Jaguar i-Pace Image: Newspress/Jaguar
4x4, concept cars, electric cars, high tech, Motoring News, new models, suv

Jaguar I-Pace: We’re a day ahead of the launch (V)

  • Virtual already – next 2016 Los Angeles auto show
  • First Jaguar pure-electric performance car
  • VIP guests get pre-show virtual reality experience
Jaguar i-Pace Image: Newspress/Jaguar
Jaguar I-Pace Image: Newspress/Jaguar

LOS ANGELES, California – Jaguar says it has torn up the rule book in the creation of this concept electric SUV “with its supercar looks, sports-car performance and SUV space, all in one electric package”.

Why are we datelined Los Angeles? Because the Los Angeles auto show is where the car will make its first physical appearance tomorrow (Wed Nov 16 2016).

It is, frankly, revolutionary, and should be terrifying automakers globally because Jaguar Land Rover has, since 2008, been a wholly-owned subsidiary of India’sTata Motors which bought it from Ford Motor Company of USA.

Jaguar I-Pace Image: Newspress/Jaguar

Long-time leader in the field, Tesla, might also be having a bit of a knee-trembler.

For sure its tech will trickle down to Indian-assembled econocars and its quality build will help to eradicate the lingering “Oh, but isn’t it built in India?” attitude of many new-car buyers.

READ MORE about Jaguar on  Carman’s Corner

The Jaguar F-Pace has been in South African showrooms since July 2016
Sales of Jaguar product has soared in recent years. The people who sold the brand to Ford, and now the Ford moguls who sold it to Tata, should all be hanged, drawn and quartered by their shareholders… but that’s only The Corner’s view.

Others might want to do worse?

We also think it will top Car of the Year logs around the world with its looks, quality and performance – just look at the images, dammit!

It’s a climate-friendly battery-car, has super-safe all-wheel drive and can hit 100km/h as fast as any full-blown conventional sports car (four seconds) thanks to the combination of AWD, and 300kW and a giant 700Nm (same as the Jaguar SVR) being delivered by two electric motors – which, as most of you will know by now, generate maximum grunt instantly.

Jaguar is suggesting a range of 500km and intends to have the I-Pace in showrooms in 2018 with “agile driving dynamics as yet unseen on an electric vehicle”.

Jaguar i-Pace Image: Newspress/Jaguar
Jaguar i-Pace Image: Newspress/Jaguar

The Los Angeles VR was, Jaguar says, “a world-first, live, cross-continent virtual-reality experience to transport the audience into a unique virtual world to explore the I-Pace concept using tech from world-leaders HTC VIVE and Dell Precision”.

To be one of the first owner, Jaguar offers, go to  the Jaguar website and click on ‘I want one…”

Jaguar says from its time-honoured HQ city, Coventry in the English Midlands: “The Jaguar I-Pace is the start of a new era for us. This (the LA display car) is a production preview of the I-Pace that will be revealed in 2017 and on the road in 2018.”

WATCH the virtual realist demo yourself!

The car is described by Jaguar’s design director Ian Callum as a five-seat sports-car and performance SUV in one package – the I-Pace, following the F-Pace conventional performance car already in showrooms worldwide – including South Africa since July 2016.

Jaguar i-Pace Image: Newspress/Jaguar
Jaguar i-Pace Image: Newspress/Jaguar

Jaguar’s design director, Ian Callum, told The Corner: “The I-Pace concept represents the next generation of electric-vehicle design with a dramatic, future-facing, cab-forward design and a beautiful interior – the product of authentic Jaguar DNA, electric technology and contemporary craftsmanship”.

The unique and world-first ‘social VR’ reveal is believed to have been the largest-yet live and connected such event. Throughout the day more than 300 guests were transported into a specially created life-like virtual space into which two of the car’s creators, Callum and Ian Hoban, were projected.

Jaguar I-Pace Image: Newspress/Jaguar

From VR hubs in Los Angeles and London, groups of 66 guests used HTC Vive Business Edition headsets, powered by Dell Precision work stations to put themselves inside the concept car and interact live with other participants.

Guests ‘sat’ on the concept’s virtual seats and had an all-round view of LA’s Venice Beach as the concept was built, piece-by-piece around them, and then watched the I-Pace Concept race towards them across a virtual desert.

The VR experience allowed participants to sit in the front or rear of the I-Pace to search out hidden details and features.

But back to real reality…

Jaguar Land Rover’s Wolfgang Ziebart told The Corner in a media release: “This is an uncompromised electric vehicle designed from a clean sheet of paper. We’ve developed a new architecture and selected only the best technology available.

“The I-Pace Concept fully exploits the potential for electric vehicles in use of space, driving pleasure and performance.”

The motors – one for each axle – and 90kWh lithium-ion battery pack were designed in-house by Jaguar Land Rover to give the best-possible performance and range for most daily journeys.

Jaguar i-Pace Image: Newspress/Jaguar
Jaguar i-Pace Image: Newspress/Jaguar

“Wherever you are in the world,” the automaker promised, “you will be able simply to plug your car into a wall socket overnight and have more than enough range to complete the average daily commute of around 50km.”

Or you’ll be able charge it to maximum through a normal 50kW public charging network in, Jaguar says, “just over two hours” – enough, it is claimed, for 350km (US EPA test cycle) or more than 500km (European NEDC test cycle).

Callum again: “The interior of the I-Pace concept is finished with beautiful, premium materials and an unwavering attention to detail.  Throughout the interior are a host of beautiful details to surprise and delight, from the expansive glass roof to the sporting, beautifully finished, seats.

“Every feature bears the hallmark of British craftsmanship.”

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