Jaguar is releasing its Model X competitor in 2018 — and the vehicle is absolutely gorgeous.
The SUV will be Jaguar’s very first electric car. Jaguar is smart to start with an SUV at a time where US consumers are consistently opting for more space.
The move puts Jaguar in direct competition with Tesla’s Model X, which has also experienced strong demand. In fact, Tesla sold roughly the same number of Model X SUVs (11,550) as Model S sedans (13,450) in the first quarter.
Here’s what you need to know about Jaguar’s very first electric car:
Behold: Jaguar’s I-PACE, a five-seat SUV. Here it looks somewhat similar to Tesla’s Model X.
See what I mean?
The I-PACE is a preview of Jaguar’s electric, five-seat production car coming in 2018. That production car will be Jaguar’s first ever battery-powered vehicle. The brand new red I-PACE debuted at the Geneva Motor Show in March.
The car features a “cab-forward design.” Jaguar was able to execute this design because the car doesn’t need an engine upfront. Jaguar said in a statement that taking a cab-forward design approach frees up room in the interior to make it more spacious.
The I-PACE’s design is why many will consider the vehicle a crossover SUV. It has a compact body and is fairly low to the ground for a traditional SUV, but it still seats five while offering plenty of cargo space.
The Jaguar I-PACE has the same suspension system as the F-PACE, which Business Insider’s Matt DeBord called “the most beautiful SUV on planet Earth” in 2015.Jaguar has admitted the design it chose is unique in that sense.
“The I-PACE Concept is, however, something altogether new: not a traditional sports car, saloon or SUV and absolutely not a traditional Jaguar,” the automaker wrote in a press statement.
The car comes with a 90 kWh battery pack that powers two, 200 hp electric motors sitting over each axle.
Jaguar claims the car has a range of 220 miles, allowing it to compete most closely with the Model X 75D that offers 237 miles of range and starts at $85,500.
There’s no word on how much the Jaguar electric SUV will cost yet, so it’s hard to really compare it to the competition just yet. But Joe Eberhardt, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover North America, said in a Business Insider interview it will be comparable to luxury offerings from brands like Porsche.
As Business Insider’s Benjamin Zhang pointed out, that means you’re looking at an asking price north of $50,000, which, again, not to beat a dead horse, really places it as a competitor with the luxury Model X in both offerings and price.
Jaguar said the car will offer 400 hp and 516 lb./ft. of torque, allowing it to accelerate to 60 mph in 4 seconds. That outpaces the Model X 75D and 90D, which can accelerate to 60 mph in 6 seconds and 4.8 seconds, respectively.
The I-PACE comes with a rear spoiler and a full-length panoramic sunroof.
Using a 50 kW DC rapid charger, it will charge the car in two hours.
The interior itself is striking. The seats are made of fine Windsor leather that matches the light color palette used inside.
The cockpit comes with two touchscreens on the center console.
The traditional driver’s instrument was also replaced with a virtual screen that can be controlled using buttons on the steering wheel. The buttons offer haptic feedback when in use.
Here’s another shot of the cockpit, which was finished with dark walnut veneers.
It’s easy to see the attention to detail, from the stitching on the seats…
… To the seamless integration of metal and wood…
… To Jaguar’s personal engraving etched with laser on the instrument panel’s wood surface.
From what we know about the car so far, it seems Jaguar’s car has the potential to be a real contender in the electric car space when it arrives in 2018.