Jaguar first to really hunt down Tesla
Jaguar’s I-Pace, on display at the Geneva Motor Show today not as a concept, but readily available for ordering, is the first to really start hunting down Tesla on its own terrain. Full electric SUV with a range of 480 km and launched at a price under 80.000 euro, far below Tesla’s Model X, is sure to become a direct hit.
All car manufacturers are working on an answer on Tesla’s lead in electric cars, but don’t have a real competitor so far in the higher segment. Most are smaller cars like the Renault Zoe, the Hyundai Ionic, Nissan Leaf or BMW i3.
Jaguar CEO Ralf Speth doesn’t like to compare too much with Tesla’s X. “This is not a Tesla, it’s a Jaguar with a Jag’s DNA.” Jaguar, today owned by Indian Tata, is a British heritage with a long automotive history. Tesla is not only a product, it’s a philosophy far from the classic automobile.
The duel between rivals will be interesting to observe. The I-Pace promises a range of 480 km according to the new WLTP tests, compared to 545 km in the old NEDC test. It’s built for 94% out of aluminum and will accelerate in 4,8 seconds to 100 kph.
Shorter with more inner room
“While there is no combustion engine but two smaller electric motors, the vehicle doesn’t have to be so long and can offer more inner space”, Jaguar chief-designer Ian Callum says. At a price of just below 80.000 euro in Belgium, the I-Pace starts far lower than the Tesla X with prices from 100.000 to 160.000 euro depending on the version.
The I-Pace comes with a lot of smart solutions as a plus. Like an integrated application to integrate the electric car with the electric grid at home for backup power and smart apps to switch on the lights or heating remotely. Fast charging up to 80% is possible in 40 minutes.
113 pre-orders in Belgium
For the Jaguar I-Pace there only will be one capacity version. Whether Jaguar will be able to meet the demand remains an open question. Before the opening of the Geneva Motor Show already 113 pre-orders were registered for Belgium alone.
The I-Pace is built at Magna in Graz (Austria). “We need experience”, Ralf Speth says. “We were rather limited in production capacity. We can’t build two factories at the same time as Mercedes or BMW do. Being able to do this with Magna was an elegant solution.”
Sufficient for first year
Speth won’t comment on the number of pre-orders Jaguar already has for the I-Pace but he assures that production capacity “will be sufficient for the first year”.
Although convinced that the “electrification of the car will advance faster than one believes and being still the best solution for the environment”, Speth isn’t willing to write off the diesel engine yet.
Diesel has a long way to go
“The diesel combustion engine has a long way to go on the market. The NOx problem is solved, fine particles are at the same level as a petrol engine and CO2 emissions are still 20 to 25% lower than the latter.”