Luxury auto giant Jaguar has today unveiled its first foray into the fast-expanding electric car market, promising its new I-PACE Concept will boast a 500km range and the ability to go from zero to 60 mph in around four seconds.
The company hailed the zero emission car as “the start of a new era for Jaguar”, arguing the absence of the mechanical machinery the defines the design of a conventional car had allowed it to deliver a “five-seater sports car; a performance car, a family car and an SUV all in one”.
The car is now slated to hit UK roads in 2018.
Jaguar said the battery pack and motors had been designed and engineered in-house, allowing it to deliver a 500km range that means the average user will only have to recharge once a week.
“Charging is easy and quick, with 80 per cent charge achieved in 90 minutes and 100 per cent in just over two hours using 50kW DC charging,” the company said.
Ian Callum, director of design at Jaguar, said the “absence of mechanical machinery sitting in particular places” offered an opportunity for designers of electric cars.
“It liberates you to be able to put the people – who set the visual volume of the car more than anything – where you want them to be, which naturally is further forward,” he said. “It’s practical to do so also; you get more space between the wheels when you’re not constrained by the engine package. But also we don’t like to see a lot of mass over the back of the car. You want to push that mass forward, otherwise the car looks like it’s falling back. That’s just an instinct and so it was incredibly gratifying to have had the opportunity to do just that with the I-PACE Concept.”
The launch comes just days after reports Toyota is planning its first pure electric car and BMW is eyeing rapid expansion for its EV models.