Between the axles, surrounded by a predominantly aluminium body structure (torsionally stiffer and with more aluminium content than any other Jaguar), sit 90kWh worth of lithium ion battery cells, enough for a 298-mile range on the new European WLTP drive cycle.
How fast you’ll actually get through them and how fast you’ll charge them depends on how heavy your foot is, the kind of driving you do and what charger you have access to.
Anyway, because of the relative simplicity – of the mechanicals, if not the intricacies of the hardware and the control systems to deploy it – there’s a lot of interior room in the I-Pace, given its medium outward size. Those in the back will have the kind of knee room, if not quite as much head room, as they’ll be used to in a genuine executive car.
Those in the front have plenty of head room, too, mind, and are surrounded by an interior layout that is recognisably Jaguar, with only a few novel twists. It’s not like being in, say, one of BMW’s i cars, which likes to throw new materials at you to make you feel like you’re sitting in the future. (You can even have wood trim, for heaven’s sake.)
The I-Pace’s seats are big, comfortable, faux leather at no cost or leather for a couple of grand – it’s remarkably easy, as with most premium cars, to add £10k, £20k to the basic price very quickly – and there are all-digital instruments and a new infotainment layout.
At the top is a touchscreen that deals with the navigation, audio, telephone and quite a lot of options. Below deals with the less required stuff, part touchscreen, part dials, and there are a few other switches because, unlike Tesla, Jag would rather not deal with everything via one big touchscreen.
I see the sense in that – but, then, I also see how quickly the mapping, and directions to chargers, for example, work on the Model 3, whose big touchscreen’s controls are seriously impressive. Somewhere between all these systems, there’s one perfect one.
It’s all designed, though, as the outside is, with verve and elegance. Interior fit and finish are strong, and the mechanical layout means there’s a lot of oddments storage. It has also given Callum’s team some flexibility on the outside.
The cab is further forward than an internally combusted car’s, the car looks agile and it retains a big grille, even though it doesn’t need all of it for the three independent cooling systems (motors, battery, interior).
The top bit flows air through a gap and onto the bonnet, maintaining easy, laminar flow to the body – whose black sides break up the bulk and which you’ll see on future Jaguar SUVs – to the back, which is, from a design standpoint perhaps, the least striking bit of the car. But to have a Cd of 0.29, it’s a necessity. “It’s high. It’s square,” says Callum. “I said to the design team: ‘Accept the physics. Make it work.’”
It encloses a spacious, 656-litre boot, mind, and there’s a 27-litre compartment at the front, too.
To drive, then? More vehicle-ish than a Tesla, in that there’s a key and a start button, and a handbrake on the dashboard although you’ll probably never use it.
Push D, swing the medium-weight steering (about 2.5 turns between locks) and either pull away using the creep function, which makes it feel like one of those old-fashioned automatic combustion-engined vehicle thingies or, if you’d rather – and I would – turn that off and pull away using the throttle.