The Jaguar I-Pace, Europe’s first large, all-purpose, premium electric car, is a dream to drive. Chris Carter reports.
It’s been ten years since a Tesla first went on sale, says Andrew Frankel in Autocar – a decade in which Jaguar has had time to sit back and learn from its American rival’s mistakes. Now Jaguar has unveiled the I-Pace – “not just Jaguar’s, nor even merely Britain’s, but Europe’s first large, all-purpose, premium electric family car”. At £63,495 for the basic S model, it’s priced to compete with the new Tesla Model S 75D. But while the Tesla is “not even close” to being fun to drive, “the I-Pace is a proper driver’s car”.
It is almost too easy to drive, says Top Gear’s Jack Rix, reviewing the HSE model. “If you thought modern performance cars with their sticky tyres and smooth gearboxes flattered the inept, you haven’t seen anything yet – this is the age of plug and play.” As for looks, “it’s the proportions that steal the show: the snub nose that brings the front wheels forward with it and the high, squared-off rear end set the template, while the rear spoiler, vented bonnet and flush handles provide the detail. Its beauty doesn’t slap you like a botoxed Alfa, but eventually its bravery hooks you in.”
Jaguar is set to launch the I-Pace eTrophy racing series later this year. This will feature teams competing in souped-up versions of the I-Pace, making it the world’s first single-make championship for electric road cars, according to James Mills in The Sunday Times. But entering won’t come cheap – the souped-up version of the car costs £200,000 and Jaguar charges drivers a further £450,000 to run it in the championship, as part of what’s known as an “arrive and drive” package. While that may be hard on the wallet, at least the race will be unusually easy on the ears.
Price: £63,495 for I-Pace S. 0-60mph: 4.5 seconds. Range: 292 miles*
*According to the new worldwide harmonised light-vehicle test procedure.