Previews Jaguar’s first electric vehicle and a competitor for the Tesla Model X

Jaguar entered a new era in 2013, when it launched the F-Type and revived the sporty and innovative spirit it had lost in recent decades. The British company made another step into the future in 2015, when the F-Pace became the first SUV to wear the iconic "Cat" logo. Come 2016 and Jaguar is ready to take a new step into the future, this time with an all-electric vehicle. It’s called the I-Pace, it’s only a concept for now, but will become a production model for the 2018 model year.

Unveiled at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show, the I-Pace is loosely based on the F-Pace styling-wise, but ditches Jaguar’s already familiar four-cylinder, V-6, and V-8 powerplants for a pair of electric motors and a battery pack. The I-Pace will become Jaguar’s first-ever electric vehicle when it hits public roads and will essentially bring to fruition the electrification process that the company began back in 2010 with the C-X75 concept.

The I-Pace was created and developed by Ian Callum, Jaguar’s design director and the man who has previously penned cars such as the Aston Martin DB7 and DB9, Jaguar XK, XF, and XJ, as well as the F-Type sports car. Callum also designed the Ford RS200 and Nissan R390 race cars.

Described as a smart five-seater that’s "a performance car, a family car, and an SUV all in one," the I-Pace grants Jaguar entry to the electric car segment, and if performance figures are any indication, the popular Tesla Model X will finally get a worthy competitor.

Updated 03/15/2017: Jaguar dropped a series of new images showing the I-Pace concept in action on the streets of London. Also the company confirmed that the I-Pace will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 4 seconds and will have a driving range of about 500 kilometers.

Continue reading to learn more about the Jaguar I-Pace Concept.

Exterior

2016 Jaguar I-Pace Concept High Resolution Exterior
- image 695301

As the I-Pace name suggests, the concept car is based on the F-Pace, sporting some of the features we’ve already seen on the production SUV. For instance, it has an identical front grille and a similar front bumper with a trapezoidal center section flanked by large intakes. Although slightly different and defined by two L-shaped LED running lights, the headlamps also look familiar, sharing much of the shape and position of those seen on the F-Pace. The rear end also showcases similar taillights and an aggressively raked tailgate, but the similarities stop here.

2016 Jaguar I-Pace Concept High Resolution Exterior
- image 695288
2016 Jaguar I-Pace Concept High Resolution Exterior
- image 695291
As the I-Pace name suggests, the concept car is based on the F-Pace.

Some of the most important features that set it apart form the F-Pace are the coupe-shaped roofline, the arched front fenders, and the organic beltline that moved upward toward the C-pillar and then descends a little as it progresses into the rear fascia. The crossover also lacks quarter windows, while the retracting door handles are placed lower than usual. The winglets on the side skirts, the fancy wheels, and the bright-blue stripe below the doors round off the concept’s profile.

Up front, the F-Pace-like features are highlighted by blue accents, LED strips below the side vents, and a redesigned engine hood. The latter still carries the F-Pace’s V-shaped design, but it’s significantly shorter and has a huge vent toward the windscreen. Around back, the I-Pace also borrows elements from the F-Type. While the slender taillights are similar to both the F-Pace and F-Type, the short and angular decklid was obviously inspired by the sports car. The same goes for the diffuser, which is pretty aggressive for a crossover, despite missing the large exhaust pipes of the F-Type.

2016 Jaguar I-Pace Concept High Resolution Exterior
- image 695286
Styling aside, Jaguar also put a lot of effort in the vehicle's aerodynamics.

Styling aside, Jaguar also put a lot of effort in the vehicle’s aerodynamics and claims that the concept puts up remarkably little fight against the wind. There’s no specific information about that, but designer Ian Callum explains what makes the I-Pace more aerodynamic than other crossovers.

“Aerodynamics is a huge challenge. You can’t deny physics and it’s always a sign of a good designer to ensure that the aero is as efficient as it can be within all the constraints, remembering, of course, that one of the constraints is the aesthetic," he said. "It helped that the car was a whole new type of vehicle and there are no previous references. The profile helps the aero tremendously. If it was a very square, linear car — with vertical lines — the aero becomes naturally much more difficult. The back of the car relative to the front is very high and that is purely driven by the physics. What air does when it leaves the car is actually the most difficult part to control. The back of the car especially was determined by aero requirements."

