The I-Pace — concept preview of Jaguar's forthcoming 220-mile range electric SUV is my clear star of the LA show. It’s the car that everyone’s talking about, and it's gaining the most attention here in Tinseltown.
Particularly pleasing are the new proportions that Jag’s employed: it’s a cab-forward design, with a short hood whose form and surfacing reprise the CX-75 concept’s. Which is all to the benefit of interior cabin space, and the chopped rear works well, too.
There are clear signs (administrative changes in the US notwithstanding) that electric cars are reaching a tipping point with consumers, and if Jaguar can get this vehicle to market in a similar form by 2018, then it will surely have a winner on its hands. Word is, this is 90% of the production design.
This format and size of vehicle — rather than the compact BMW i3, for example — is what everyone suspects customers really want. It’s a great chance for Jaguar to set the pace, and the way this product fits comfortably within the range and happily wears its brand is clever. It avoids the derivative qualities of Tesla, and the avant-garde style of BMW i, which hasn’t resonated with (enough) customers. What’s more, it fits in to the LA vibe perfectly.
Well-judged, well-executed, the I-Pace is well worthy of the plaudits it’s getting. We’ll have more in-depth feedback on it later, when we’ve spoken with Ian Callum and his team.