Jaguar is throwing its hat into the ring (also known as the highly competitive electric vehicle segment) as it unveiled its very own all-electric performance sports utility vehicle. Dubbed as the Jaguar I-PACE Concept, this is by far the brand’s most visually arresting concept yet. The reason is that the brand took advantage of the packaging freedom that electrification has to offer and this gave both the design team and the engineering team the chance to examine the overall proportions of this vehicle.
With this concept vehicle, Jaguar wanted to come up with a SUV that was not only sporty but one that is useable and offers a large amount of space. By having a cab-forward configuration, the brand was able to offer a SUV that is more spacious than models that use internal combustion. Since there is also a battery pack in the middle of the axles, the design ensured a long wheelbase at 2,990 mm (117.72 in.) with a footprint at 4,680 mm x 1,890 mm (184.25 in. x 74.41 in.).
In addition, since there was no need to include a transmission tunnel, the design team was able to use the space for a storage area in the center console at 8 liters (2.11 gal.). Further, with no standard gear shifter, the concept car now has space where one can put in keys, phones, and even other small things. Finally, despite having raked glass in the rear, the I-PACE Concept continues to be able to deliver space for luggage at 530 liters (18.71 cu. ft.). On the front, there is also a luggage compartment where there is an extra 28 liters (1 cu. ft.) of space.
As the brand is known for offering performance that is driver focused plus excellent response, it placed the electric motors on the front axle and the rear axle. This combination ensured that the I-PACE Concept would have an output of 400 hp and torque of 516 lb.-ft.
By using electric all-wheel drive, Jaguar’s concept vehicle can minimize the power and ensure traction no matter what the weather or surface is. The amount of torque and the traction results in the I-PACE Concept being able to go from 0 to 60 mph in around 4 seconds. Response is faster as well considering that the system has excellent control on how the torque is distributed on the front and the rear.
Thus the vehicle can respond at once to any input by the driver and regardless of what the quality of the vehicle is and the road conditions. Meanwhile, energy is supplied to the motor through the lithium-ion 90 kWh battery pack and allows the I-PACE Concept to reach EPA test cycles of up to 220 miles. It goes without saying that by putting the battery in the middle of the axles and under the floor, it helps improve the responsiveness and the driving dynamics. Of course, it also helps in decreasing the body roll and lowering the vehicle’s center of gravity.
Jaguar’s Director of Design Ian Callum revealed that this is not simply a concept car but it is more of a preview of the 5-seat production car that the brand hopes to release by 2018. Considering that this is the first vehicle by the brand to be battery-powered, it marks a new chapter in the brand’s history, he added.