Our Auto-Didaktic Geneva correspondent casts his eye over Jaguar’s I-Pace and comes away impressed.
Last week we discussed the advent of JLR’s EV pathfinder and pondered how many brave pills Dr. Speth and Jaguar’s Ian Callum had ingested prior to the car’s reveal last thusday. The answer?
Well, possibly not the entire bottle, but a very generous handful nonetheless. Rather than what could have been a watered down, scarcely recognisable facsimile, Jaguar have delivered what could perhaps be the first truly desirable BEV.
Our man on the ground concurs. “It really is very good. It probably isn’t THE gamechanger, but it is the gamechanger for Jaguar and by far the most convincing product they’ve come up with for what feels like an eternity. Everybody I’ve spoken to rated it as the best production car at the show. It’s the car of the minute, that’s for sure”.
Nevertheless, it isn’t simply a matter of unreserved praise for Jaguar’s new EV. “Some of the detailing isn’t all that good, like that black plastic panel below the doors. I guess in graphic terms it’s necessary, otherwise it would just be too bottom heavy, but it’s a shiny piece of black plastic that’s not terribly convincing”.
How about that cockpit? “The interior isn’t Jaguar-like at all, but it feels moderately modern and advanced. It’s not outstanding, but certainly does the job more so than recent Jaguar cabins”.
The fact that JLR’s German rivals saw fit to show at least a partial EV hand at Palexpo – Mercedes releasing a video of the EQ winter testing and Audi’s fleet of disguised E-Tron prototypes – does suggest that Jaguar have for once in their lives stolen quite a significant march.
Not simply in being first to market either. Because while I-Pace is the first credible production electric car to overtly reject traditional ICV forms for its own aesthetic, both Audi and Mercedes appear to be cleaving to a rigidly conformist ‘don’t scare the horses’ SUV formality. A matter which doesn’t appear to have been lost on Jaguar’s bullish design representatives at Geneva either.
The current unknown of course is whether the Midlands carmaker, or the big-league German duo have made the correct call in visual terms. For that, only the market can decide. But right now, the momentum does appear to be with the leaping cat. Now that isn’t something one gets to say very often.
For more Auto-Didaktic views on Geneva, click here