We first saw the Jaguar I-Pace Concept at the Los Angeles Auto Show last year, and it seemed to have gotten the interest of a lot of people. Now, there have been reports going around that the electric SUV has reached the production line, and it may be ready to make a debut later this year.
Jaguar’s I-Pace is set to compete with Tesla’s Model X, and according to Automotive News, production has already begun at their plant in Austria. The first few examples are currently being built by Magna Steyr, a vehicle manufacturing division of Magna International, the Canadian supplier. By the third quarter of this year, the first few models shall make their debut at the 2017 Frankfurt Auto Show. However, US residents will have to wait until the second half of 2018, for a second generation I-Pace.
The reason why Magna Steyr has a significant role in this project is because they have been given consent by Jaguar. Freidrich Stracke, president of vehicle technology and engineering of Magna Steyr said: “we were invited very early in the product development time frame in order to provide our process and manufacturing engineering proposals”. He also said to Automotive News that they “tried to include the right processes in the vehicle early on. We did it for every function - body exterior, drivetrain, body interior, body in white, paint. We did this with all functions and optimized the design”.
Building a car from scratch definitely is a tough job. Especially that the I-Pace is entering production at a new body shop in the plant, and the company has to realise that this model comes with an entirely new architecture and a new drivetrain. In fact, the crossover’s aluminum body will require new joining methods like welding, riveting, and bonding of the aluminum. Being Jaguar’s first ever electric vehicle, both companies have to ensure that they put all their efforts into building the first batch of the I-Pace production models.
As a refresher, Jaguar introduced the concept to us last year. The I-Pace was just two inches shorter than the F-Pace. It had two electric motors that can produce 400 horsepower. In just 4 seconds, the electric car can sprint from 0-60 miles per hour. One thing we should be excited about is the I-Pace’s performance, as Stracke excitedly said that the acceleration is unbelievable and that it is even faster than a Tesla. But we can’t confirm that until it has been tested.
Expect the I-Pace to be launched in Europe later this year. And for US residents, expect it to arrive sometime in 2018.