Jaguar’s sharp-look­ing elec­tric SUV is rad­i­cally dif­fer­ent from the rest of the com­pany’s “cats”.

Torque (Singapore) - - DRIVE -

WWHAT started off as a com­pany build­ing side­cars for mo­tor­cy­cles ul­ti­mately be­came Jaguar Cars Lim­ited, mak­ers of high-end sports and saloon cars with a blend of lux­ury and per­for­mance that noth­ing else in the pe­riod could match. Jaguars be­came well-known for their pow­er­ful en­gines, high-qual­ity en­gi­neer­ing and typ­i­cally lav­ish Bri­tish woodand-leather in­te­ri­ors.

In the decades fol­low­ing World War II, Jaguars were highly de­sired mo­tor­cars, epit­o­mised most of all by the E-Type (1961) and the XJ6 (1968). The world has moved on since, and while the spirit of both the E-Type and XJ6 con­tinue with the F-Type and XJ (with 8-, 6- and 4-cylin­der en­gines) re­spec­tively, the emer­gence of a pe­cu­liar genre of ve­hi­cles called SUVs has cre­ated a new fam­ily of Jaguars that founder Sir Wil­liam Lyons would never have imag­ined.

Jaguar’s Pace range is cur­rently made up of the F-Pace and E-Pace, both typ­i­cally sports-util­ity in terms of their styling and driv­ing char­ac­ter. Nei­ther is par­tic­u­larly unique or spe­cial among the sea of a grow­ing num­ber of SUVs from al­most every mo­tor­car man­u­fac­turer in ex­is­tence to­day

The lat­est to join the Jaguar Pace fam­ily is the I-Pace. Now, the pre­fix does not ac­tu­ally stand for any­thing (nei­ther does “E” or “F”, for that mat­ter), al­though by the time you fin­ish read­ing about this lat­est model in this story, you might sug­gest “im­pres­sive”, “in­cred­i­ble”, “in­ge­nious” or per­haps even “in­tox­i­cat­ing”.

Apart from the F-Type’s front sus­pen­sion and F-Pace’s rear sus­pen­sion, the I-Pace shares noth­ing much else with any Jaguar model.

Not even the en­gine. That is be­cause this car does not have an in­ter­nal com­bus­tion en­gine. In­stead, it has two elec­tric mo­tors – one in the front and one in the rear. Both are mounted trans­versely along the axle line, mak­ing the drivetrain very com­pact.

An epicyclic gearset does a sin­gle re­duc­tion in the ra­tio of 9:1, while an ar­range­ment of slipping clutches takes care of dif­fer­en­tial speed vari­a­tions. Hence the no­table absence of a bulky gear­box or dif­fer­en­tials. In be­tween the two axles and sit­ting in the low­est sec­tion of the chas­sis is an ar­ray of 432 lithi­u­mion cells that, in to­tal, make up the 90kWh bat­tery pack. The re­sult­ing weight dis­tri­bu­tion is an ideal 50:50, front:rear.

The en­tire ar­range­ment of propul­sion units, en­ergy stor­age pack and power con­trol mod­ules is very low in the chas­sis and all within the wheel­base of the car. It is a lay­out every car stylist would love to start with.

There is noth­ing ahead of the front wheels that the bon­net would re­quire to ac­com­mo­date,

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