Jaguar I-Pace EV Crossover — BMW i3’s biggest competitor?

BMW i, News | November 15th, 2016 by 33
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Much has been said about BMW’s i3, its electric hatchback with a 114 mile range, and how it’s simply not good enough to compete in …

Much has been said about BMW’s i3, its electric hatchback with a 114 mile range, and how it’s simply not good enough to compete in the fast-moving electric car segment anymore. Tesla fans will boast about their 200-plus mile ranges and superior autonomous driving technology. However, the i3 doesn’t really compete with any Teslas, as they’re all far bigger and far more expensive. But a new premium brand has just unwrapped their latest EV concept and it could be the biggest threat to BMW’s i3 yet — the Jaguar I-Pace EV Crossover Concept.

While still technically just a concept, Jaguar’s Director of Design Ian Callum seems to think that it’s much more. “This isn’t just a concept. It is a preview of a five-seat production car that will be on the road in 2018.” Callum said, reports Car and Driver.

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Having been built on an entirely new EV-based platform, the I-Pace is a near production-ready car that isn’t just an F-Pace with electric motors. According to Jaguar, the design team wanted to “tear up the rulebook on vehicle layout,” so this I-Pace is a clean-sheet design with some genuinely impressive innovations. Jaguar even designed the battery pack and electric motors in-house, as opposed to outsourcing them. Also impressive, the aluminum battery pack housing is part of the chassis structure, much like the engine of a Ferrari F50. This increases structural rigidity, which will help handling and ride comfort. So Jaguar means business in the field of EVs and isn’t just slapping some electrons into a regular Jaguar model to appease environmentalists.

With a sort of crossover-like body, the Jaguar I-Pace EV Crossover is more similar to the BMW i3 than, say, a Tesla Model S. It’s also similar to the i3 in the sense that it’s funkier looking than every other EV on the market. With looks that evoke images of the gorgeous Jaguar C-X75 supercar concept, the I-Pace is possibly the coolest looking EV design on the market. It’s strange and weird but still has Jag’s sexy design language.

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However, it’s bigger than the i3, as it has a longer wheelbase than even its F-Pace SUV stablemate. Though, its shorter than that car overall. But the long wheelbase allows Jaguar to fit a 90 KwH lithium-ion battery pack in between the two axles quite easily. That massive battery pack powers two electric motors, one at each axle, that combine to develop a whopping 400 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. That’s a helluva lot more than the i3’s 170 hp single electric motor. That means the I-Pace is capable of 0-60 mpg in just 4 seconds. Compared to the BMW i3’s 7.3 second 0-60 mph time, the I-Pace is simply monstrous. But the I-Pace will also have tons of regenerative braking, allowing for the one-pedal driving just like the i3. The regen can be adjusted via a “D” button on the center console.

Another benefit of the dual-motor all-wheel drive system is that it allows Jaguar to employ the same All Surface Progress Control and Adaptive Surface Response as the F-Pace SUV. Both off-road software was borrowed from sister company Land Rover and they help the F-Pace be a genuinely good off-roading SUV. So expect the I-Pace to actually be pretty damn good off road and far better than the only other EV SUV, the Tesla Model X, as that car weighs about as much as a medium-sized aircraft carrier.

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Inside, the I-Pace has a futuristic and special looking cabin. It’s open, airy and packed with technology. It also reminds us of the i3 interior, with bright wood used sparingly, renewable materials and a ton of space, the I-Pace has a similar design philosophy. However, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that the I-Pace’s cabin is far better looking.

The Jaguar I-Pace will be a seriously competitive EV when it finally debuts and it won’t just be something to boost the reputation of Jaguar’s model portfolio. With seriously quick speed, all-wheel drive capability, impressive technology, looks straight out of Minority Report and an interior that looks special, the Jag I-Pace could be a fan favorite among EV fans and could seriously threaten the BMW i3.

33 responses to “Jaguar I-Pace EV Crossover — BMW i3’s biggest competitor?”

  1. RIDEHARD says:

    At least Jaguar believes EVs don’t have to look like a Prius.

