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Geneva LIVE: 2019 Jaguar I-Pace

by Byron Hurd

Jaguar unveils its 240-mile electric CUV.

More than a year after its concept's global debut at the 2016 Los Angeles International Auto Show, Jaguar is unveiling its production I-Pace battery-electric SUV in Geneva. The concept promised an open cabin, plenty of horsepower and more than 220 miles of all-electric range. By all accounts, it appears Jaguar is poised to deliver on all three of those assurances.

Go time
The 2019 Jaguar I-Pace sports a 90kWh battery pack powering twin electric motors, delivering a total output of 394 horsepower and 512lb-ft of torque. Jaguar claims this is enough to motivate the I-Pace from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just 4.5 seconds--not exactly slow.

I-Pace will boast a maximum range of 240 miles (better than promised) and Jaguar says the battery pack can be juiced up from empty to 80% of its maximum charge in 40 minutes on a 100kW fast charger. 240-volt charging to the same level will take just over 10 hours.

Drivers who want to get the most distance from their I-Paces have several ways to accomplish that. For starters, it offers one-pedal driving (via aggressive regeneration settings) for the best possible preservation of battery charge. In addition, the navigation system has been optimized to choose routes that will maximize efficiency, factoring in topography, driving style and more.

I-Pace's battery pack is mounted low across the floor to optimize is center of gravity, as is typical of new EVs. Jaguar also took advantage of the EV packaging flexibility to optimize its overall weight distribution, claiming it is very close to 50:50. The double-wishbone front and integral-link rear suspension setups mirror what you'll see across Jaguar's new lineup.

The battery is also backed by an eight-year, 100,000-mile warranty, for those who may be concerned that British cars and electricity should never mix.

From concept to reality
Much to Jaguar's credit, the exterior is an almost dead-on realization of the I-Pace concept's body, even down to the details. Jaguar Lead Designer Ian Callum credits the EV powertrain for allowing the company the freedom to translate the lofty ambition of the concept into a production-ready form.

And while Callum insists the I-Pace is all Jag, it is still a significant departure from the other vehicles penned by legendary designer. Take the cab-forward proportions, for starters. The absence of an internal combustion engine allowed the creative team to move the front seating position much farther forward than normal, automatically creating a larger rear passenger space.

This packaging advantage also allowed the team to style a sleek, "fast" rear hatch without having to worry about severely compromising the I-Pace's cargo area. All of these elements were present in the I-Pace concept, and while the interior has clearly evolved into a more consumer-ready design, just about everything else has been preserved the way it was originally shown.

What's next
Jaguar will show the production I-Pace live in Geneva next week. Dealer order banks are open for U.S. buyers who want to reserve an early example. Jaguar announced Tuesday that the 2019 I-Pace will start at $69,500.

Live photos by Ronan Glon.