Performance car of the year 2022 Finalist: Jaguar I-Pace
We were once passionate about eco driving and championed it. But we gradually became disillusioned. Too many of our electric experiences were tarnished. Perhaps because of the more significant challenges facing e-driving down here in Africa. Which is why we’ve more recently considered battery cars as an alternative. Not the solution. But change we must. Or we will be lost.
I-PACE LOOKS DIFFERENT. ITS DIVISIVE TOO
It is into this scenario that the Jaguar I-Pace glides into Performance car of the year for the first time in 2022. Looking at it, we wonder why carmakers insist on making electric cars look daft. Not that the I-Pace is too typical of that trait, but it’s different. And divisive. So, let’s just leave that one there!
We were however blown away by our first driving experience. Floor it and I-Pace thrusts you back in the seat and sets off after the horizon like Luke Skywalker’s Star Wars fighter pod. And sounds much the same too. There’s a wonderful deep and distant animal roar — a mechanical scream as the 294 kW 696 Nm electric car sets about its rapid business.
Its prowess came through in our testing too — half a second quicker than Jaguar’s claim to 100 km/h, I-Pace runs in the middle of this pack and is among the quicker of all cars we’ve tested this year. You need a pretty sharp tool from the petrol box to beat that. This electric Jaguar will also frighten the best conventionally powered SUVs out there. Even those with M, AMG or similar badges.
HEAVY CARS ARE BETTER GLUED TO THE ROAD
The all-wheel drive I-Pace has an electric motor on each axle, powered by a 90 kWh Lithium-ion battery under the floor. It handles well — remember heft is like downforce — a heavy car is always better glued to the road. And while you do sense the weight, it’s not such a severe trade off. The I-Pace chassis is well enough sorted. It takes a second to get used to the regenerative braking. I found it helpful in driving the car.
Spacious and airy, if a bit dark, the cabin is a cool space. Not perfect. Quaint, the primary bits are cool — gauges are great, interactive and clear. And the R N D P drive buttons easy and logical. But the sun’s midday reflection hides the dash displays and prompts and we couldn’t get our heads around the climate, radio and other controls. Not least while driving. Of course you’ll soon get it if you drive one every day.
Jaguar claims I-Pace ‘delivers up to 470 km range’. We struggled to match the claim. Never mind the US EPA estimate is 100 km short of that. All of which sits on your mind on anything longer than a jaunt around town. Welcome to range anxiety. We trust that it will ease in time. But there’s good reason for it. And it’s expensive here without the electric car discounts applicable most everywhere else in the world.
TIME TO CHANGE ELECTRIC PERCEPTIONS
Among the more challenging road tests we’ve ever conducted, the Jaguar I-Pace also proved a voyage of discovery. It’s also swung our opinions and helped reinvigorate our electric interest. Good to drive, it has its compromises, but it’s a lot of fun and it brings a different and exciting electric spin to driving. No matter what we want or believe or not, sooner or later, we may all have to experience driving electric soon. That’s why I-Pace is a serious Pcoty finalist.
PERFORMANCE CAR OF THE YEAR 2022 FINALIST: Jaguar I-Pace EV400 AWD SE Motor: 294 kW 696 Nm twin electric Drive: Direct AWD TESTED: 0-100km/h: 4.35 sec 0-160km/h: 15.00 sec 400m: 12.7 sec @ 171 km/h 80-120km/h: 2.79 sec 120-160km/h: 4.85 sec CLAIMED: VMax: 200 km/h Fuel: 0 l/100 km CO2: 0 g/km* (Use Phase) Warranty/service: 5y unl/2y 34K km LIST PRICE: R1.999M
Performance car of the year 2022 Program Pcoty ‘22 Introduction Audi RS 6 Avant BMW M5 Competition Ford Ranger Raptor SE Jaguar I-Pace Mercedes-AMG A45 S Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Mini Cooper SE Toyota GR Yaris Volkswagen Golf 8 GTI Pcoty ‘22 Electric Shootout Pcoty ‘22 Super Hatch Shootout Pcoty ‘22 Super Saloon Shootout Pcoty '22 Top Three Pcoty ‘22 Winner