Currently reading: How Jaguar plans to follow the I-Pace
It started as a research project. But as chief engineer Dave Shaw tells us, the first EV Big Cat proved too strong to be caged

The Jaguar I-Pace was one of 2018’s standout new models, and represents a huge engineering statement from the UK.

Here, chief engineer Dave Shaw tells us how it will evolve and discusses the prospects of more electric Jaguars in the future. 

Q: How has electrification changed Jaguar

A: “EV has opened eyes in Jaguar Land Rover to the way the world is changing, and the speed of change. With the possibilities of the technology, there are no limits to it. When you start, you have a tick list of things you think are negatives, but you work through them and they soon disappear – it’s a no-compromise offering. [The I-Pace] even changed within JLR – it started as a research project and look what it is now.” 

Q: Has JLR’s size helped it to embrace electrification quicker than others? 

A: “You’re blessed with flexibility with electrification – there are no limits for any size of company for the technology. It’s coming, no matter what the company size.” Has it changed the mindset within JLR? “It’s changed profoundly, even me. I’m an absolute petrolhead, and didn’t want to do it! Now I’ve got my own and have done 20,000 miles in it – I’d never go back. It just fits in, with no compromises.” 

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Q: How did Jaguar get the I-Pace to market before rivals? 

A: “I don’t think we answered the questions needed to make an electric car before anyone else, as the whole industry is doing it. But we had some very strong-minded individuals, like Dr Wolfgang Ziebart [JLR’s former engineering boss] who said we are going to do this and that it is the right thing to do. It built up a head of steam, and tapped into the fact we rise to engineering challenges in the UK. We like those kinds of challenges.” 

Q: How long did it take to make? 

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A: “We started three years ago. The project was X590 – the brief from Dr Ziebart was to make the best Jaguar electric car. Then it changed to making the best EV in the world. The project then changed – it started out as only a research project, but then we started to solve all the problems and it became real.” 

Q: How will the I-Pace evolve over its life? 

A: “You can expect constant updates. As an industry, the car has to stay relevant. With electric cars and over-the-air updates, the car is no longer out of date soon after you drive it out of the showroom. Most cars get quickly out of date, but we have the ability to update now over the air.” 


Q: Will you produce other variants of the I-Pace? 

A: “The mindset of an electric car buyer is completely different – it’s not about being faster or slower, it’s more about how it fits into a lifestyle. It’s not really about power – you can change the power but you don’t necessarily feel that level of difference.” 

Q: Will it spawn other versions over time or be a moment in time car? 

A: “It will evolve and continue to do so with software. It’s not a moment in time car, it’s a great car and a great Jaguar, and with technology we want to develop and build on.” 

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Q: How can it inform other Jaguars? 

A: “Both in the mindset and in other EVs. It will inspire our interiors to move forward – we acknowledge what we need to do to Jaguar interiors and the I-Pace will inform our thinking. We now have all the lessons of building an electric car and that stands us in good stead. The mindset shift puts us in great shape for the future. There’s a buzz on EVs, and all engineers here are revved up for the possibilities.” 

Q: Is there scope for Jaguar to be radical and only make electric cars? 

A: “On a personal note, who knows? This has given us an opportunity for the future to see which way it goes. Making an EV has been a good move.” 

Q: How will history view the I-Pace? 

“It will call it a transformative time for Jaguar cars. I’m already planning my retirement and see it as an ‘I was there, we did that’ moment. If the Jaguar F-Pace was a game changer, this is a different sport. When we look back on the I-Pace, it will be the moment we started doing something new and thinking differently, I hope.” 

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Q: How do you follow it up? 

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A: “We have to keep going forwards, and the business is united behind it. We’ll take all of these lessons learned and the problems solved, and push to the future.”

Read more

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Mark Tisshaw

Title: Editor

Mark is a journalist with more than a decade of top-level experience in the automotive industry. He first joined Autocar in 2009, having previously worked in local newspapers. He has held several roles at Autocar, including news editor, deputy editor, digital editor and his current position of editor, one he has held since 2017.

From this position he oversees all of Autocar’s content across the print magazine, website, social media, video, and podcast channels, as well as our recent launch, Autocar Business. Mark regularly interviews the very top global executives in the automotive industry, telling their stories and holding them to account, meeting them at shows and events around the world.

Mark is a Car of the Year juror, a prestigious annual award that Autocar is one of the main sponsors of. He has made media appearances on the likes of the BBC, and contributed to titles including What Car?Move Electric and Pistonheads, and has written a column for The Sun.

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armstrm 22 January 2019


I am sure the I-pace is a good car and I am not going to slate it, as I have not driven it, so do not know enough about it. However it is impossible to say that this car is a car without compromises. Every car has compromises and the I-pace is no different. It has a very small towing capacity, it has an odd shaped boot, and it seems very expensive to name a few.  It will suit some people but not others.

britfan 22 January 2019


Not the iPace - one of the most exciting cars in recent years.  But Christ, the tedious anti-JLR comments on this website, including one clown demanding silence.  So utterly boring.  Trolls or frustrated Audi dealers.  On the other hand, it would be good to hear more detail about the MLA architecture and how iPace fits into that, or not.

James Dene 22 January 2019

JLR Press Office

Yet another piece of JLR PR puff. Lord knows what hyperbole they'll print when the too-expensive cut and shut Defender finally arrives.