TEST DRIVE: JAGUAR I PACE

Bob Arora hits the road in the Jaguar I Pace...

For anyone who thought electric cars were going to be a fad, I can definitely confirm that electric power is firmly here to stay.

Whenever anyone mentioned an electric car to me, I immediately thought of a milk float, however, the real game changer for me was when I drove the Tesla S. Not only was the car amazing to drive, but it had the ability to be driven a decent distance on the battery power alone. Electric cars have amazing performance, but their achilles heel was always range.

Prior to driving the Tesla, I was always a fan of hybrids as you literally have the best of both worlds.

With battery technology moving along rapidly, most of the big manufacturers are now launching electric vehicles, and this brings me on to Jaguar, who have just launched a new car.

Jaguar have used what they’ve picked up from Formula E and put the technology into this new car.

They’ve also started a Touring Car Championship using the I Pace, which is a world first for any electric car.

The I Pace is Jaguar’s first electric car and they’ve done an amazing job – a winner on their hands in my eyes.

The car is an SUV, which is a booming market, and it’s also electric, so that’s another tick in the box.

The car looks very sporty and slightly boxier at the rear compared to the E Pace and the F Pace.

The designers have gone to great lengths to make it aerodynamic, and with a drag co-efficiency of 0.29, it certainly is. As with most cars, it needs big alloy wheels, which helps make the
car look even sportier, but that will affect the drag efficiency.

The car has 50/50 handling, and really is brilliant to drive around town or at speed – it loved being chucked into corners.

It’s really stable and planted at speed.

As with all electric cars, the performance is blistering, 0-60 times are supercar quick!

The car gets to 60mph in 4.5 seconds and accelerates from 30-70 mph in 3.5 seconds.

When you consider the car weight at just over two tons, it makes the vehicle’s performance even more astonishing.

The car has 400bhp and four-wheel drive, so you have the best of both worlds.

The car’s interior is sleek and stylish. The centre of the console is dominated by a widescreen infotainment dash, with another screen underneath, controlling the heating.

The speedometer and dials are all digital, as you’d expect in an electric car. The strange thing though, is the rev counter – changed for a power and charge dial, and the petrol gauge is obviously replaced with an electric range display.

The dash and buttons are all of great quality. I was very happy to see the Jaguar grab handles on the side of the central console.

There was plenty of room for water bottles and your personal bits and pieces.

Both the driver and passengers have plenty of storage and room up front, the rear of the car is ideal for two people – albeit a little cramped for the middle passenger.

The optional panoramic roof helps make the interior much lighter and airier.

The key remembers your preferred seat position, radio station and heat settings etc., which is handy when sharing a car.

I’d be tempted to opt for the air suspension as it transforms the car’s handling and it gives you that magic carpet ride that Jaguars are renowned for.

At speed, the ride height is lowered when driving over 65mph, and it can be lowered if you want to go off-roading.

If you charge the car via a 13-amp plug, it would take 24 hours to fully charge the car.

Using a supercharger, you’ll have 80% charge in just 40 minutes.

The car is supposed to have a range of nearly 300 miles, depending on weather and how you drive.

The car I drove had 5,000 miles on the clock, it was fully charged for me and it had a range of 200 miles.

The range really depends on how you drive the car. When you’re at the wheel of an electric car, it changes the way you drive, as you want to try and get the most out of the batteries.

Reading some of the Jaguar forums though, one driver managed to get an impressive 309 miles out of a full charge.

If you only travel 30 miles a day, a full charge might actually last you a full week.

Pre-heating or pre-cooling the car while it’s on charge doesn’t affect the vehicle’s range, so it makes sense to do it before you start your day.

Driving the car, you seem to forget the sound of an engine, and you get used to hearing the whoosh and whine of the electric motors.

The car has won a plethora of awards and I’m not surprised. It won the 2019 World Car of the Year award.

For Jaguar’s first attempt at an electric car, it’s absolutely excellent.

It’s priced from £65K but I’m sure there will be loads of competitive lease deals out there.

The all-important company car tax and benefits in-kind rules will also make this car an even more attractive purchase.

Having had the car for a few days, I really think I could get used to driving an electric vehicle, and I have to say it’s been one of the best motors I’ve driven this year – and nothing like the milk float I first thought!


Car courtesy of Stratsone Jaguar, Silverlink, Wallsend

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