Jaguar has unveiled in Los Angeles the I-Pace Concept, a preview of its first-ever electric vehicle, a SUV to be launched on the market in 2018. High performances will be assured by electric motors at the front and rear axles, which together deliver 400PS and 700Nm of instant torque, with permanent all-wheel drive and a predicted range of over 500 km.

Taking full advantage of the packaging freedom offered by electrification, the design and engineering teams took the opportunity to rethink the vehicle’s overall proportions. The result is an exceptional vehicle that combines an advanced cab-forward design inspired by the C-X75 mid-engine supercar with the smooth silhouette of a coupe – in a five-seater SUV.

“The opportunities offered by an electric powertrain are huge, offering designers much greater freedom. This is why the I-Pace Concept is developed on a new architecture which has been designed to optimise electric vehicle performance, aerodynamics and interior space”, says Ian Callum, Director of Design, Jaguar. “With the I-Pace Concept, the revolution is in the profile, not the design language. The profile is possible because this car is electric and I was determined from the very beginning of this project to create a design which reflected this change in the mechanics of the car. This is what led to the sporty cab-forward profile rather than a car with a bonnet and an engine.”

Without an internal combustion engine and transmission tunnel to package, the I-Pace Concept’s design brings the cabin forward, extends the wheelbase and shortens the overhangs. This enables the silhouette to become more aerodynamic and the haunches to develop more powerful proportions. It also enlarges the interior space and improves vehicle dynamics and visibility.

With no engine bay and a battery pack that sits flat between the axles, the cab-forward design’s long wheelbase and short overhangs enable a footprint of 4,680mm x 1,890mm and a long wheelbase of 2,990mm, which creates a voluminous interior with a level of rear knee room usually only found in full-size SUVs and luxury saloons, and a 530-litre luggage compartment volume.

Close work between the Design and Aerodynamics teams not only achieved a low drag coefficient for a vehicle of this class of 0.29 Cd, it also inspired a technological edge to the Concept’s styling. Flush door handles reduce drag by only sliding out when activated. Aerodynamically optimised side skirts also blend form and function by channeling air more efficiently around the wheels.

The instrument panel is positioned low and its simple horizontal lines and minimalist switchgear help further emphasise the interior’s size. The floating centre console cossets the driver, with two ‘looping’ metal struts beautifully framing the access to a stowage area under the control panel – a motif that will recur in other future Jaguars.

“The interior of the I-PACE Concept is finished with beautiful, premium materials and an unwavering attention to detail”, Ian Callum explains. “Throughout the interior you will discover a host of beautiful details to surprise and delight. From the expansive panoramic glass roof to the sporting, beautifully finished seats, every feature bears the hallmark of British craftsmanship”.

The I-Pace Concept also introduces Jaguar’s new intuitive ‘flightdeck’ approach for the controls interface. The design philosophy emphasises controls that fall ergonomically to hand and technology that promotes driver engagement.

Blend of touchscreens, capacitive switches and tactile analogue controls helps drivers to manage in-car information more intuitively.        #JaguarElectrifies