2016 Jaguar I-Pace Concept High Resolution Exterior
- image 695551
2017 - 2019 Jaguar F-Pace
- image 695526

Interior

2016 Jaguar I-Pace Concept High Resolution Interior
- image 695318

The interior of the I-Pace concept is inspired by the F-Type, but that’s not as evident in the design as it is in the driving position, which is lower than a traditional SUV, and the sporty seats. As far as the overall layout goes, it has very little in common with current Jaguar products. The dashboard and center console are clean and uncluttered, while the layered materials provide a unique look. For instance, the dash combines gray leather and soft cloth with dark, unvarnished walnut veneers, and polished metal inserts. The seats, center console, and door panels also feature a big amount of leather, as well a white stitching, and high-sheen metal elements.

2016 Jaguar I-Pace Concept High Resolution Interior
- image 695557
2016 Jaguar I-Pace Concept High Resolution Interior
- image 695556
The dashboard and center console are clean and uncluttered, while the layered materials provide a unique look.

All told, it only takes a glance to notice that the I-Pace is equipped with premium materials and that it benefits from the best British craftsmanship.

Moving over to technology, the I-Pace introduces a new cockpit approach dubbed "flightdeck." Featuring three screens — two in the center console and one for the instrument cluster — the "flightdeck" gives the cabin an all-digital and modern feel similar to that of a jet fighter. The big displays are complemented by gearshift buttons integrated into floating metal legs and an easy to use steering wheel with fewer buttons that usual. There’s no word as to what infotainment system will lurk behind the screens, but it’s safe to assume that Jaguar is working on a revised version of its latest interface. Also, the production I-Pace will probably get a unique version specifically developed for electric vehicles.

Much like any premium vehicle, the I-Pace comes with a large panoramic glass roof, which floods the interior with natural light. The glass roof is actually a full-length unit that extends from above the dashboard to the rear headrests, giving all five passengers the comfort of a luminous cabin.

Drivetrain

2016 Jaguar I-Pace Concept High Resolution Drivetrain
- image 695339

This is where the I-Pace is a completely different animal compared to other Jaguars, as the concept gets its juice from an all-electric drivetrain. Designed and engineered in-house, the two electric motors are integrated into the front and rear axles and deliver 394 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of instant torque. That’s more horsepower than the F-Type V6 S and as much torque as the bonkers F-Type SVR. The British firm claims that the concept needs only four seconds to sprint from 0 to 60 mph, while delivering "exceptional ride quality and authentic handling."

2016 Jaguar I-Pace Concept High Resolution Drivetrain
- image 695283
The two electric motors are integrated into the front and rear axles and deliver 394 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of instant torque.

More importantly, range is estimated at over 500 km range on the NEDC cycle. EPA figures aren’t yet available, but the I-Pace should be good for at least 300 miles. The numbers above turn the I-Pace into a solid competitor for the Tesla Model X, which runs for up to 289 miles on a single charge. Granted, the Jaguar isn’t as quick as the range-topping P100D, which hits 60 mph in 2.9 seconds, but the Tesla’s 155-mph top speed is within reach.

Charging the battery is also easy and quick, with an 80-percent charge achieved in 90 minutes and 100 percent in just over two hours using 50kW DC charging.

Most chassis details are scant, but Jag did say the crossover uses the double wishbone and Integral Link suspension proven in the XE, XF, and F-Pace models, as well as an electric brake booster instead of the normal vacuum servo for "maximum flexibility in the brake system control and excellent pedal feel."

Conclusion

2016 Jaguar I-Pace Concept High Resolution Exterior
- image 695376

Much like the F-Pace concept, the I-Pace concept is essentially ready to go into production, and based on the specs, that’s a good thing. Not only does it look sporty and modern inside and out, two feats that hopefully won’t change on the production version, but the drivetrain, together with its performance specs and range, are suited to give the Tesla Model X a run for its money. While the Model S is beginning to get some competition from other automakers, the Model X is still untouchable as of 2016 and the I-Pace promises to be its first serious competitor. The fact that the production model will hit dealerships as early as 2018 makes it that much better. This concept car marks the beginning of a new era for Jaguar, and that alone is enough to get me really excited about the future.

  • Leave it
    • Loads of details still under wraps
    • Some fancy features might be dropped before production begins

Updated History

Updated 11/21/2016: We created a very cool video presenting all the details on the new I-Pace. Hit "play" to watch it.

Updated 11/18/2016: We added a series of new images taken during the concept’s official debut at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show.