  2. Me says:

    It’s in line with the vehicles I was shown a few months ago, which I believe were the actual styles intended for production. This is definitely more futuristic like. Strangely enough, it looks like a weird fusion of the two most popular body styles in my particular focus group. One was a bit more masculine and aggressive with sharp character lines while the other was softer and more rounded. Here’s hoping they go with the former, sharper looking one.

    Jaguar has been at the top of my radar for awhile now, especially after spending so much time with them at vehicle studies. I think they brain washed me. But reading reviews and sitting in the cars, their new vehicles are definitely BMW’s biggest threat when it comes to sporty, driver oriented vehicles. The 35t growl sounds amazing, the XE interior is clean and modern and the F-Pace interior is fantastically beautiful (well, at least the trim we tested at the dealership)… not sure what happened with the XF.. the interior of the XF is subpar for the category.. it was at XE levels..

  3. Fritz says:

    No competition, it already blows the i3 away.

    • Kaisuke971 says:

      Do you realize that this is a concept of a car that’s supposed to come out five years after the i3 did and be marketed higher in terms of price, luxury and features ? In a domain where technology is the main concern i’d at least hope such a model blows the i3 away.

      The i3 was more intended for city driving (if that wasn’t obvious enough by its look) and designed towards people in agglomerations. It’s not a “shame” in any kind of way, because it’s a pretty big market and concern.

      • Fritz says:

        The i3 is intended for ‘city driving’ because BMW hasn’t anything else to offer. If they could they would. Let’s look trough the marketing shenanigans. The i3 was already lagging behind when it came out.

        They could have waited a few more year until they had a product that could, more or less, take on Tesla. After all, the new EU CO2 emissions restrictions only go into effect in 2020.
        https://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/transport/vehicles/cars/index_en.htm

      • Bob Morane says:

        BMW has yet to show their concept of i5 or X3 eDrive. iNext can’t be taken seriously. F-Pace Concept was closely followed by production car, and this Concept looks more production ready than any other BEV concept in the past.

      • Mark Tucker says:

        The British car sites are all saying we will see a production version by the end of 2017.

        I agree that sounds optimistic, but given Jaguar’s progress in the last few years it may happen. If we see it a production model in 2018, that will be very impressive.

        In my option the i3 has turned into a failure for two reasons:.

        1. They did not want it appeal to a traditional 3 series buyer. They were chasing the Prius market. This is reflected in the styling, which does not have the broad appeal this model deserved.
        2. They made a strategic decision to prioritise carbon fibre tech ahead of battery and Electric drive technologies. Easy to the see why, three years ago, everybody would have agreed with the suggestion that low cost Carbon fibre would have more value across the range to BMW than Tesla style long range battery and electric drive tech.

        BMW has like a most brands been caught out by the quality of the tech Tesla has brought to the market. They saw the I brand as serving a small niche market. I am confident that in time BMW will catch up.

        BMW will build a better Model S, long before Telstra figures out how to build a quality car to go with there impressive tech.

        • Kaisuke971 says:

          Well “see” could mean different things. But if Jaguar says 2018 it’ll most likely be 2018 (when they deliver the first cars), they are backed up by a pretty huge investment found i reckon and the brand is having a nice progression. Right now though they need to improve their tech, the reliability and the interior quality on their models. The I-Pace seems to do all of that.

          I agree with your second point i’ve expressed this idea many times about the i Brand and BMW in general on this forum. It’s more interesting for a future projection because the evolution of batteries (BMW is already developing their software, they probably can’t put it on the market for legal reasons) in the car industry is just like in the phone industry: everyone ends up catching up and the difference gets reduced.

          I do think that in the long term, as you suggest it, BMW’s strategy will pay off. The weight and dynamics of the car have not really been taken in account by the other brands (besides the usual battery on the ground and a bit of aluminium here and there, nothing extraordinary.). The i3 is the first large production scale vehicle with a carbon tub too.

          But we’ll eventually see how it pays off i guess.

        • Max says:

          The i3 is, from technologically point of view, a masterpiece!

