I-Pace, Jaguar's first electric vehicle, has a 90 kWh lithium-ion battery pack and a driving range up to 298 miles (image: Jaguar).

Jaguar unveils twin-motor I-Pace battery-electric crossover

With its all-new I-Pace crossover, Jaguar is the first mainstream automaker to directly challenge Tesla's electric-vehicle monopoly.

Ahead of the 2018 Geneva motor show, Jaguar unveiled the production version of its first-ever electric vehicle: the twin-motor I-Pace crossover. In perhaps any EV’s most crucial measure—driving range—Jaguar claimed an official distance (based on the European WLTP test cycle) of up to 480 km (298 miles).

There’s plenty of performance, too, for the first mainstream-automaker riposte to Tesla’s Model X: the I-Pace has a 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) acceleration time of 4.8s and all-wheel-drive capability from the arrangement that places a drive motor on each axle. The I-Pace also has a 0.29 drag coefficient, an aluminum architecture, intelligent GPS for better use of energy and advanced-connectivity features.

At its reveal prior to the Geneva show, I-Pace Vehicle Line Director Ian Hoban described it as “the complete package,” with innovative engineering that includes rapid charging to 80% battery capacity in 85 minutes from a public charger and a 30-minute charge delivering around 130 km (80 miles) of driving range.

The midsize, 5-seat I-Pace—built in Austria in partnership with Magna-Steyr—joins the compact, conventional-drivetrain Jaguar E-Pace and performance-oriented F-Pace to create a family of Jaguar crossover models.

The I-Pace’s electrical architecture is based on a 50-kW charger but is compatible with 100-kW charging, the company said. Drive comes from two Jaguar-designed synchronous permanent-magnet electric motors, one each at the front and rear axles. Power per motor is 147 kW (197 hp) and torque per motor is 348 N·m (257 lb·ft).

“Each (motor) fits concentrically around a compact, single-speed epicyclic transmission and differential,” said Hoban; the configuration was designed to provide precise longitudinal torque distribution.

The 90-kWh liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery pack uses pouched cells (432 in 36 modules).  To control cell temperatures and maximizes available power, the battery pack has a cooler for operating in moderate temperatures and a refrigeration unit linked to the vehicle’s air-conditioning system to cope with higher thermal-dissipation requirements. A heat pump operates in cold conditions to look after the cells as well as to condition the I-Pace interior, drawing energy from outside and using heat scavenged from the electrical system’s inverters  and power electronics, all of which can bring a range bonus of up to 50 km (31 miles). The battery has a pre-conditioning system (when the vehicle is plugged in) to manage its temperature to maximize range from journey start—andJaguar states that the I-Pace has been tested to operate in temperatures down to -40o C.

The I-Pace was conceived from the outset as a high-performance EV using riveted and bonded aluminum construction. Its torsional rigidity is 36 kNm/degree. The battery, positioned centrally, is placed low in the chassis to achieve required CofG. The crossover has 50:50 front:rear weight distribution.

Double-wishbone front and integral-link independent rear suspension should provide Jaguar’s brand signature of excellent ride and handling. Self-levelling air suspension with adaptive dynamics is an option.

The I-Pace of course has energy-regeneration capability; instead of a conventional brake vacuum servo, an electric brake booster is used to give the braking system required flexibility when blending regenerative and regular mechanical braking, which allows precise and consistent feel in all situations, states Jaguar.

Added to this is a driver-controlled selection of high or low levels of regeneration to augment driving range. High mode effectively provides single-pedal control, as the I-Pace decelerates immediately once the driver’s foot lifts from the accelerator. Maximum regenerative braking force is 0.4g, Jaguar said.

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