Los Angeles — Look out Tesla Model X, your rear-view mirrors are filled with Jaguar.
On a new electric architecture that shares the suspension with the 2017 Jaguar F-PACE crossover, the all-electric I-PACE concept sport utility will be the first direct competition to Tesla’s gull-winged, six-figure-priced EV rocket. The I-PACE was introduced Monday night ahead of the Los Angeles Auto Show, but executives say it’s a close approximation of the production version due to hit shelves in late 2018.
The iconic British performance car manufacturer bills the I-PACE as a “five-seat sports car and a performance SUV in one.”
While the Jaguar bears the familiar design cues — large grille, slated headlights and muscular hips — of its carbon-fueled stablemates, the I-PACE cabin is moved well-forward because there is no engine up front.
Combined with a more open cabin design — courtesy of its huge, 90 kWh battery in the floor — the I-PACE promises big interior volume numbers to go with its big performance figures. Jaguar estimates its range at 220 miles on a single charge. With 400 horsepower and whopping 516 pound-feet of torque on tap, the vehicle is expected to zip from zero-60 in just four seconds.
Jaguar says its experience in the all-electric Formula E racing series has trickled down into the development of the I-PACE’s all-wheel-drive, electric-motor drivetrain. The brand also promises an innovative, “flightdeck” cockpit with gearshift buttons and three screens.
“The I-PACE concept represents the next generation of electric vehicle design,” Director of Design Ian Callum told a celebrity-sprinkled audience. “It’s a dramatic, future-facing cab-forward design with a beautiful interior — the product of authentic Jaguar DNA, electric technology and contemporary craftsmanship.”
Jaguar put on the glitz with a world-first, love cross-continent virtual reality reveal experience featuring actress Michelle Rodriguez, late night-talk show host James Corden, supermodel Miranda Kerr and Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper.
Customers can register at jaguarusa.com to get in line for their I-PACE.
Henry Payne is auto critic for The Detroit News. Find him at firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @HenryEPayne.