The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING - ALWYN VILJOEN

MINE has been a week of Jaguar ex­tremes.

On one side there is the slow schlepp of trans­fer­ring own­er­ship of a re­built 1966 Mark II, as thirsty a fuel guz­zler as ever came out of this sta­ble. On the other there is this fast I-Pace. Jaguar’s all-elec­tric SUV that can be recharged us­ing so­lar power.

The ad­vent of the I-Pace is be­ing stu­diously ig­nored by most of the gnarled mem­bers of the lo­cal Jaguar club, de­spite the com­bined out­put of al­most 300 kW and 700 Nm (sic) gen­er­ated by light­weight elec­tric mo­tors at the front and rear axles.

Pow­ered by a 90kWh lithium-ion bat­tery, the I-Pace will be able to ac­cel­er­ate from 0-60 km/h in around four sec­onds, with a tar­geted range of more than 500 km.

Charg­ing, says Jaguar, will also be quick — an 80% charge can be achieved in 90 min­utes and 100% charge achieved in just two hours us­ing 50kW DC fast charg­ing.

The prob­lem for the Jag mem­bers, I sus­pect, is the lack of fire up front. For if we are hon­est about it, the in­ter­nal com­bus­tion engine gave us cave men the ul­ti­mate con­trol over fire and as Mu­gabe and Zuma know, con­trol is very hard to let go.

The I-Pace goes on sale in the sec­ond half of 2018, and will cost over a mil­lion rand, but I sus­pect the gnarled mem­bers will then be busy ad­just­ing the car­bu­ret­tors of their “real’ Jaguars. As more Euro­pean ci­ties ban fuel en­gines, they may, how­ever, just be onto a new tourism niche in SA, at­tract­ing tourists who want to drive in fuel burn­ing cars, much like hap­pened with steam trains.

I cer­tainly hope so, for that will be when the schlepp with the Mk II fi­nally pays off.


‘It’s elec­tric, like my wash­ing ma­chine’ was one re­ac­tion by a gnarled mem­ber of the lo­cal Jaguar club upon news of this fu­tur­is­tic new I-Pace.

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