Jaguar surprised the German competition by putting their first ever electric vehicle onto showroom floors, long before Audi e-tron, Mercedes EQ, BMW iX3 and Porsche Taycan will be available for potential customers. GQ motoring ed (and petrolhead) Dieter Losskarn experienced the sound of silence in the new I-Pace.

Hi, my name is Dieter and I am an addict. I am fascinated by internal combustion engines, the glorious engine sound of flat sixes, V8s and W12s. I love burning limited fossil fuels, emitting carbon-oxid and going fast.
Well, at least I am going fast now. In a large and heavy SUV and on a corrugated dirt road, after having just crossed a river. I can see the dust cloud in my rearview mirrors mushrooming towards the sky, while loose gravel is clinking against the undercarriage of my ride. But apart from that it is eerily quiet in the car. No engine roar or growl. I am in the all-electric performance SUV of the first European Tesla challenger and I am fascinated. By the performance. Jaguar’s I-Pace weighs in at about 2.2 tons, but at the last robot I effortlessly left a stunned sportscar driver behind. 4.8 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h – in total silence. Unreal.
I experienced energized driving before, in the Nissan Leaf and BMW i3. And I was suffering severe bouts of range anxiety in them. Ending up braking like an idiot to recuperate power to get home to a plug. Big batteries can conquer or even heal range anxiety. Jaguar claims a reach of 480 km. But if you challenge a couple of sportscars at robots it’ll come down to a more realistic 400 km, which is still amazing for the first proper EV in the country.
The big flat 90kWh block battery is completely build into the underbody, creating a very low centre of gravity, making driving this crossover lots of fun. On a normal household plug fully charging this battery from empty would take about 40 hours. With Jaguar’s wall-box you can do this overnight. Special Jaguar charging stations at dealers, shopping centres and service stations can fast-load the I-Pace with 70kW, which means recharging to full in just over an hour. The car battery pack with its 432 individual cells can handle a charge of up to 100kw.
And how does it look like? The beautiful Caesium blue colour reminds of a crevasse merging with the sky. It’s a brand-new platform and the entire car was developed in just four years, from drawing board to showroom floor. It looks like a sporty crossover performance SUV should. Higher than a limousine, lower than a 4×4 and with muscular lines. The interieur is modern as well. The digital cockpit features two touch screens and some innovative push-twist buttons for the aircon. There is lots of space as the cabin moved closer to where there used to be an engine.
Jaguar is currently in charge of the EV segment in South Africa. Now I am looking forward to how electrifying the German competition will be.

Jaguar I-Pace
Engine two electric engines, one for each axle = AWD, 90kW battery
Power 294kW and 696Nm
Top Speed 200 km/h
0-100km/h 4.8 seconds
Reach (claimed): 480 km (realistically 400 km)
Price
R1 687 200
jaguar.co.za

 


Get in charge
Would you like to spend 90 minutes or half a day with the I-Pace at Jaguar/Land Rover’s brand-new experience centre in Lonehill, Johannesburg? With snacks and light refreshments this electrifying experience will cost you between R1450 and R2500 per driver. For bookings contact Nadia: nadia@experience.landrover.co.za
www.jaguar.co.za/experience/experience-johannesburg.html