We get behind the wheel of the Jaguar I-Pace

If someone told me 10 years ago that Jaguar will only make electric vehicles (EVs) by 2025, I'd say they were out of their minds. With an emphasis on making luxury saloons, sports sedans, as well as sports cars, I couldn't see Jaguar making EVs at the time.

Fast forward to the present, and there I was behind the wheel of the I-Pace, the company's first EV. Not only can this particular “Jag” out-accelerate other sports cars, but it also has more torque than its stablemates. In a relatively short amount of time, the British luxury automaker went from just making sedans, sports cars, and high-end SUVs, to making an electric crossover that will represent the brand's electrified era.

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But what can Jaguar customers/enthusiasts expect when they actually get the all-new Jaguar I-Pace? Does the I-Pace sacrifice luxury for zero emissions? Will customers have to worry about range anxiety? And does this car have what it takes to be as fast and agile as its ICE brethren?

With an entire day with the I-Pace, I had plenty of time to get to know Jaguar’s sleek EV.

British luxury through and through

While most assume that Jaguar focused all its attention on making the EV quick, it is not exactly the case. Like all Jaguars, the I-Pace has a full-leather interior complete with luxurious appointments and amenities. From the materials used inside the cabin to the fine upholstery lining the seats and doors, the I-Pace will not disappoint owners who want a luxury vehicle.

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From the moment I stepped inside, I was immediately greeted by high-quality leather on the steering wheel and seats, neat metal touches on the dashboard and touchpoints, as well as plenty of high-gloss finishes throughout the interior. There’s also plenty of legroom too.

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It has a large panoramic sunroof which lets more light inside and will let passengers enjoy the open air while cruising along the countryside or the urban jungle. The Meridian sound system delivers superb audio fidelity as the I-Pace doesn’t have an engine that can drown out the sound of your favorite tunes.

Then there’s the Pivi Pro touchscreen infotainment system. Aside from having Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, the system also handles the many amenities of the I-Pace. In fact, the system can adjust the I-Pace’s ride height thanks to an air suspension. which comes as standard.

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Not sure if you can go over the rough terrain? The I-Pace can raise itself for extra peace of mind while maneuvering over uneven surfaces. Are lolo and lola having difficulty getting out or getting in? The I-Pace can lower itself in order to make ingress/egress that much easier for its more mature occupants.

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The I-Pace may not be your typical Jag, but it certainly doesn’t lack the luxuries that most expect from it.

Power on tap

Jaguar purists may be up in arms over the fact that the brand has shifted towards electrification and is set to become an EV brand in the years to come. But despite the company's change in direction, that doesn't mean they have lost the art of making fast cars, quite the opposite really.

With a pair of electric motors driving the I-Pace, this electric feline has a total system output of 400 PS and nearly 700 Nm of pulling power (696 Nm to be exact). And since the motors are directly powering the wheels, there's no delay in delivery which is one of the best features of driving an electric vehicle.

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Overtaking in the I-Pace was as easy as counting 1, 2, 3 when I put the pedal to the floor. With acceleration that can rival that of sports cars, this electric cat is quite literally quick on its feet. It may not have that distinctive V6 (or V8) growl of the F-Type, but it still packed more than enough punch (i.e. torque) to plant me in my seat.

Whether it’s overtaking other vehicles or just enjoying the open road and its curves (responsibly), the I-Pace did not disappoint. Customers who want a fast car will find the I-Pace quick on its feet.

No problem with range anxiety

First-time EV buyers dread range anxiety. Unlike ICE-powered cars which rely on fuel, EVs, particularly those that rely purely on electric propulsion, can only travel as far as their battery takes it.

This is perhaps one of the main concerns of customers when it comes to EV ownership. Since the charging infrastructure in the country is still in its infancy, some are worried they might run out of juice before they can make it to their destination and back. However, Chris Ward, the boss of Jaguar Land Rover Philippines who was with us during the drive, shared that the perception of range anxiety appears to have been blown out of proportion.

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On a full charge, the I-Pace has an estimated range of 386 km. Impressive, but given the traffic conditions in the Philippines, that range can easily go down and diminish over time. Ward, however, said that drivers that don't travel over 300 km daily need not worry about range anxiety.

When we left the dealership along EDSA, we had around 355 km of range, which translates to roughly about 89%. Despite not being fully charged, Ward was confident the EV had more than enough juice to carry us to and from our destination in Tagaytay. Combined with the I-Pace's regenerative braking that recharges the battery while on the go, Ward had no worry whatsoever about the vehicle’s range.

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True enough, after covering 65.7 km to and from our destinations (which totaled around 131 km) and combined with heavy morning rush hour traffic, I was surprised to see the I-Pace still had 246 km of range. With about 55% of the charge left, I was surprised it still had enough range to go for another road trip before it needs a recharge. Mind you, we had the climate control at a low temperature and the fan speed at 3 throughout our entire trip.

Is this the Jaguar for the new age?

After spending an entire day with the Jaguar I-Pace, I realized that despite not having the typical growl that is associated with the brand, I wasn’t bothered. It impressed me with its sports car-like acceleration and its ability to cover vast distances on pure electric battery power alone. Jaguar also did not forget to give the I-Pace luxurious features, amenities, and premium materials.

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But for Jaguar customers, is the I-Pace the right vehicle for the right time? With the company looking to be an EV brand by 2025, the I-Pace presents itself as a jumping point for new and existing customers who want (or plan) to make the switch. The I-Pace retains the opulent and stylish design the brand is known for but now comes with an all-electric heart that can match (or even surpass) the performance of its internal combustion brethren.

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While some might still have a problem with range anxiety, unless they need to travel for over 300 km on a daily basis, customers need not worry about running out of juice while on the road.

If you’re the kind with PHP 7.690 million lying around and are looking for an EV that is fast, luxurious, well-equipped, and will make a statement anywhere you go, put the Jaguar I-Pace on your shortlist.