A Jaguar has never been inexpensive, and those who want to go electric while driving in style will like this new I-Pace. (Photos by C.A. Haire)
Extraordinary Rides 2020 Jaguar I-Pace EV is fun to drive fast By C.A. Haire
raditionally, Jaguar vehicles are sold with high-performance gasoline engines. Now, the company is getting on the electric car bandwagon with its new I-Pace EV. This is a real SUV, which means it has enough ground clearance to be taken off pavement. Also, with an electric motor driving the front wheels and another for the rear wheels, it is billed as having all-wheel drive for better traction. This improves off-road ability even
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more and provides a superior grip on slick pavement. Unfortunately, like most electric vehicles, there is no room for a spare tire, so there isn’t one. This certainly limits the ability to wander far on dirt trails, as getting a flat tire could leave you stranded. Most I-Pace drivers are likely to stay in the city anyway. Because this vehicle runs solely on battery power, the biggest selling point is driving range before the cells go dead and recharging is required. The factory claims an impressive 234-mile maximum range. If the I-Pace is driven in the ECO mode and at the posted speed limit, this is possible. But if put in the performance-oriented dynamic mode, the battery’s massive 512 lbs./ft. of torque can pin the driver to the seat during heavy acceleration, reaching 60 mph in a brisk 4.5 seconds. Yes, this vehicle can run very quickly if asked, and it is great fun while doing so. However, it eats pow-
er and can cut the range in half. Recharging the battery is very simple. Just plug it into your 240-volt household outlet, and in about 14 hours you will be filled up and ready to go. The second choice is what I did—take it to a public “quick charge” station, and in 45 minutes get an 80% maximum capacity, which provides 162 miles. Finding a charger outlet near you is an easy task with a smartphone and proper app. In daily commuting, the I-Pace is pleasant to operate. The ride is smooth, acceleration is brisk, and handling is very good for a heavy SUV. The interior quality is excellent and luxurious. We appreciate the simple knob controls, which are far easier to use than the awkward touch screens provided on other electric car brands. The transmission gears are selected by a simple push-button unit, which works great once the operating order is memorized. The base price is $71,000. The particular example we tried was loaded up with everything, such as white metallic paint at $710, larger wheels for $1,700, and a list of minor goodies we didn’t really but got anyway. This brought the total tab to a hefty $86,226. But a Jaguar has never been inexpensive, and those who want to go electric while driving in style will like this new I-Pace.