For the last six to nine months I have been looking at EV options, both current and near future. One of those, the Jaguar I-PACE, is about to be launched in production form in Geneva. It has already had some exposure at the LA Auto Show in December, and in various video clips released by Jaguar and others invited to ride in the car. Sadly, Jaguar didn’t bring even the concept version of the vehicle to the San Francisco car show last year, but I am hoping they will be on sale this summer so I can finally get a chance to see one up close (and maybe even drive it).
My B Class EV was purchased with the express intent of filling the gap between my last car lease and being able to lease a longer range EV that I actually liked. Since they were due on the market in the 12-18 month timeframe, I didn’t want another lease to lock me into 3 years.
Deciding between the three concepts was difficult. They are similar vehicles, with similar features. As they have moved towards production though, the Audi e-tron SUV (the first EV Audi is launching; the Sportback will be the second) and especially the Mercedes have drifted back towards current model styling. As a result, the Jaguar is currently the car I am most interested in seeing and testing.
This is based on the details announced for the concept car, but is expected to be very similar, if not the same, in the production vehicle. Two electric motors (one front, one rear) provide power to all four wheels. A 90 kWh battery means over 200 miles of range on a single charge, and the recently announced 100 KW fast DC charging support will get it back to 80% in around 45 minutes. For those that care, 0-60 time is around 4 seconds (that’s quick for a roadster, and very fast for a five seat crossover/SUV class vehicle).
All three candidate vehicles had high tech interiors, with a move towards screen based dash elements and touch screen controls. Jaguar’s was perhaps the least futuristic of the three, but still beyond their current interiors (the navigation & control system in the F-Type I test drove several years ago was very disappointing).
The Mercedes was the most futuristic in the concept stage (looking more like a spaceship than a car). Sadly, that probably won’t make it into the production car, though I guess there is still a small chance.
The Audi is leveraging their current virtual cockpit for the main instrument cluster (we have that in our Q5, and love it), augmented with two additional screens in the central area. Whether those will make it to production remains to be seen, but the virtual cockpit, upgraded with EV information will almost certainly be there.
When Can I See/Get One?
There is a launch event on March 1, which will be live-streamed too. In the US, they are expected to be available in the second half of the year (though they have been taking deposits since last year, and in September were reported as having over 25,000 already, so there may be a wait before those orders are fulfilled).