Jaguar I-PaceThis is not a normal, full-blooded drive of a new car. If you think you’ve seen a review of the Jaguar I-Pace elsewhere (before June 2018), well, the writers are being economical with the truth.

The truth is that Jaguar whisked a bunch of journalists from the Geneva Motor Show to a small driving-school test track at the end of the airport runway nearby. This would be a 10-minute ‘experience’, rather than a proper first drive.

What can I tell you from 10 minutes? Quite a lot, as it happens. Firstly, the I-Pace looks great in the metal, on the road and out in the open air. Falling between the Jaguar E-Pace and F-Pace SUVs in terms of size, it’s much swoopier than either.

This recent trend of the SUV morphed into a coupe has been promulgated by BMW and Mercedes-Benz, who have managed to turn out whole families of shockingly ugly designs that offer nothing over the vehicles from which they were derived.

A special, premium SUV 

Jaguar I-Pace

The I-Pace is a bit special, though, and you’ll surely be happy if you’ve already put your money down. The interior lives up to the promise, too. It feels properly premium with no sign of lightweight features there to compensate for the
weight of all those batteries.

It also drives very well – at least up to 50mph. There’s 400hp, which translates into acceleration that can shame a supercharged Jaguar F-Type.

On the wet track the grip was prodigious – I stuck the chassis into its Dynamic setting and simply floored it wherever possible. The i-Pace hunkered down, the four-wheel drive did its thing and the steering simply seemed connected to my
brain.

First impressions are good

Jaguar I-Pace

The seats feel comfortable and very supportive, but while rear space looks pretty good, those seats are incredibly flat and rather close to the floor.

How far will it really travel on a full battery, when it’s cold and wet? I suspect not the 300 miles quoted, although there are some clever features that, for example, allow you to warm up the battery (and the interior) while the car is still plugged in, making a major difference to the range.

The jury is necessarily still out. A full appraisal is needed and we’d be even happier to know how those first customers get on over the first 12 months.

Still, there seem to be many who are excited enough to put there cash down right now, and we can hardly blame them.

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