Luxury British car manufacturer, Jaguar, have dramatically revealed their answer to Tesla; it looks nice enough, but can it compete?
Ian Callum, Jaguar’s Director of Design, described the new vehicle at its unveiling:
“The I-Pace Concept represents the next generation of electric vehicle design. It’s a dramatic, future-facing cab-forward design with a beautiful interior – the product of authentic Jaguar DNA, electric technology and contemporary craftsmanship. The interior of the I-Pace Concept is finished with beautiful, premium materials and an unwavering attention to detail. 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. And there is digital craftsmanship too, with two touchscreens serving up information when and where you need it, limiting distraction and improving the driving experience”
How does it match up?
The Jaguar I-PACE is designed as an SUV, so it would compete directly with the Tesla Model X. The first thing that immediately catches the eye when looking over the stats is its power; 400bhp and 516lb ft of torque. This beats the Tesla Model S which churns out 362bhp, and would compete with the Model X’s top speed of 130 to 150 mph on the top of the range models. They say it will deliver 0-60 in just 4 seconds, for when you need to make a quick getaway, although living in the city I don’t think I’ve ever managed to drive for 4 seconds straight without stopping or getting cut up by a truck. The Model X, however has been tested at 0-60 in 3.2 seconds.
The I-PACE was unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show and had reporters salivating at the prospect of a Tesla Model X rival. It does look classy, and the name Jaguar carries a lot of weight; but it doesn’t have any new features that the Model X lacks. It might go a little faster, have a little more top speed, but it will be more expensive and it will take longer to arrive. I also imagine that spare parts might be an expensive issue, as would maintenance.
With electric vehicles, range is almost always a major factor. The Tesla Model X has a range of between 321.9 and 474.8 kilometers, depending on certain factors including driving style. Jaguar have said in their initial specifications that they can match this range.
The price has not yet been revealed, but they would probably aim at competing with Tesla Model X prices. For them to do this, they would have to have the ability to produce a vast quantity of lithium-ion batteries and would need a factory on the scale of Tesla’s Gigafactory. Given the 5 billion+ dollars invested by Tesla and its partners in a Gigafactory, TATA, who own Jaguar, might be reluctant to invest.
The Tesla Model X currently falls in line with the Model S, and comes in at around US$80,000. Buyers in the US are eligible for a tax cut on this, for now, and can get almost 10% off. Whilst Jaguar hasn’t yet revealed the full price, I would be surprised if they could match Tesla, given the cost of the rest of their range.
Space Invader Verdict:
Get a Tesla. The Jaguar IPACE is a nice idea and it looks very pretty, but I don’t believe that Jaguar will invest a great deal into this. Jaguar started as a luxury brand and has continued to make upmarket cars for many years. They recently announced a profit of 27 million GBP in 2015, despite a global slowdown in the market and they would be unlikely to change course entirely and invest massively in a market Tesla is still trying to shape. The car might match Tesla on certain features, but the car unveiled is unlikely to be the same car that rolls off the production line in 2018. It looks good as a concept car, but many cars often do. Tesla have created an incredible vehicle in the Tesla Model S, and an even better one in the Model X. They have invested vast sums of money in the infrastructure and development of the cars and they have huge plans for the future. Trust in Elon.