What are you driving?
One of the very first Jaguar I-Paces in the country, Jaguar's innovative new electric car that has already won seemingly every award going. It's described as an SUV, though it looks nothing like most 4x4s and, with a high starting price, it competes head-on with Tesla, though rivals from Audi, Mercedes-Benz and BMW won't be long behind.
Justifying all that, the I-Pace uses a 90kWh lithium-ion battery pack that is good for 470 kilometres between charges on the WLTP, which powers up a permanent magnet electric motor on each axle. Combined, there's 400hp and 696Nm of torque produced, and four-wheel drive. Check out the performance figures in the Tech Specs box - I'll delve into them a little more below.
Supply of the I-Pace is limited in Ireland right now by huge global demand, but theoretically, it is available in three trim levels - S, SE and HSE.
Name its best bits
Where to start? This is a very impressive car and it's clear that Jaguar has spared no expense in its development. Whatever you think of the exterior (and it really needs 20-inch wheels at a minimum), the interior is fab with loads of unique detailing and switchgear and plenty of space. It feels more like a four-door sports car inside than something that's marketed as an SUV. It takes a while to learn your way around the centre console, but it's cleverly designed.
It'll take only the shortest of test drives to appreciate how ridiculously fast this car is, from seemingly any speed. You can thank that 696Nm of torque figure for that, and it's on tap from a standstill, making what is actually quite a big and heavy car feel remarkably fleet of foot. And that sports car image doesn't get thrown by the wayside when you reach an interesting corner, either, as the I-Pace handles with real aplomb. Sure, the steering is a little numb, but it has fine balance, adjustability mid-corner and oodles of traction. It is genuinely good fun to hustle along a challenging mountain road, too. The only caveat to all this is that we drove a car with the adaptive suspension and air springs. Make sure you go for the same.
Finally, and an important aspect of any electric car test drive, the I-Pace is capable of over 400 kilometres between charges. We drove it over a variety of roads and speeds and it managed it, making this a realistic ownership prospect for many.
Anything that bugs you?
The price is high, but then again, so is that of any comparable car on the market, so we can't hold that against the I-Pace, really. More of an issue is the lack of supply. In terms of the car itself, we had difficulty getting it to charge from several public chargers, though hopefully that's just a teething problem that will be fixed by software in time.
Other than that, our only gripe is with the rather poorly equipped entry-level model. It looks terrible next to the rest of the range, yet doesn't really offer enough of a saving to justify that. Avoid!
And why have you given it this rating?
By any measure, the Jaguar I-Pace is a brilliant creation. That it's Jaguar's very first electric car is an astounding realisation, as it's already comparable to some of the best on the market. So long as you can afford to option-up one to how the I-Pace should be, it does it all. Premium electric car ownership never looked so appealing.
What do the rest of the team think?
The I-Pace is Jaguar's most impressive new car. There, I've said it. A battery Jag is the best Jag. I wasn't 100 per cent sold on the looks at first, but they've grown on me and it's way, way better to drive than any Tesla.
Neil Briscoe - Editor-at-Large
The I-Pace delivers on both range and driving dynamics, with that air suspension providing a thoroughly accomplished ride on a variety of roads. Its polarising style won't be to everyone's taste, but, importantly, this car feels very well put together, which goes some way to justifying its lofty price tag.
Dave Humphreys - Road Test Editor