The most unique part of the Jaguar I-PACE is its drivetrain. Electric motors come in a wider range of shapes and sizes than a traditional gasoline engine, and Jaguar has found that the most efficient way of packaging their new vehicle involved having an electric motor for each axle. Jaguar claims a combined output of 394 horsepower and 512 lb. ft of torque: the latter number available seemingly whenever and at any rev range. Acceleration is incredibly fast with 0-60 coming in just 4.5 seconds. There is no sensation of switching gears since there is no transmission in the traditional sense. The center of gravity is low due to much of the weight of the vehicle coming from the batteries, while weight is balanced evenly front to aft.
The standard I-PACE is loaded with technology and the list of standard features is extremely long. The I-PACE comes standard with a panoramic roof, LED headlights and taillights, automatic headlights, heated mirrors, 18-inch alloy wheels, rain sensing wipers, an auto dimming rearview mirror, ambient interior lighting, dual zone front climate control, a HomeLink garage door opener, Bluetooth connectivity, six USB ports, SiriusXM satellite radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a 380W Meridian Sound System with 11 speakers, an emergency braking system, a lane keep assist system, a rear camera, a Smart Key system with push button start and much more.
The SE ditches the 18-inch wheels in favor of a 20-inch design, while the LED headlights get swapped for nicer projector beam versions and include a washer for the headlights. The SE also gets a powered rear lift gate, auto dimming heated power folding door mirrors, 8-way power driver and passenger seats, leather seating surfaces with a 3-position memory function for both the driver and front passenger seats, Blind Spot Monitoring and High Speed Emergency Braking.
The HSE has an even nicer 20-inch wheel design, a powered tailgate that responds to gesture commands, Windsor leather seating surfaces with 12-way power adjustment for the front seats, heated and cooled front seats, an 825W Meridian sound system with 15 speakers, adaptive cruise control with steering assist and a 360 degree surround-view camera.
I had my reservations about the Jaguar I-Pace when I first drove the electric SUV two years ago. and there were parts of the experience -- such as dealing with Jaguar Land Rover's finicky cabin tech and driver aid electronics -- that I absolutely dreaded. Yet here I stand, following hundreds of miles of testing, fairly impressed with Jag's electric SUV.
In fact, it's on pace (heh) to get even better next year, with subtle changes including faster at-home charging and revisions to the infotainment. But for all intents and purposes, this Caesium Blue Metallic 2020 Jaguar I-Pace HSE EV400 AWD should be mechanically identical to that updated model. The low-slung, wedge-shaped exterior design -- the best look in this class, in my opinion -- is unchanged, as are the sport-tuned performance and the middle-of-the-pack range.
The I-Pace boasts standard all-wheel drive thanks to two electric motors -- one per axle -- that produce a combined 394 horsepower and 512 pound-feet of torque. The acceleration is super satisfying in that way that most modern EVs are; the near-silent surge reminds me of a maglev train, but with seating just for four and a 0-to-60-mph time of about 4.5 seconds.
The Good ~ Gorgeous good looks and aerodynamic styling ~ Acceleration and handling are excellently balanced
The Bad ~ Regenerative braking can be inconsistent ~ Touch Pro Duo infotainment system is due for replacement
The Bottom Line The electric Jag is still good, but with more competition arriving soon, perhaps its worth waiting for next year's improvements.
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