First Look at the Jaguar I-PACE Concept

The I-Pace looks like it's going to wipe the floor with the Tesla Model X when it comes out, and I hope to God it does.

The Jaguar I-PACE Concept is more than just a concept, it’s a  significant look at what the clean-sheet design, all-electric SUV will look like when it debuts in 2018. Five seats, and around 300 miles in a single charge (European cycle). What’s not to like?

Of course, the 90 kWh batter pack is mounted under the floor as is becoming standard with electric or hybrid-electric vehicles. Jaguar’s PR people wanted to stress that the battery packs were made “in-house”, I can’t decide if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. They also claimed that one could get an 80% charge after 90 minutes. Expect this to go hand-in-hand with some physics-defying zero-to-60 times.

The styling will be divisive, I think it’s simply trying too hard to be edgy and modern; a fair criticism about most of Ian Callum‘s recent work From a visual perspective, the Model X looks significantly more subtle.But I’ll let you be the judge:

Where I DO think the SUV will shine? Quality. Tesla had a booth at the LA Auto Show, so I figured I’d try out the Model X for the first time. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t impressed. Absolutely everything squeaked or creaked, and the fancy doors were “Locked” upwards. Why? It seems to me like they didn’t want to risk having such an item fail at. At a very public event, I mean, why wouldn’t you want to show that off? The Jaguar is going to be built by the same company who put out extremely well-thought-out and luxurious SUV’s, none of which creaked or squeaked when I sat in them. All of their doors opened. But most importantly? It probably won’t have the awful, tech-start up, Silicon Valley-brand of douche feel. 

This is an important next step for Jaguar-Land Rover, being early out of the gate with new ideas usually gets more people on board than coming in late(the Buick Encore being a prime example). My best guess is early models will start around $90,000, which won’t make it a tough sell for the average Range Rover buyer. Will it have the same off-road cred? Likely not, but then again, how many times have you seen a new Land Rover get covered in mud?

I’m excited for the I-PACE, and you should be too. Let’s just hope it loses the Jaguar Land Rover reliability while retaining the style and class they’ve had over the years.