Jaguar targets Tesla Model X with all-electric I-Pace
Car makers are getting into electric cars in a big way, and it looks like Jaguar is the latest to join the EV club. According to a report by Auto Express, Jaguar is already working on an all-new electric car called the I-Pace, and it could rival the Tesla Model X. However, it looks like we’ll need to wait a while before we see it; Auto Express’ source believes the car will be shown off at September’s Paris Motor Show.
Last year, sources hinted at a possible Tesla-rival, but two recent patents for “I-Pace” and “I-Type” seem to confirm Jaguar’s plans. Both of these applications were made in December last year, under category 12, the internationally recognised trademark type for motor vehicles. Neither proposal has been confirmed yet, but if no opposition is received in the next few weeks, Jaguar will have approval for use by April. And it’s unclear if BMW has been consulted on the nomenclature, given its all-electric i3 and i8 models.
Jaguar has flirted with electrification before – developing the radical C-X75 hybrid sports car that made its debut at the 2010 Paris Motor Show. That project was ultimately canned, although Jaguar did allow the vehicle to appear in the recent James Bond movie Spectre. It is believed that some of the C-X75’s front-end styling will be adopted by I-Pace, and that this development ultimately persuaded Jaguar to allow the car to make its big-screen appearance.
An all-electric sports car
If I-Pace points to an electric SUV, I-Type suggests that Jaguar is considering a proposal to produce an all-electric sports car. Such a move would make sense purely in terms of economies of scale, allowing Jaguar double the opportunity to sell relatively expensive all-electric powertrains. The SUV is expected to cost at least £70,000 – or more than the current range-topping F-Pace – while an electric sports car could conceivably top the £100k mark, north of the most expensive F-Types.
The electric Jaguars are almost certain to be built at Magna Steyr’s factory in Graz, Austria. The third-party engineering and manufacturing consultancy has experience with premium brands such as BMW and MINI, and the smaller scale of its production line would be ideal for a niche model such as an EV. The I-Pace is expected to use a version of the same all-aluminium architecture that underpins the XE and the XF.
The all-electric projects also tie in with Jaguar’s recent deal to enter the Formula E electric racing series. The firm will enter the 2016-2017 championship, which should start in Montreal this September and run throughout the winter – offering convenient promotional support to a car that is expected to make its public debut in Paris in October.