Driving the all-new Jaguar I-PACE
Enter the Jaguar I-PACE.
As a passenger driving through the Algarve in Portugal, I couldn’t help but notice how brilliant the roads were. Many think petrol heads only care about cars, but in reality we notice roads just as much. Wide and completely empty, with corners that can be optimised like a circuit, I kept thinking ‘an F-TYPE would be a dream to drive right here’. I fantasised about drifting through corners and accelerating into straights in a tiny, rear wheel drive sports car. I was yet to realise that the ultimate drive for these roads would actually be an SUV.
I have never been an advocate for electric vehicles. In fact, I have dreaded the inevitable movement into electrification completely. I’m passionate about internal combustion engines. I have a deep love for big, all American V8s, and I would normally choose Formula 1 over Formula E any day. I was stubborn. Only something mind blowing would change my mind.
Enter the Jaguar I-PACE.
A practical, every day family car that has the potential to get your heart racing, but remains healthy and beneficial for the environment. Sounds impossible, right? Jaguar doesn’t think so. You can take my word for it, as it wasn’t going to be easy persuading me to indulge in EVs. Seriously, the Jaguar I-PACE is something else.
The car is obviously nice to look at. It’s sporty but understated and is unmistakably a Jaguar. The cabin is comfortable and spacious. It shares the same flushed door handles as the Velar and, thanks to the panoramic sunroof, it fills with natural light. The electric silence is odd at first and takes a little while to get used to. After pressing start, I had a few moments of ‘have I started it?’, ‘Is it on?’, ‘How have I managed to stall it already?!’ Cue embarrassing response of ‘no Freya… it’s on and ready. There’s no engine so there’s no sound.’ I knew that, I was testing all of you…
However, the one feature that I want to discuss more than anything is ACCELERATION WITH NO TRANSMISSION INTERRUPTION (the capital letters are intended to prove my excitement for my newfound addiction). The I-PACE shows immense performance capability for a car its size, doing 0-60 in just 4.5 seconds. Forget the F-TYPE fantasy, the I-PACE has arrived.
The battery’s power is immediate, at the dip of the pedal with no hesitation at all. Instant torque without climbing up through gears is a wonderful thing. It is smooth and controlled with grip that gives you complete confidence to drive the I-PACE in a way you’d drive your familiar sports car. The intense acceleration is followed by the Enhanced Regenerative Braking System which Jaguar describes as ‘efficiently converting available kinetic energy to electricity to charge the battery and extend range.’ Put simply – when the driver lifts off the accelerator the car will independently slow down, while also recharging the battery. This adds to the feeling of control, especially when driving fast, and relieves some of that inevitable range anxiety. As impressive as the speed of the car is, it also handles nicely when driving ‘normally’ (or less like a twat, should I say). It pulls away from standstill smoothly and silently and cruises comfortably, proving that it can be both the fast-paced sports car and the trusted every day vehicle.
Driving the I-PACE makes you feel like you are driving the future. It’s addictive. The revolutionary car is a genuine game changer with few limitations, and surely Jaguar’s proudest creation. I am intrigued to see how other manufacturers attempt to compete with it. In terms of electrification… I’m all for it.
Photo credit: media.jaguar.com