So, Jaguar’s capitulated too. This century-old luxury and sportscar marque, that earned its fame through sweat and blood down the Mulsanne straight, through Woodcote, and along Sebring’s concrete ruts, is now officially an electric crossover maker.
The F-Pace led Jaguar’s sales charts last year accounting for about half of all Jags sold, and this year the company has the smaller, cheaper E-Pace entry-level crossover to take over as the best-selling model. It’ll fly out of showrooms, with most buyers coming in new to the brand having never owned a Jag before. Now they can all say it unison, “Jaaaaag…”
Yes it feels good, perhaps a bit less so when you’re seated three feet above the ground. Numbers don’t lie though, and most people prefer the high vantage point, which is why crossovers and SUVs are killing traditional saloons and hatchbacks and creeping up ever closer to the No 1 spot. Pretty soon a crossover won’t be a crossover. It will just be a car, a de facto motor vehicle with everything else filling niches.
So it’s no surprise then that Jaguar’s now swelling its high-riding range to three models strong, with the latest arrival of the al-electric I-Pace. What is a surprise, though, is that this is now arguably the best looking crossover in Coventry’s line-up, and what’s more, it’s also the quickest.
With a zero-emissions powertrain making 400 horsepower and a colossal 696Nm of torque — instantly, and at all four corners — the Jaguar I-Pace sprints from zero to 100kph in 4.5 seconds, and it should do quite all right in the twisty bits too. Jaguar says weight distribution is 50:50, and the batteries and electric gubbins actually combine as structural components to help the aluminium architecture stiffen up. In fact, the I-Pace crossover is now the most rigid of any Jaguar on sale, including the F-Type sportscar.