By Maggie Barry on 2019-01-06 - Experienced car journalist.
THEY'RE all at it now, Google, Elon Musk and now Dyson - they are all set on creating the perfect electric car.
But they can all stand down for one car maker - a traditional manufacturer - has beaten them all to it, Jaguar.
The I-PACE, which recently was announced as the Scottish Car of the Year, is the best electric car to come to market so far - a tour de force from a British company that has been quietly working away in the background while people like Dyson and Musk have been going for glory.
First of all, the range - this is what the car industry freely admits is the game changer. Research shows that once an electric car can claim a solid range of more than 200 miles it starts to compete with traditionally powered cars.
The Jaguar I-PACE has a range of up to 292 miles - that's well over the watershed. It has a 90kWh battery that you can charge up to 80 per cent in 85 minutes on a rapid charger, a 30 minute charge will give you 80 miles. It will use 34kWh of power to do 100 miles and it comes with three different types of chargers - a 7kWh single phase, a multi charging cable and a public charger.
But all of this is not at the expense of performance because the I-PACE has 400ps under the bonnet which means you can compete the 0-60mph sprint in just 4.5 seconds. This is partly because an electric motor will give you instant power - like switching on the electric light - unlike the traditional internal combustion engine which takes a while to get there.
It looks lovely too. It is an SUV in the same family as Jaguar's E-PACE and the F-PACE to which it bears a strong resemblance although it has a more coupe-like rear, a gloss black blade running along the lower body, an integrated spoiler at the rear and, significantly, no tailpipes.
Inside the seats have been specially made for the I-PACE and come in Luxtec - a synthetic leather in keeping with the car's green credentials or if you prefer you can upgrade to the real thing.
There's an entry level S trim, then SE and HSE and for a lucky few the First Edition.
Nor have Jaguar stinted on the tech. The I-Pace comes with Jaguar's Touch Pro Duo, two screens that house the information and entertainment systems and offer DAB Bluetooth, sat nav, WiFi, real time radio and traffic information. You can adjust the settings to suit, part sat nav part radio for example. There is a head up display and lots of sockets for connectivity.
The drive is terrific - fast and well balanced. The I-PACE is powerful, agile and a revelation. It tackles corners and hairpins with athleticism and on the straight it is big and powerful. It responds immediately when asked to and comes with the kind of systems for all terrain and all-weather driving.
That means all-wheel drive with All Surface Progress Control, Jaguar Drive Control, Hill Launch Assist, Dynamic Stability Control amonbg a myriad of systems and of course because this is an electric car - enhanced regenerative braking.
Mechanical: 400hp,90kWh battery driving four wheels via automatic gearbox
Max Speed: 124mph
0-62mph: 4.8 seconds
Combined MPG: 292 miles
Insurance Group: 48
C02 emissions: 0g/km
Bik rating: 13%
Warranty: 3yrs/99,999 miles
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