This is probably the most important car since the E-Type, I really mean that. And when we get this car out into production and it gains recognition and popularity, I think history will show it’s a significant step for the brand. Not only because we’re embracing the future, quite openly and honestly, but because we’re going to beat the rest of them. Tesla is there already, but none of the rest. — Ian Callum, Director of Design @ Jaguar
JLR (Jaguar Land Rover) is on a roll. When Tata acquired the company in 2008, I have to admit I was pretty skeptical. But clearly the massive cash infusions have proven to be a recipe for awesomeness. Investments in lightweight platforms, new powertrains, and increased production capacity have led to a string of successful launches from all-new flagship Range Rovers down to the mainstream models like Jaguar XE and F-PACE which are poised to dramatically boost overall production volume for the brand.
Continuing this string of success looks to be the new Jaguar i-PACE concept that they announced at this year’s LA Auto Show. Unlike most EVs that have been announced (or launched) recently, this is a 200+ mile range vehicle. Once it launches, it looks to be the first real Tesla Model S / Model X competitor. Sure, the Chevy Bolt is 200+ mile range as well, but few if any customers will be cross-shopping it with a Tesla..not even the quasi-mythical Model 3.
The only question now is can JLR can actually bring this to market in the 2nd half of 2018 as announced. Do they have the cash and the capacity? I imagine some of that hinges on the sales success of the aforementioned volume models. Early signs certainly look good.
So get ready to move over BMW i8. Come 2018, the new Jaguar i-PACE is going to steal the prize of best looking EV on the market. And, more importantly, Tesla, get ready for your first real long-range, luxury EV competitor.