LOS ANGELES -- Jaguar previewed its first full-electric car here today with the I-Pace concept for a sporty midsize SUV.
The production version will go on sale in dealerships globally in the second half of 2018, giving the British brand a rival to EVs planned by German competitors Audi and Mercedes-Benz as traditional premium automakers seek to recapture ground lost to Tesla Motors.
Jaguar says the I-Pace's cab-forward design is a styling breakthrough for EVs. The car combines sports-car performance and five-seat SUV versatility, it says. The brand also touts the concept’s roominess, long range and quick charging times as advances that will attract customers.
"Electric vehicles are inevitable -- Jaguar will make them desirable," Ian Hoban, Jaguar Land Rover's vehicle line director, said in a statement. Cars such as the I-Pace will make drivers appreciate that an EV can be "rewarding and practical enough to drive every day," he said.
The I-Pace will have its public unveiling at the Los Angeles auto show this week.
Hoban said the car's electric drivetrain gives it superior torque delivery that "transforms the driving experience" compared with internal combustion engines. "Electric motors provide immediate response with no lag, no gearshifts and no interruptions," he said.
The drivetrain has one motor per axle, creating an all-wheel-drive vehicle with 400 hp and 700 Newton meters (516 pounds-feet) of torque. The I-Pace accelerates from 0 to 60 mph (97 kph) in about four seconds, Jaguar said.