Never mind watching future electric cars being unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show this week. I was among the first to drive one — Jaguar’s Tesla challenger, the I-Pace.
I took it out on a slippery track a short distance from the show hall — and it’s great fun. It’s stylish, but would fit well in any family driveway.
I’m not sure why I was surprised, but it drives like a Jaguar, too, though running entirely on electric power, it lacks the traditional roar. But it still feels taut and fast.
Future classic: The I-Pace drives like a Jaguar though running entirely on electric power, it lacks the traditional roar
And it accelerates like lightning, hitting 60 mph from rest in just 4.5 seconds.
But I wasn’t just going in straight lines.
I was throwing it around in the rain with abandon on an automotive assault course of tight turns and even a stint on a skid pan, as well as doing a fair few manoeuvres of my own.
It’s sure-footed and fun with a top speed of 124 mph. Yet it still promises a range of 298 miles — or just enough battery charge to drive from London to Newcastle — on one overnight charge.
Ray tried out the I-Pace on a slippery track a short distance from the show hall at the Geneva Motor Show
Quick: The I-Pace hits 60 mph from rest in just 4.5 seconds and has a top speed of 124 mph
Priced from £58,995 to £76,995, which includes a taxpayer subsidy of £4,500, it’s available to order now in four trim levels: S, SE, HSE and a top of the range First Edition launch model.
Deliveries are set for July, when the first models also reach showrooms. But customers can order and ‘configure’ their cars online now at jaguar.co.uk
Two Jaguar-designed electric motors — one at each axle — develop a total of 400 bhp — that’s about four Ford Fiestas.
Coming soon: The electric Jag is priced from £58,995 to £76,995, which includes a taxpayer subsidy of £4,500, with deliveries set for July
Credentials: Jaguar says owners will be able to achieve an 80 per cent charge in 85 minutes
Providing the power is a high-tech 90kWh lithium-ion battery that sits centrally and low between the axles, to give perfect 50:50 weight distribution.
Jaguar says owners will be able to achieve an 80 per cent charge in 85 minutes using a 50kW DC charger.
A 30-minute charge will give a range of about 80 miles.
A fast charge will power the battery to 80 per cent capacity in just 45 minutes.
Home charging overnight achieves 80 per cent power in just over ten hours, while a full charge will take 12.9 hours.
Jaguar has pipped Audi, and a host of other rivals, to the post.
Nimble: Jaguar has pipped Audi, and a host of other rivals, to the post
VOLVO XC40 IS CAR OF THE YEAR
Volvo boss Hakan Samuelsson with the European Car of the Year award for the XC40 SUV
Volvo’s new XC40 SUV, which I road tested recently, is a deserving winner of this year’s prestigious European Car of the Year award, which was announced on the eve of the Geneva Motor show and collected by the Swedish car firm’s chief executive Hakan Samuelsson.
In a Eurovision-style tallying of points for the industry’s Oscars it beat six other shortlisted cars: Alfa Romeo’s Stelvio, the Audi A8, BMW 5-series, Citroen C3 Aircross, Kia Stinger, and Seat Ibiza.
Toyota unveils new British-built Auris
Toyota took the wraps of its new Auris hybrid hatchback (above) which, along with petrol versions, will be built at the Japanese giant’s plant in Burnaston, Derbyshire, ready for sale in the first quarter of next year.
Brexit boost: The new Auris hybrid hatchback, along with petrol versions, will be built at the Japanese giant’s plant in Burnaston, Derbyshire
But it also delivered a shock by announcing the death knell for diesel.
Toyota will end sales of all diesel cars in Britain and Europe by the end of this decade and plans to boost petrol-electric hybrids in their place.
Last year 45 per cent of Toyota UK sales were hybrid and fewer than 7 per cent were diesel, plummeting to 4.5 per cent in January.
Two-door Range Rover is three times the price
The new two-door 165 mph Range Rover SV Coupe from Jaguar Land Rover’s special vehicle operations division in Ryton, Coventry, has half the number of doors and costs three times the price of a standard Range Rover — a hefty £240,000.
Most expensive Range Rover yet: Just 999 of these limited edition Range Rover SV Coupes will be built, each once costing at least £240,000
Production is limited to 999 vehicles, all hand-built. Rest to 62 mph takes 5.3 seconds from the 557bhp, 5-litre supercharged V8 engine.
- Two more eye-catchers from rival camps pleased the crowds in Geneva — Audi’s new A6 and BMW’s prototype M8 Gran Coupe due in 2019.
Audi’s new A6
Aggressive: The BMW M8 concept
CARS & MOTORING: ON TEST