Jaguar I-Pace: We've been inside a pre-production model, here's everything you need to know

Jaguar’s outstanding I-Pace concept will hit the roads in 2018, and we've been in the passenger seat

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The Jaguar I-Pace was first announced at the LA Auto Show in 2016. Since then it's racked up over a million miles of testing, and it's due to be unveiled in production guise at Geneva Motor Show in 2018.

It's the British marque's first all-electric vehicle and one of the most important new cars since the E-Type. 

T3 recently spent some time at Jaguar HQ in Gaydon in the passenger seat of a pre-production I-Pace.

Here's everything you need to know:

Origins

The I-Pace is largely derived from Jaguar’s C-X75 mid-engine supercar project. 

It borrows intelligent aero throughout to achieve a low drag coefficient of 0.29, and uses stunning 23-inch Nighthawk wheels to give it an aggressive stance. 

A full-length panoramic glass roof floods the interior with natural light, and at night, an array of LEDs embedded in the roof illuminate the patterned glass to create an arresting visual effect.

Sports car pace and handling

Electric motors on the front and rear axles generate an impressive 400PS, and 700Nm of instant torque. 

This will power the sporty SUV from 0 to 60mph in around 4 seconds. 

It certainly felt quick from the passenger seat, but what was more impressive is the handling, which both felt properly switched on yet also compliant over bumpy British roads.

Although the motor is capable of unleashing all 400PS at once, Jaguar has actually designed the I-Pace to accelerate more smoothly, thus making it more Jaguar-like in character.

2. British attention to detail

GPS coordinates of car’s birthplace (Jaguar’s design studio) will be laser-etched into the wooden surface of the instrument panel. Presumably, so its engineers never get lost.

During out test drive, the final production interior was kept covered. 

3. Welcome to the flight deck

The I-Pace features an intuitive new user interface. The primary 12-inch touchscreen is blended seamlessly into the dash, with ‘micro-click’ haptic feedback and additional screens dotted throughout the cabin.

4. All-weather electric SUV

Making use of JLR’s leading traction technology (ASPC and AdSR), you’ll be safe with the knowledge that the I-Pace can handle anything Mother Nature throws at it.

James Matthews, Vehicle Integration Manager for the I-Pace, he told T3 its off-road capability is in the same class as the F-Pace, but in-fact, it'll be a lot better off-road in practice thanks to the electric drive trian.

5. Keeps on rolling

The liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery pack has a predicted range of more than 220 miles. Drivers with an average daily commute will only need to recharge the vehicle once a week.

The I-Pace will also feature intelligent battery charging, which insures the battery won't degrade significantly until 150,000 miles.

6. Plenty of space

Despite the car’s sporty design - the electric drivetrain enables a cavernous 530-litre luggage compartment. The entire cabin is light and spacious, with the same capacity as a much larger vehicle.

7. The I-Pace will feature all new sounds

Being Jaguar's first electric car, it's given engineers a chance go back to the drawing board on a number of areas.

One of the most important features in an electric car is the sound design, which becomes a lot more prominent when there's no engine sound to drown out beeps and alerts.

Jaguar has created a completely new set of warning beeps and alerts, that sound a lot more premium than in its previous cars.

Also, as a novelty, you'll be able to change what the car sounds like inside, with fun options such as a jet engine, V8, or superbike. Obviously, you won't be keeping these on all the time, but it's a neat little easter egg.

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A production version of the I-Pace is expected to be revealed at the Geneva Motor Show, with cars hitting the road in 2018. If you're super keen, you can let Jaguar know by registering your interest on its website.

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