CAN _IT _LIFESTYLE?

Top Gear (Malaysia) - - Life & Style -

Ionce lost a BMW X5 in Buck­le­bury ford. OK, it’s not that deep. But it was deep enough for the X5 to in­gest wa­ter through the in­take, and that didn’t end well. When we ar­rive in the I-Pace there’s a huge flatbed re­cov­ery truck 100 me­tres up the lane, on its back a 7.5-tonne truck with wa­ter drip­ping from it. Some horses wade through. One of the rid­ers reck­ons she’s helped tow a dozen cars out of here in the last 10 years. We try to work out if one of them was me.

Elec­tric­ity and wa­ter are not happy bed­fel­lows, but if elec­tric cars were vul­ner­a­ble to ionised wa­ter they wouldn’t be catch­ing on so fast, would they? Even a Cal­i­for­nian Tesla driver must have en­coun­tered a pud­dle be­fore. This is just TOPGEAR tak­ing it to the next level. Still, it’s with a cer­tain sense of trep­i­da­tion that I nose the I-Pace down the ramp into 18-inch-deep wa­ter – I re­mem­ber how the shark was offed at the end of Jaws 2. I watch the screen as wa­ter bub­bles up over the front cam­era and with a gulp I ten­ta­tively head for the far shore…

Eight passes later, it’s a rather dif­fer­ent mat­ter: the I-Pace bel­lyflops in, wa­ter foun­tains up. The car splashes about like a tod­dler in a pad­dling pool and then goes off for a run around the gar­den. Fig­u­ra­tively speak­ing. The I-Pace cer­tainly isn’t scared of wa­ter. Sure, I raised the sus­pen­sion up to off-road height, but the 4WD sys­tem hasn’t lost trac­tion, and aside from an un­der­tray com­ing loose – re­veal­ing a thick orange cable that would have been to­tally im­mersed in wa­ter – the I-Pace has shrugged off bath­time with ease.

I’ve re­ally done this the wrong way round. Usu­ally you get dirty first and then head off to clean up. My next stop is

I-Pace car­ries every ac­ces­sory for the acute midlife cri­sis

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