The 2019 Jaguar I-Pace is advertised as an SUV, but it’s really more like a hatchback.
And a luxury sedan. Actually, the design that makes it hard to classify also creates one of the most versatile vehicles ever. The fact that it’s electric makes it slightly annoying to own, but quite satisfying to drive.
About 230 miles of range electric means this Jag can’t exactly do everything. But what it does do, it seems to do well.
(Full Disclosure: Jaguar arranged for an I-Pace to be left with me for a weekend. I returned it with enough charge for the nice delivery folks to get home.)
Before undertaking a big transformation in the past decade, Jaguar was one of the more anachronistic car companies you could point to. This company built its whole brand on big displacement sedans, swaths of soft leather and hood ornaments. The chrome cats got moved to the trunks, but Jaguar’s still trading in signature exhaust notes and the average American’s assumption that all things English are fancy.
Suffice it to say, that makes the I-Pace is the most abnormal Jaguar we’ve ever seen. And for the same reason, it’s also perhaps the most interesting.
Jaguar can’t exactly abandon the look it’s worn for over 80 years in one fell swoop, but it had to do something dramatic to stay relevant in the luxury market while electric cars are hot and so are global temperature averages. And as a result of hustling to market, Jaguar’s only major rival in the practical luxury EV segment at this very moment is Tesla.
That will change as Audi, Mercedes, BMW, Volkswagen and even Cadillac plan a big onslaught of EVs, starting soon. But Jag is one of the first at the table, so let’s see what its version of the future looks like.
Read more: Jalopnik