The Wonderful World of Vondeling
increases. It can be amplified, emitting a sound straight out of the movie Tron, but it isn’t overpowering.
When reversing it also produces a warning sound, much like that of a truck, and according to Jaguar it can also be programmed to emit sound while moving forward at slow speeds.
Top speed is limited to 200 km/h as driving at full tilt seriously limits the battery pack’s range. But at sensible cruising speeds using Eco mode, the I-pace can deliver a range of up to 480 km (WLTP cycle) before recharging.
The automaker also claims that it is possible to achieve a battery charge from empty to 80 percent in just 40 minutes using DC rapid charging (100 kwh) or top up an additional 100 km in as little as 15 minutes. Alternatively, home charging with an AC wall box (7 kwh) will take the I-pace from empty to 80 percent in just over ten hours. Masterly Agility With a low centre of gravity and 50:50 weight distribution, allied to a stiff aluminium chassis and (optional) air suspension with Adaptive Dynamics, the I-pace felt as lithe and composed, with the levels of balance and agility of a Chinese martial arts master on the sweeping, undulating Algarve roads.
Even on low-profile 22-inch rubber, its ride comfort was a revelation, mostly owing to its long wheelbase, but it took a while to get used to the higher level of deceleration inherent to its brake system, with an electric booster that gives it flexibility when blending (high or low) regenerative and mechanical braking.
Also endearing was the I-pace’s onroad and off-road versatility. On a carefully laid-out gravel route, after selecting the settings for off-road driving (lifting the body), the I-pace negotiated a water obstacle with ease, thanks to a wading depth of 500 mm.
With its short overhangs and relatively good turning circle, it also confidently negotiated the tight sections on the snaking dirt track, but perhaps the most impressive was the ease with which it climbed up a steep incline – its huge torque and fully independent all-wheel drive system making it simple. The I-pace also shrouds new technology, as it is the first Jaguar to incorporate the Touch Pro Duo infotainment system with a combination of touchscreens, capacitive sensors and tactile physical controls to operate key functions.
While quite intricate with multiple menu layers, the system is accurate and works well, and a full-colour head-up display (HUD) is supported by a 12-inch Interactive Driver Display behind the steering wheel. The EV Navigation factors in the topography of planned routes to calculate available range, and can also sync with a smartphone travel app, making journey planning easy. With Smart Settings it can also learn your driving habits and anticipate your needs.
Built in Austria as part of a manufacturing partnership with Magna Steyr, the quiet Coventry Cat is now available in Europe in S, SE and HSE trim, and priced from R1,074,757 (at current exchange rates).
With its host of hidden talents, the I-pace is a pace-setter – much like the Ang Lee directed movie that won over 40 awards and is still hailed as one of the greatest and most influential martial arts films – not only for Jaguar, but also in its segment and for vehicle development in general. It is scheduled for launch in South Africa in mid-2019.