|✓ Fast||☓ Can get expensive quickly|
|✓ Suave exterior design||☓ Iffy infotainment software|
|✓ Decent space for passengers/cargo||☓ Less range than a Tesla Model Y|
In the fast-evolving world of electric vehicles, is the Jaguar I-Pace still relevant?
Since its debut in 2018, the Jaguar I-Pace has been the talk of the town, and in its short history, collected over 60 world-class awards. Notably, it was bestowed Design Car of the Year, Green Car of the Year, and was the first EV recognized as the World Car of the Year.
However, technology moves faster than a Porsche Taycan, and competition from the German rivals is heating up. With each new EV model release, there are battery improvements and efficiency gains in the supporting systems. Correspondingly, range anxiety becomes less of a boundary when looking at battery electric vehicles. Touting a range of 234 miles, is the I-PACE still relevant among its premium EV peers heading into 2021?
2020 Jaguar I-Pace: By the numbers
The Jaguar I-Pace uses two concentric electric motors, one on each axle, for permanent all-wheel drive. 394 horsepower and 513 pound-feet of torque are directed through a single-speed transmission. Zero to sixty miles per hour ticks by in 4.5 seconds.
The thermally controlled 90 kWh lithium-ion battery can carry the EV crossover an EPA-estimated 234 miles. An available software update announced last December squeezes an additional eight percent dependent on usage, which amounts to an unofficial extra 12 miles of range.
This software update isn’t limited to 2020 and newer models. Existing customers can visit their Jaguar dealer to receive the complimentary Software-Over-The-Air (SOTA) update. No hardware changes are necessary to achieve the gains from the new algorithm.
Dressing to impress
In this author’s opinion, the I-Pace looks modern and classy, fresh and unconventional—without being flashy. Commensurate with its British roots, the beauty of Jaguar’s crossover isn’t bodacious or as sassy as the Lamborghini Urus. Nevertheless, the I-Pace has a prominent, square-jawed grille reminiscent of the XJ.
Stand back a few feet and notice that the overall proportions are pleasing to the eye. The curtailed nose brings the front wheels forward with it, and the arcing beltline raises the visual drama. Follow the curvature of the hood line, and the wheel arches flow effortlessly into cowled headlamps. The 20-inch wheels boost its swagger and stature, while design details, such as the vented hood and flush door handles, raise its design quotient.
A thrill to drive
It’s hard to describe how you feel in the presence of this car. Only when you get behind the wheel and truly experience the road beneath you, do you comprehend the thrill that comes with piloting one of the best performance EV crossovers available today.
Lean into the go pedal, and the linear power delivery tickles the central nervous system; you’re never caught in the wrong gear, never waiting for peak power to arrive, and always ready to answer the call for more, whether waiting at the lights or cruising at 70.
Acceleration is deliberate, not in a wild frenzy of gratuitous wheelspin, but in a measured, insistent manner that comes from having genuinely awesome torque on-tap at modest throttle openings.
In many ways, it feels too easy piloting a two-ton, all-electric crossover.
Once on a familiar stretch of tarmac, it soon becomes clear that the steering has surprisingly manageable weight and an encouraging feeling of connection. The chassis dynamics continually send feedback, at the same time, delighting the senses.
A rewarding option
The I-Pace isn’t for everyone—as its premium price point reminds us. At the same time, it’s truly an established and exceptional all-electric crossover you’ll honestly want to own. Notwithstanding, it has exuberant power, ample space for passengers and cargo, an elegant luxury feel, and a comfortable range that delivers oodles of driving enjoyment throughout the year.
2020 Jaguar I-Pace Specs:
|2020 Jaguar I-PACE EV400 HSE|
|Price as tested||$84,276|
|Battery||90 kWh li-ion|
|Energy efficiency EPA-estimated||76 MPGe|
|Torque (front+rear electric motors)||512 lb-ft|
|0 – 60 mph||4.5 sec|
|Top speed||124 mph|
|Onboard charger||7.2 kW|
|Drivetrain layout||all-wheel drive|
|Transmission||Automatic / single-speed|
|Drive modes||Eco, Normal, Sport|
|Front suspension||Double wishbone|
|Rear suspension||Integral link|
|Wheels||20-inch aluminum alloy|
|Seating capacity||5 passengers|
|Length x width x height||184.3 x 79.2 x 61.3 in.|
|Ground clearance||7.5 – 11.0 in.|
|Passenger volume||0.0 ft3|
|Front legroom||40.9 in.|
|Rear legroom||35.0 in.|
|Frunk volume||0.95 ft3|
|Cargo volume behind 2nd row seats||25.3 ft3|
|Maximum cargo volume||51.0 ft3|
|AC charge time||10.1 hr > 80% @ 230V/32A (7kW)|
|DC charging time||85 min. > 80% @ 50 kW|