Jaguar claims the I-Pace takes aesthetic inspiration from the C-X75 concept. You might wonder what an electric family car could possibly have in common with a turbine-powered hybrid hypercar, but similarities do exist. Both feature cab-forward proportions, and both have similar broad, Tarmac-sniffing snouts and a commensurately low, vented bonnet.
The rear of the I-Pace is more of a departure, being tall and squared off for a commendably low drag coefficient of 0.29. Incidentally, it’s Jaguar design director Ian Callum’s least favourite element, although to our eyes lends the car a rakishly robust, super-distinctive and appealing visual character.
But how to classify the I-Pace? It is exactly a centimetre longer than an XE and yet its wheelbase eclipses that of the XF mid-size saloon. It presents as an SUV but sits conspicuously low to the ground by the standards of such cars. It’s also supercar-wide, at 2139mm, including mirrors.
Underneath the aluminium bodywork resides an electric powertrain of predictable architecture. A ‘skateboard’ battery pack (423 lithium ion cells, liquid cooled) of 90kWh is spread below the cabin floor and sits entirely within the car’s wheelbase for a claimed 50:50 weight distribution (53:47 as tested).
It drives a lightweight permanent-magnet electric motor on each axle. Each drives through a single-speed epicyclic transmission and open differential (there is brake-based torque vectoring in lieu of a locking diff) for maximum compactness.
At low speeds, the I-Pace is powered by just one of its motors, though on our EV400 test car, both can combine to deliver 394bhp and 512lb ft through all four wheels, and a claimed 0-60mph time of 4.5sec – the latter coming despite a claimed 2133kg kerb weight, which presented as 2236kg on the scales in the case of our test car. And when we tested a Model S with precisely the same battery capacity in 2016? It weighed an almost identical 2230kg.
Range for the I-Pace is quoted at 292 miles on the new WLTP lab test cycle, with the battery capable of charging to 80% in 40 minutes from a 100kW DC rapid charger. A full charge from a 7kW home wallbox takes a fraction under 13 hours.