While Tesla remains to have a strong presence in the electric vehicles segment with its Model X variants, Jaguar revealed that it hopes the I-Pace crossover will serve as a true alternative to Tesla’s models. Set to be released to the U.S. market in 2017, the I-Pace Concept made its official debut at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show.
Having an electric motor not only on the front axle but on the rear axle as well, it has a combined output of 400 hp with peak torque of 700 Nm. Though truly impressive figures, it still may not have the acceleration being offered by the Model X P100D.
Still, that should not deter Jaguar especially if it is indeed serious in challenging Tesla’s position. One way to do it would be with the I-Pace R-S. A render by X-Tomi Design shows that it can be fitted with different components that have been utilized for the Jaguar R-S models like the black-out grille, a fixed rear wing, or larger air intakes.
Even if there is the possibility that the brand is looking into such a version, the possibility of a variant like this hitting the market is slim to none. This is because Jaguar’s priority for the moment would be to make sure that the I-Pace becomes a success. Should the production version be like what was displayed, then it may likely give Tesla a run for its money.
As mentioned, the I-Pace concept was first unveiled during this year’s LA auto show with brand Design Director Ian Callum revealing that the brand wanted an SUV that had a cab forward design and that fully utilized the packaging by having batteries beneath the floor. While the brand may say that it is an SUV, its look is similar to a hatchback in the likes of the Mercedes-Benz GLA or even the Infiniti QX30. It can even have the appearance of a sedan when looked at from certain angles considering the broad deck and how the rear glass has been sharply sloped.
Still, it does have a certain attractiveness to it. Even if the production version is toned down, it will still be highly appealing. In addition to excellent power, the 90-kW battery allows for a maximum range of 310 miles (500 km), well within the Chevrolet Bolt or the Tesla Model 3. One clear advantage of the I-Pace concept is that the interior offers a large amount of space. Legroom for instance is similar to that of models in the midsize class.
Cargo hold meanwhile is both deep and long. The addition of a panoramic roof allows this model to have an airy ambiance. As if to truly challenge Tesla, Jaguar is offering customers the chance to reserve a unit through its website at Jaguar.com. There is a difference though in that even if the production version will be released in around two years, the brand is not requiring customers to make a deposit.