If you read “Jaguar” and “electric” in the same sentence, what do you feel?
Cold sweat? Gag? Maybe anger? Do not worry, it makes us feel the same but we found a cure.

Jaguar is launching its very first 100% electric car! Nope, it is not a bad dream, it is the electric fever.

Is it serious Doctor? Jaguar France has chosen to invite us to the Ceram circuit in Mortefontaine to give its medical consultation. We fight the sickness with sickness.

Electrocuted by the Jaguar I-Pace

To our surprise, it is with a Range Rover Sport SVR (!) that we start the day. The cure starts well, very well indeed. The V8 5.0L 550ch from his sister Jaguar F-Type SVR roars! A very angry cat (who forgot his summer body challenge) drives us passionately on the speed ring. The cavernous sound of the exhaust is truly charming well back in the car seats. In the curve, the driver takes their hands off the wheel. Yes, he drives us without hands. How that possible ? Not because of a new technology but thanks to the old fashion centrifugal forces we are still alive.

Anyway, the appointment is taken for a full test drive …!

The real question is: how are we going to do without that sort of roar?

To reduce our carbon footprint of the day, we are greeted by a dozen Jaguar I-Pace EV400 AWD.

Design make it all good

Already seen at the Geneva International Motor Show, it was pretty but in reality, swapping the spots for the sun in late June, it is really beautiful.

Haters will say that this is just another SUV among many others. Well yes and no, if it is all right, we’re going to have a little Rorschach ink stains test.

Unlike all SUVs or almost, its height is relatively limited, between the XE and the E-Pace. Long story short, it does not feel like getting into a 4×4 (or worse in a truck). Let’s compare the ink stains: the I-Pace is long, as long as a Jaguar XE! This I-Pace is perhaps not a new SUV but rather a new vision of the sedan.

Finished the heavy and austere notchbacks, hello dynamic and sporty sedans.

 

Nothing to say, I-Pace pleases us. It is not a coupé, but it has a good DNA. Special mentions: the air intake passes over the jaguar logo and comes out in the middle of the hood. This one is just splendid. Then the trunk, it is particularly well integrated, thanks to the very tight lines that give it an unique profile recognizable between thousand Rorschach boards (but difficult to shoot).

On the electric road

A prayer to the God of V12 and we step inside! Step on the brake, press start and … nothing happens. The screen turns on but nothing shows that this car is alive (do not feel well, call an ambulance please). We start slowly, without any noise, only the discreet sound of the tires that rub on the ground.

I panic a little more, because a Jaguar logo is well embedded on the steering wheel.

A very slight throttle and finally we hear the sound of the electric engine. You know this high-pitched sound that reminds us of our remotely-controlled children’s cars, that one but louder (the fever goes up a little bit).

The British health professional is asking me to speed up for the speed ring. The pedal to the metal and … revelation!

What a torque! The car is like a rubber band that never ends. It is fabulous. We turn around the ring by varying the speed to feel the effect of the electric motors. And for good reason, the I-Pace EV400 displays a torque of 350 Nm and two electric engines of 147 kW or 200 ch (that is 400 ch, super good at math as you see).

To add some spiciness to the test we first did a lap without the hands (magic ring) and then a standing start (just for fun). Despite the lack of sound, I did smile like a kid thanks to a 0 to 100 km/h in 4.8 seconds. But beware the doctor on board warned me, this technology is addictive.

Aboard an electric luxury car

Inside you feel good, the Jaguar atmosphere is respected, the seats (regular) are comfortable while maintaining properly. For this futuristic model of the range, designers have combined technology and luxury the British way. Touch screen, leather and wood veneer (or carbon fiber) (or beautifully monogrammed aluminum) rub shoulders. What else?

Finally, we are also allowed to have shiny plastics, incredible decorative effect (joke), which will not fail to collect dust at the slightest open window and scratch just by looking at it. Too bad because this central column was beautiful and wonderfully well integrated with screens.

 

So we go stealthily (yes because we do not make noise) on the circuit designed for the occasion. To finish our recovery, we start the Dynamic mode, and go ! The throttle is immediately more responsive, the steering is heavier and suspensions are harder : we love it! But what do we hear?

No time to realize, we are already the first chicane jump to our face, swerve to the left, swerve to the right and here we come out smoothly and with very little body-roll! I start to feel better. We tackle the first corner, we release the throttle and the car is naturally on the right way. It does not move, looking for the apex despite the tires that screech (we hear it well). Step on it. That is it, I know, we hear indeed an evocative sound: a V6! Pinch me, I dream.

It was after this tough run that we finally sat down to debrief. Jaguar would have thought of us (and you petrolheads). They know how much we are in love with the sound of the engines. Therefore, an artificial sound can be added to the dynamic mode to spice up the sporty trips. No one can ever blame you for making too much noise, the sound is aboard, just for you: selfish and enjoyable.

To be perfectly honest, the quiet mode or the noisy mode offer two different driving experiences and each one very appreciable. But what has marked this Jaguar I-Pace experience is the balance of the car, which despite its more than 2100 kg, seems dynamic and agile. Thanks to the batteries in the floor and the perfect weight distribution of 50% at the front and 50% at the back.

Before letting me go, health book stamped, the team of experts makes me try one of the last technological novelty.

It may be soon on all car: the one pedal driving. Yes, I am a little skeptical, but let’s try that. Easy ! In fact it works very well, but even if I was feverish when I arrived, I did not feel the need to remove a pedal on the two already present. Two pedals is already not much.

With a little imagination, after a rough week, with noisy children behind and a dog next to me licking my cheek, I can understand that a single pedal can perhaps be relaxing to face the traffic of everyday life.

Basically, what will characterize a car in the future (except for sporty cars) it will not be really the nobility of its engine but the know-how of the manufacturer to make us live the most wow experience. Deals with it, Jaguar took up here a great challenge by making us appreciate a car which inaugurates a new segment, which knows how to be dynamic, without emitting the slightest CO2 and sound.

Looking forward to seeing how far we can go! Apparently until Saint-Etienne, if you start in Paris. Jaguar announces indeed a range of 480 km per charge for its I-Pace EV400, which places it in the current average of the segment (if the kilometer contest really interests you).

Finally, no #FuntoDrive Score, since it is reserved for cars tested on open road. But we will probably find I-Pace soon on our streets.

Kid’s score :   91/100

Our teenager spent the whole test drive on the back seat.
And she said “TBH: GOAT”. (translation: “To be honest: greatest of all time”).

We will let you discover them in our “Jaguar I-Pace” story at the top of our Instagram profile.

Most importantly keep it #FuntoDrive.

 

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How Jaguar tries to convert us to electric cars with the new I-Pace

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