I-PACE Praised for its Performance
Before Cameron Kirby, Deputy Editor at Motor, took the 2021 Jaguar I-PACE EV400 S out for a test drive, he felt that some people might pigeonhole the car as “a luxury SUV with a strong focus on efficiency and comfort above all else”. But looking at the specs, with nearly 300kW and 700Nm, all-wheel drive, and 0-100km/h in just over four seconds, he asked the question, “Could the I-PACE be the most overlooked performance car on sale in Australia?” He was about to find out.
Noting that the big benefit of an electric powertrain is the immediacy of its response, Kirby said “the I-Pace uses its 294kW and 696Nm outputs to great effect. Some of the greatest atmo engines available today can only dream of responding to throttle inputs with this kind of urgency”. Unlike other electric cars, he said the I-PACE will “relish being driven enthusiastically in a manner that isn’t just straight-line acceleration. By taking an ‘if it ain’t broke’ mentality to the mechanicals, Jaguar’s engineers have preserved the I-Pace’s dynamic personality and we’re all the better for it”.
Refined and Dynamic
Kirby found the high-speed stability of the Jaguar to be fantastic, “with the I-Pace staying planted and confident through fast sweeping bends…Grab it by the scruff of the neck in slower bends and the I-Pace doesn’t shrink away, instead rewarding you with an engaging front end that dives into the corner”. Overall he felt that the I-PACE fits comfortably into the middle ground between everyday refinement and dynamic poise and ability.
Performance wasn’t the only thing that impressed Kirby. Inside he discovered “an interior that is trimmed generously with leather, aluminium and other high-end materials”. The dual 10- and five-inch upper and lower touchscreens for infotainment and climate controls, the 12-inch full digital instrument cluster, and the high-quality Meridian sound system were all stand-outs. And the huge optional fixed panoramic roof gave the entire interior a light and airy feel.
Summing up his experience, Kirby said that although the I-PACE is unlike traditional performance benchmarks in some ways, “there’s a reassuring familiarity to its willingness, nay eagerness, to be grabbed by the scruff of the neck and be driven hard. It may go unnoticed by many for its subdued looks and electric drivetrain but if it’s an indicator of our performance car future, things aren’t all too bad after all”.