Anyone who thinks the new Jaguar I-Pace isn't ready for rough terrain should think again. During a test drive last month in Portugal the full-electric all-wheel-drive crossover was at ease whether it was crossing a 45-cm-deep stream or climbing a steep mountain road or blazing around a Formula One racetrack at speeds topping 200 kph.
It did this all without burning a drop of fuel, providing proof that the I-Pace can more than compete with the Tesla Model X as well as forthcoming electric crossovers from its German rivals.
The I-Pace's 90-kilowatt-hour lithium ion battery delivers a range of 480 km based on the new WLTP cycle. The crossover's 394 hp and 696 newton meters of torque push the premium midsize crossover from 0 to 100 kph in 4.8 seconds.
However, Jaguar Land Rover's toughest task -- even more difficult than designing, engineering, testing and then getting the I-Pace to dealers ahead of the competition -- will be marketing the vehicle.
"Jaguar knows how to design a stunning crossover," says AutoPacific analyst Dave Sullivan, citing the success of the F-Pace, the fastest-selling vehicle in Jaguar's history. But "going all electric has unique challenges for a company where the brand has not had to launch an EV before."
Said Sullivan: "Jaguar was at the bottom of J.D. Power’s [2018 Initial Quality Study in the U.S.], and this is going to be their first EV. Jaguar doesn't have the same leeway with customers that Tesla has. Tesla customers might look the other way or chalk it up to Tesla being Tesla when it comes to quality problems, but Jaguar customers expect more from an established brand."