is remarkable. Promising comfortable seating, the sumptuous cabin feels nearly as large as that of a full-size XJ sedan. Front occupants enjoy wide space and 39.9-inch headroom. Standard seats provide good bolstering along with power adjustment and plenty of foot space. Snugger performance seats come in a costly option group, but deliver superior upper back and shoulder support. 

A horizontal seatback slot serves as a grab handle for passengers entering the rear. Wide door openings help make that an easy task. Back-seat riders get 38.1-inch head clearance and 35 inches of legroom, though heads of six-foot passengers might graze the panoramic glass above.

Synthetic leather upholsters base-model seats, but upper trim levels switch to the genuine article. Stitched leather covers dashboards, offset by small wood trim panels. Range-based navigation provides charging and destination data, and includes a 4G LTE wi-fi hotspot.

Cargo space totals 25.3 cubic feet behind the rear seats, expanding to 51 cubic feet if those seatbacks are folded down. Small-item storage abounds, but the front console’s bin sits under some driving controls.

Driving Impressions

I-Pace performance shoots right to the top of the scale. As soon as the accelerator pedal hits the floor, Jaguar’s electric crossover leaps to attention, emitting only a slight – yet visceral – electronic sound as it conquers uphill grades and surges through winding mountain passes.

Air springs soak up some road impacts, even when 22-inch tires are mounted. Only rarely is the I-Pace likely to thud through harsh pavement, like most gas-engine SUVs would. Otherwise, the I-Pace doesn’t feel much different from a conventional SUV.

Handling also is admirable, helped by near-ideal weight distribution. Low battery-pack positioning improves roll stability, though an I-Pace does lean into corners. Like all utility vehicles, mass and weight affect potential agility, but the I-Pace behaves with remarkable versatility, yielding luxury-level swagger, despite its 4,784-pound curb weight.

Torque-vectoring all-wheel drive apportions power precisely to each wheel. In addition to fording 19.7 inches of water, an I-Pace can readily scamper up gravel roads and dusty inclines, though ability to overcome obstacles is limited.

Range is estimated at up to 234 miles, but heavier usage and adverse weather can lower that expectation. A charging cable links its onboard charger to a 110- or 230-volt outlet. With high-speed charging on a 50-kw setup, 80-percent recharging takes less than 90 minutes. The navigation system can plot efficient routes and predict battery-charge states along the way.

Final Word

The 2019 Jaguar I-Pace serves as a direct challenge to Tesla. Performance and comfort rank high, as do premium amenities and Jaguar’s impressive warranty. Like other electric vehicles, the I-Pace may be eligible for federal and/or state tax incentives.

 

Driving impressions by The Car Connection. James M. Flammang contributed to this report.