          Fully carbon fiber body, enough space for 4 people and still good trunk space, RWD and very fun to drive.
          A whole sustainable supply and production chain <- that alone is years ahead of everything else on the market. No other brand is more focussed on reducing the use of ressources and energy, and that is what e-mobility is and should be about. As a brand BMW could and should advertise this incredible achievement much more, but of course all "Ultimate Driving Machine" friends would hate it. We have climate goals not for fun.
          Building a 2t+ tank with a lot of batteries is seriously nothing "green" or special. What does a Tesla Model S help us to reduce CO2 emission, if its production (and dont forget the battery thing) is still the same than any other car? Nothing.

          • Bob Morane says:

            The BMW i3 could have been such a car, but BMW failed, and I don’t see them catching up well, because now they are in a rush to bring our more BEVs, it is very unlikely they will be as good as their ICEVs.

    • Max says:

      Comparing a 1200kg small city fun car with a huge 2tones+ SUV is not only stupid, it makes no sense at all. Considering the jumps in battery technology 5 years later 200km more is not a big deal. The i3 is just too small to carry more batteries. Lets wait for the next EVs from BMW and then u can judge again..
      And hey, weren’t there people hyping the Tesla Model 3? Ohh it has only i3 range in 2018..I thought Tesla is the big deal?
      And in the end this is a concept car, there is still a lot of work to do, we will see if they can follow their promises.

      • Fritz says:

        “The i3 is just too small to carry more batteries.”

        Obviously you forgot about the Tesla Roadster.

        • Kaisuke971 says:

          The Tesla Roadster was an immense failure they almost went bankrupt and it was an horrible car too.

          • Fritz says:

            I’m was merely talking about the battaries. Claiming that the i3 is too small to carry better batteries is wrong.

            BMW can, and will, do better.

            As far as Telsa goes, I don’t care all that much about them.

  4. Doberman says:

    Jaguar has just kicked BMW’s ass all over the future. Look at the I Pace, and compare it to the i3. Even compare it to the concept images we’ve seen of the i5 (or whatever it is). BMW’s offerings look like science projects. Jaguar’s is beautiful and desirable. Sexy. Premium. If I’m at BMW right now, I’m saying “ouch.”

  5. EasternCoaster says:

    I still can’t understand why BMW can’t put the i3 Rex architecture into a car that isn’t totally embarrassing to be seen in.

  6. Bob Morane says:

    Jaguar leap-frogs BMW, Audi and Mercedes? At least comparing the concept vehicles.

  7. CDspeed says:

    The i3 shouldn’t even be mentioned in the same article as the Jaguar I-Pace, they’re two different generations.

    • DFW'sCars says:

      Even removing generations it’s a diff class of car. The i3 is closer to the Bolt and maybe even Leaf. If they had an X3 or x5 in electric form that’s the Bmw comparison.

    • Bob Morane says:

      BMW has to show a concept (as they always do). Audi and Mercedes already have. i5 CAD leaks looks like Prius, OK for a car like Prius or i3 if revolutionary tech, but insufficient for mainstream. And a BMW X3 eDrive BEV based on X3 xDrive is a cheap solution. Good BEVs (like i3 and Tesla) are built from ground up, not on modified ICEV platform.

  8. peanut says:

    This surely will be going up against the bmw i5 not the i3 which is a different segment and price range.

  9. flashrob says:

    these “smaller guzzler mfrs” CAN ACTUALLY TRANSITION TO “PURE EV” …because THEY ARE NOT “UNDERCUTTING THEIR OWN” MKT OF ICE PRODUCTION VEHICLES…

    as the REAL BIG ICE GUZZLER MFRS… would have to…AND LOSE BIG FINACIALLY FOR HAVING TO DO THAT…

  10. TheBelltower says:

    Having owned a 2012 Range Rover, returned as a lemon to Land Rover and replaced with a 2013 Range Rover that was equally as bad, I will never own another JLR product ever. Especially one that relies so heavily on engineering expertise. Jaguars and Land Rovers are seductive, and are fine as niche cars driven on sunny weekends. But this company is absolutely unfit to sell mainstream vehicles.

  11. cohenfive says:

    This is not at all a competitor to the i3…It is bigger, with a much bigger range, and will be much more expensive. The model X at about $125k nicely equipped, is an easy target to beat imo. Heck, looks like it will have traditional doors!! If not too expensive, this is something I’d seriously consider.

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