If you drive Jaguar’s new, all-electric I-Pace, then shrug because it doesn’t growl like a jungle cat, I can’t help you. If you find yourself put off by the fact that it needs charging every 240 miles or so, please move on. If you flog the bejeezus out of it at a racetrack—as I did at Portugal’s Algarve International Circuit—and then sniff that it doesn’t offer the balletic synchrony of gears shifting a hundred times per lap, then yeah, maybe this Jag isn’t for you.
But for the rest of us rubes, there’s are few undeniable thrills. This quiet beast provides astonishingly brisk acceleration (4.5 seconds to 60 mph), a fierce 400 horsepower, and stuck-to-your seat 512 pound-feet of immediately available torque.
For these reasons and more the I-Pace, starting at a retail $69,500, is a significant achievement for Jaguar. It’s also the industry’s first legitimate run at Tesla’s lock on a premium, full-size performance EV—a lock it has held since the Model S debuted six years ago. It’s also worth processing one other fact: This milestone doesn’t come from one of familiar tech giants like Audi, BMW, Mercedes, and Lexus. It comes courtesy of the once struggling but now resurgent Brits. Jaguar! Of all brands! Every other auto maker, if they even have a long-range EV in the works, is at least a year behind.