All Jag, lit­tle drag, no lag

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Sport - John Carey

FLOOR­ING the ac­cel­er­a­tor of the I-pace is a star­shipen­gag­ing, warp-drive kind of ex­pe­ri­ence.

The elec­tric Jaguar leaps for­ward in­stantly as the pedal is pressed.

Be­cause the car has only one gear, there’s no pause in propul­sion, all the way to the elec­tron­i­cally lim­ited 200km/h top speed.

Jaguar even in­stalls scifi sound in the I-pace, for the full Spock-car ef­fect.

Bur­row into the menus on the cen­tral touch­screen to find the one de­liv­er­ing Calm, Dy­namic or in-be­tween sound­scapes. Tap Dy­namic and the I-pace’s au­dio plays a de­signed-byJaguar elec­tric ve­hi­cle noise in­side the car.

Any­one who’s never been in a Tesla, which is al­most ev­ery­one, will be amazed by the Jaguar’s stel­lar per­for­mance and amused by its fi­nal-fron­tier sound­track. But the IPace is su­pe­rior to any­thing Tesla has so far pro­duced.

Pret­tier out­side, more prac­ti­cal in­side, the

Jaguar also looks bet­ter built.

It has Tesla-equalling driv­ing range be­tween recharges.

Prices are sharp com­pared to its most ob­vi­ous com­peti­tor, Tesla’s Model X SUV.

Fi­nally, the I-pace is re­ally fun to drive.

It took Jaguar only four years to go from blank sheet of pa­per to first IPace de­liv­er­ies in Europe.

In that time the com­pany de­signed, engi­neered and tested some­thing com­pletely dif­fer­ent from any­thing else to ever wear the leap­ing-cat badge.

The I-pace is a fiveseater with a nearly al­la­lu­minium body that’s been styled to slip through the air, the rear seats are roomy and comfy, and the cargo ca­pac­ity is 656L.

It has a big lithium-ion bat­tery pack be­neath its floor sup­ply­ing juice to two pow­er­ful elec­tric mo­tors, one turn­ing the rear wheels, the other the fronts, so it’s all-wheel drive.

The I-pace is good of­froad and even bet­ter on track. The Jaguar eas­ily went up and down slip­pery gravel slopes and forded a small stream.

The I-pace’s classy chas­sis, de­signed along the same lines as sports car sta­ble­mates, meant it cor­nered fast and smooth on the race­track.

The I-pace also shines in more mun­dane driv­ing.

It has the power and trac­tion to win any traf­fic light Grand Prix but is sooth­ingly quiet and rides com­fort­ably, at least on the adap­tive air sus­pen­sion that will be stan­dard or op­tional on all three model grades in Aus­tralia.

The car’s elec­tric­i­ty­gen­er­at­ing brak­ing eas­ily brings it to a com­plete stand­still and you only need to use the brake pedal for sharp stops.

The I-pace will be sold in S, SE and HSE grades, from $119,000 to $140,800, when Aus­tralian de­liv­er­ies be­gin­ning in Oc­to­ber.

A lav­ishly equipped $159,700 First Edi­tion will be avail­able for the first 12 months of pro­duc­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to the new global en­ergy ef­fi­ciency test known as WLTP, the IPace can cover 480km on a full charge.

Driven hard and fast this will drop but, as ex­pe­ri­ence at the over­seas launch in­di­cates, even when pushed it will still do 300km on a charge.

Jaguar has engi­neered the EV for 100kw DC fast charg­ing, which can give the I-pace’s bat­tery an 80 per cent fill in just 40 min­utes.

The Jaguar I-pace is good off-road and even bet­ter on the track.

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