Regardless of whether the Jaguar I-Pace is a good car, the British brand has landed an important blow by bringing it to market ahead of German rivals.

Audi, BMW and Mercedes all have electric SUVs on the way, while the likes of Porsche and VW are reading alternatives at higher and lower ends of the automotive spectrum.

But Jaguar got there first.

Is it right for me?

“It’s a huge achievement for a brand of our size.”

So says Mark Cameron, managing director of Jaguar’s Australian business, standing in front of the visually arresting crossover.

“I’m really confident that it will change people’s perceptions of what Jaguar is and what it stands for.”

Like many people, the images appearing when I hear the word “Jaguar” are of classic E-Type sports cars, all wire-spoked wheels, chrome bumpers and British racing green bodywork.

But this is nothing like that.

Looking long and lean, with a cab-forward design and enormous wheels tucked under each corner of its metallic red bodywork, the I-Pace resembles a new world.

Taking in its design in a Sydney showroom a couple of days after time with the new Audi e-tron, it occurs to me that the Jag offers a much bolder design statement. This is Jaguar’s “Prius” moment, an unapologetic shift into a future steering a new course for the marque.

While this is the sort of stuff you might normally hear about a concept car, the I-Pace is a real-world option you can buy and drive today.

Source: Drive

December 8, 2018