Jaguar I-Pace HSE

Black

Jaguar I-Pace HSE Black, 2023, front
Jaguar I-Pace HSE Black, 2023, rear
Jaguar I-Pace HSE Black, 2023, charging
Jaguar I-Pace HSE Black, 2023, interior
Jaguar I-Pace HSE Black, 2023, display screen
Jaguar I-Pace HSE Black, 2023, interior
Jaguar I-Pace HSE Black, 2023, rear seats

IT'S a tall order making an electric SUV look sleek and sporting but with the I-Pace Jaguar has excelled - to the detriment of its competitors.

It's probably not surprising really when you consider the company's history of creating some of the most beautiful saloons and sportscars long before SUV models became the must-have buy of the masses.

This electric powerhouse - it delivers 400bhp from twin electric motors - comes with body kit and spoilers to give it Kim Kardashian-like curves in all the right places and is particularly eye catching when fitted with the premium black pack, as with the HSE Black version driven here.

Adding a more sinister-like air to it this special macho finish means the car gets 22-inch gloss black wheels, a gloss black grille, gloss black window surrounds, mirror caps and rear badges as well as a tailgate spoiler and electronic air suspension.

Flush-fitting door handles that spring out on touch add to the overall smoothness of the design and having no bulky V6 or V8 powerhouse to shoehorn in allows the bonnet to be much shorter than the rest of the Jaguar range making it visually even more attractive.

The black theme is carried on inside the car with ebony Windsor leather sports seats, an ebony suedecloth headlining and a full length heavily tinted glass sunroof. And it's certainly a cabin that oozes quality and comfort as a Jaguar should - helped by heated seats, a heated steering wheel and heated windscreen.

There's generous space in the rear too, with those travelling in the back easily able to stretch their legs out while enjoying the heated seats.

The small, heavily tinted rear window, however, does mean that in certain lights it's not always easy to see what's behind you. Fine if the car following has daylight running lights but older cars which don't can easily be missed.

It's a potential problem which Jaguar is obviously aware of as the flick of a switch on the mirror shows you what is behind via a rear view camera. It's a £625 optional extra but well worth the money

Following the current trend the I-Pace interior gets the minimalist treatment with few knobs and switches, relying instead on the 10.0-inch centre-set touchscreen to access most functions including a rear view camera for reversing.

Unlike on a lot of electric cars you have to push a start button as you would on a petrol/diesel car. Then it's simply a case of pushing the D (drive) button or R (reverse) button to get going.

You expect an electric car to be quiet and refined and the I-Pace excels at both. It whisks you along while cocooning you from the outside world thanks to excellent soundproofing and double-glazed side windows.

At the same time the firm, sporty suspension ensures plenty of grip on fast bends and corners with the car staying perfectly composed and flat to the road with almost no body roll, helped by the four-wheel-drive setup of having one electric motor on each axle.

Despite its size the I-Pace is impressively agile and fun to drive on twisting challenging roads and guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

There are three driving modes on offer, eco, comfort and sport with the latter highlighting the car's 0-62-miles per hour acceleration time of just 4.5 seconds.

On the other hand the I-Pace is pretty good at hanging on to its charge when you are not driving fast. I was surprised just how often the on-board gauge which shows how much energy you are using at any given time was giving a negative reading, in other words the car's regenerative braking system was putting power back in.

FAST FACTS

Jaguar I-Pace HSE Black

Price: £77,595

Mechanical: 400 bhp, twin electric motors driving all wheels via automatic transmission

Max Speed: 124mph

0-62mph: 4.5 secs

Combined MPG: 261 miles

Insurance Group: 50

C02 emissions: 0 g/km

Bik rating: 2%

Warranty: 5yrs/60,000 miles

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