The Jaguar I-Pace is one helluva car. Do I say that because the company flew me to Portugal first class last year to drive one? Not at all. If it was a piece of crap I would say so, no matter how much money Jaguar Land Rover lavished on me.
The car is everything a Jaguar should be, says the man who once owned an XK-E coupe. It is big and bold yet elegant. Its controls are silky smooth but when you mash the go pedal, it devours huge hunks of pavement in what seems like milliseconds. The closest analogy I can give is that when prodded, the scenery starts streaking by your windows in a heartbeat. It’s like making the jump to hyperspace!
$TSLA competition is killing it…
Dealer i-Pace inventory is piling up, standing at 6 month of sales.
Discounts are reaching biblical proportions.
— Vladimir Grinshpun (@VGrinshpun) August 13, 2019
Be that as it may, sales of the I-Pace have been, ummm, disappointing. According to Inside EVs, “During the first six months of this year, Jaguar sold some 9,077 I-PACE, including 1,309 in the U.S., but according to the latest news, dealers in the U.S. have 1,338 I-PACE in inventory. That would be worth six months of sales of a car that has been available for just 9 months.” Oh, my. The I-Pace is hardly flying off the lot, is it?
Part of the problem is the I-Pace is a darn nice car but it is not the computer on wheels that a Tesla is. According to all reports, its graphic interface is slow and clunky. Not only that, it is not terribly efficient. In fact, just last week Jaguar Land Rover was touting its new app designed to let drivers know just how far they can go before recharging and where to find chargers along the route.
Sadly, that same app shows that the only way to get the maximum stated range of 292 miles is to drive at a steady 17 mph with no air conditioning or heat and riding on the standard 18″ wheels. That’s the best case scenario. The worst case scenario is cruising along at highway speeds on the optional 21″ wheels with the A/C or heat cranked up. Under those circumstances, the app says to expect about 121 miles — just 41% of the theoretical maximum range. Yikes!
With cars piling up on dealer lots, Jaguar Land Rover has already begun discounting the I-Pace. Should Tesla owners be gloating? Not at all. EV fans need the marketplace to be filled with compelling electric cars that get others excited enough to consider owing one. Tales of troublesome electronics, drastically reduced range, and plummeting resale values are not what we need to move the EV revolution forward.
Still, amidst all the gloom and doom, the I-Pace remains a very desirable automobile. If the price drops another $10,000, I could be tempted to raid my 401-K to put one in my own driveway. Perhaps its because I was steeped in the legend of Jaguar in my youth or because I really don’t care about playing chess with my car or having it park itself or follow me around like a service dog. I want a car that, when you climb in, makes your pulse race. The I-Pace does that for me.
Your mileage may vary. See dealer for details. In fact, if you go see you Jaguar dealer right now, you could find even better offers on an I-Pace than have been reported in the press. JLR has pumped a lot of money into the I-Pace and its all electric drivetrain, which it plans to use to power other cars in its lineup. If the I-Pace flops, the very existence of Jaguar Land Rover could be threatened. For some of us, a world without Jaguars in it would be a very sad place.