66 Magazine Issue 3 Spring 2018 - Page 81

Left For the driver, the view forward is more conventional. Bottom left Sporty seats hug the driver and hint at the idea of this car being more than just an electric appliance. Lower left The I-Pace adopts the Duo Pro touchscreen system which debuted recently in the Range Rover Velar. Right Legroom in the rear is helped by the lack of transmission tunnel. Below right 90kW Lithium-ion batteries can be topped up to 80% charge in 40 minutes using DC fast-charging. Speaking of power, with two axle-mounted electric motors delivering the equivalent of 292kW and a not-insignificant 696Nm of torque, the I-Pace, essentially boasts the same power as a twin-turbo V8. If your perception of electric vehicles is small appliances on wheels bubbling along a traffic speed but without the ability to turn things on, you’re in for a surprise here. Yes, the I-Pace is essentially an SUV. But because it has been designed to punch through the air as efficiently as possible so as to conserve available energy, it is slippery and aerodynamic and brisk when you want it to be; zero to 100km/h in just 4.8 seconds – assisted by the instant torque available from those electric motors – means it feels sporty right off the line. Unlike its chief rival though, it’ll let you keep up the hijinks along a decent backroad. The I-Pace features a short, low bonnet, aero-enhanced roof leading to a curved rear screen and squared-off rear haunches; all designed to reduce its co-efficient of drag to just 0.29Cd. To optimise the balance between cooling and aerodynamics, Active Vanes in the grille open when cooling is required, but close when not needed to redirect air through a clever bonnet scoop, smoothing airflow. Inside, the I-Pace brings over Jaguar Land Rover’s premium Touch Pro Duo infotainment system, which uses a combination of tactile physical controls, haptic-response buttons and touchscreens to cycle through all the controls you’d expect of a modern family vehicle. The boot offers up 656-litres of space with the rear bench in place, or a practical 1,453-litres with the back seats folded. There’s no engine up front, so there’s an extra storage cavity there too. And the lack of transmission tunnel means more storage between the front seats is augmented by excellent legroom in the rear. The I-Pace presents convention for the digital age. If the rebirth of the electric vehicle – more than a century after its initial interpretation fell out of favour – is the most paradigm-shifting advent in the history of the mass-produced passenger car then, with mass-production in mind, the Jaguar I-Pace should be the most carefully-watched new model in recent history. 66 MagAzine SPRING 2018 79