IF YOU are looking for potential, the Jaguar I-PACE takes a leap in the right direction for electric vehicles.
The SUV has many aspects about it that are well thought out and executed, taking into consideration a dynamic environment that is beset by changes taking place rapidly.
The I-PACE is designed to be nimble like a well-padded cat on the prowl, able to change with the evolving landscape. While it seeks to be ahead of the chasing pack, it’s inevitable that there’s going to be room for improvement.
The positives are evident when you first lay eyes on the car. From the front air scoop and the gleaming headlamps to the large, decorative grille, the carbon fibre inlays in the 22” wheels and the sharply angled back, the I-PACE evokes a response.
For an SUV, it looks deceptively small, though once inside you appreciate the spaciousness in front and become mindful of the width of the car.
A glass roof allows more light into the cabin, which adds to the sense of airiness, but is also one of my biggest complaints about the I-PACE.
The I-PACE has a pre-conditioning system to get the battery temperature and the cabin to optimum levels, but that works if you know when you’ll be heading off.
On a day when the mercury climbed to 35°C, the I-PACE was parked in the open and became a greenhouse. The internal temperature had gone up to an unbearable 43°C after an hour under the sun.
And even when you’re driving you can feel the heat beating down on you, especially if you’re tall and sitting closer to the glass.
Jaguar should seriously consider an option without a glass top.
So, you try and adjust the temperature…which leads to my second complaint.
Why must it be such a complicated and layered process to achieve a simple objective? The desire to keep up with the modern world has resulted in a loss of some basic objectivity.
To change the temperature you have to tap on a glass panel at the right spot. It’s an exercise in hand-eye-coordination, which means you’ve got your eye off the road while you’re trying to save your head from being fried as you jab at a screen with complicated images that don’t give you a desired outcome.
While the touchscreens are part of the human-machine interface, maybe a simple button or knob might have helped.
But once you’ve got the temperature right and the ventilated seats are cooling your own temperature and irritation levels, you reckon some music would be good to pump through the Meridian sound system.
The Great Disconnect
There’s Apple and Android connectivity, as well as a Jaguar app. But it’s iffy and not intuitive.
With the new iPhone XS it was a hit and miss connecting with CarPlay and more often than not failed to stay on the desired media option. And why isn’t there wireless charging?
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Where the I-PACE does deliver in spades is the driving experience. The predominantly aluminium EV architecture lightens and tightens the body structure.
Designed to recreate a more traditional driving experience and environment, this electric Jaguar gives you enough feedback from the road, and has simulated engine sounds that vary according to the speed of the car. You can switch off the artificial sound if you prefer. It also audibally alerts those outside the car of its presence.
Two electric motors deliver 400PS and 696Nm of torque which gets you from 0 to 100kmh in 4.8 seconds. It also means that with that kind of power output, you’re facing a staggering annual road tax bill of $5,802 which defies the logic behind trying to go green.
Driving the I-PACE is far from the bland experience you get in many electric cars. Active air suspension lowers the car by 10mm at speeds exceeding 105kmh ensuring enhanced range. And the driving modes provide varying degrees of energy-sapping performance.
The I-PACE is quick to respond when you hit the accelerator, but you can choose how you want it to slow down. Since the I-PACE uses a regenerative braking system that recuperates the braking energy, you can opt for high regenerative mode, which also slows the car down when you take your foot off the accelerator.
You can also turn off creep mode and the car will slow to a stop, even on an incline.
Range anxiety is one of the issues electric car drivers face. The I-PACE offers 470km with its bed of 432 pouch cells between the wheels. The 90kWh Lithium-ion battery can be fully charged in under an hour using DC rapid charging (100kW). Home charging takes over 12 hours since it is powered by AC (7.4kW).
The challenge for the I-PACE and any electric vehicle owner in Singapore is how the charging situation will be resolved. With most people living in apartments it’s going to be near impossible to convince them to buy an EV if they don’t have access to easy overnight charging.
JAGUAR I-PACE RATING:
2 Electric Motors
Max Output: 400PS
Max Torque: 696Nm
VES Band: A2
0-100kmh: 4.8 seconds
Top Speed: 200kmh
Retail price: *$369,999 (First Edition); $346,999 (HSE)
Please reconfirm price with dealer.
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