Jaguar’s first electric vehicle, expected to be launched at the Geneva Motor Show in March, will redefine the electric vehicle architecture for the company.

The I-Pace’s electric architecture is designed in-house and informally referred to as the “electric skateboard”. Resembling previous models, the I-Pace is aluminum intensive, with a lithium-ion battery pack which is integrated in the car’s body.

Dual motor system

The I-Pace features a dual motor system. A pair of synchronous permanent electric motors is integrated at each axle of the car and paired with a single-speed epicyclic transmission.

The powertain enables four-wheel drive, immediate response from a standstill and rapid torque distribution between the axles. Each of the electric motors can produce up to 197 bhp, with a top speed of 0-60 mph in 4 seconds.

Jaguar designed the electric motors in-house, in order to achieve compactness, efficiency and power density. The 500mm long motors have an outer diameter of 234mm and weigh 38 kg. The company chose permanent magnet motors due to their better efficiency and lower weight. According to Jaguar’s vehicle line director, Ian Hoban, “electric motors provide immediate response with no lag, no gearshifts and no interruptions. Their superior torque delivery compared to internal combustion engines transforms the driving experience.”

Lithium-ion batteries

I-Pace features a 90kWh lithium ion battery pack, which uses 36 pouch cells selected for their energy density and thermal performance. The batteries can operate at a lower heat and run at high performance, longer than cylindrical cells. Pouch cells have greater future development potential, in terms of energy density, which can provide enhanced range for a specific battery size.

The battery pack is liquid-cooled through a dedicated two-mode cooling circuit. The battery’s efficiency can improve in moderate ambient temperatures, by only relying on a radiator to remove the heat generated by the cells. During higher temperatures, a chiller linked to the main air conditioning system provides a better cooling capacity to keep the battery in optimum condition.

Special driving capabilities

The I-Pace has the same double wishbone front suspension and integral link rear suspension that has already been used in the F-Pace. The battery pack is placed between the two axles, to help lower the gravity center and reduce yaw intertia. It also spreads the weight of the two electric motors on each side that helps create a front-to-rear weight distribution of almost 50-50. The body rides on 23in alloy wheels and 265/35 R23 tyres, using electromechanical steering.

The four-wheel driving system features Jaguar’s traction technologies, such as All Surface Progress Control (ASPC) and Adaptive Surface Response (AdSR). The I-Pace will also have adjustable levels of regenerative braking force, which will enable driving as a “one-pedal” car under special conditions. Jaguar’s Chief Engineer of Vehicle Integrity believes that it is a true Jaguar, developed for enthusiasts who love driving.

It’s a true Jaguar. This will be the first electric vehicle developed for enthusiasts who love driving.

Redefined dimensions

Jaguar chose the SUV design due to several reasons. As an unconventional SUV, the I-Pace uses some styling cues from the hybrid C-X75 supercar. It combines a cab-forward design, long wheelbase and short overhangs, that maximize the interior space for occupants, improve visibility and enhance driving dynamics.

Even though it resembles the F-Pace, the 4,680mm long, 1,890mm wide and 1,560mm tall I-Pace is smaller in every dimension, particularly height. The biggest difference is the extended wheelbase, measuring 2,990mm in the I-Pace, compared to 2,874mm for the F-Pace.

The door handles are flush with the body and only slide out upon activation, while side skirts channel air more efficiently around the wheels, reducing drag. A grille bends back to channel air through a scoop that is similar to the C-X75, which additionally reduces drag, reaching a coefficient of 0.29. I-Pace has a slightly higher drag coefficient than Tesla’s Model X, amounting to 0.24.

I-Pace contains a fixed spoiler at the rear of the roof, which reduces lift at higher speeds, without creating drag. The dramatically sloping rear window has a hydrophobic glass coating that sheds water, eliminating the rear windscreen wiper. The squared off-rear end and flared haunches promote the short rear overhang, and provide aerodynamic benefits that stabilise the airflow.

Instead of exhaust piper, I-Pace uses rear vents that extract turbulent air from the rear wheel arches into the vehicle’s wake, and a rear diffuser. The I-Pace also has redesigned tail-lights which feature a “chicane line” signature, replacing the E-Type roundel.

More space

As Jaguar’s first electric vehicle, the design of the I-Pace reflects a philosophy that will be featured in future models, as well.

The cabin is more spacious and maximizes the occupant space, offering a new minimalist cockpit design. The new model has up to 71mm of knee room for rear passengers.

The flat floor enables the driver and passengers to sit lower than in traditional SUVs. Slimline seats enable a “Sports Command” driving position, lowering the passenger’s hips in relation to their heels, whose aim is to offer a sense of connection with the road, even in higher-riding vehicles. The car’s flat floor and lack of a gear selector and transmission tunnel is emphasized by a floating center console. The center console contains metal struts which enable selection of gears via integrated buttons.

I-Pace also features an eight-liter stowage area between the front seats, in place of the transmission tunnel. There is a 530-liter boot and an extra 28 liters of stowage under the bonnet. On top of redesigned interior and more cabin space, I-Pace contains a full-length panoramic glass roof, featuring a lozenge-patterned ceramic print that is illuminated at night through an array of embedded LED lights.

More technology

The futuristic interior additionally features a new cockpit design based on 3 display screens. The primary interface is a 12.0in TFT touchscreen, while the infotainment and climate functions are adjusted on a secondary 5.5in screen operated by two aluminium rotary controllers. A configurable 12.0in virtual cluster augmented by a color head-up display is used to present instrumentation.

A new three-spoke steering wheel, featuring multi-function switches that react with haptic feedback when pressed is also found in the cockpit. Additional technology found in the new I-Pace includes a wi-fi hotspot and apps connectivity via InControl Apps. Both the interior and exterior contain numerous other special features, typical for Jaguar.

Snezana Sokolovska

Snezana has extensive international background and business media experience. She is covering e-mobility, autonomous vehicles and smart technology at Electric Think.

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