Jaguar I-Pace undercuts and outperforms Tesla Model X

Chicago Tribune

Jaguar is the latest automaker to take on Tesla and the first to edge it on price and performance. The 2019 Jaguar I-Pace is an all-electric compact crossover starting at $69,500 (excluding the $7,500 federal tax credit and available state rebates), which is exactly $10,000 less than the only other all-electric luxury crossover on the market, the all-wheel-drive Tesla Model X.

The all-wheel-drive I-Pace edges out the Model X 75D in other important metrics, including a 240-mile range and 0-60 mph time of 4.5 seconds. The X 75D has a 237-mile range, and an estimated 0-60 mph time of 4.9 seconds.

In the luxury game, those minor details could make all the marketing difference, though Jaguar has yet to identify Tesla as its benchmark.

Tesla has had a target on its back since the Model S performance sedan made tracks in the high-margin luxury segment, which indicated the California-based technology company that produces all-electric vehicles was much more serious than its initial two-seat Roadster.

The ambitious Model X SUV followed, but it was plagued by delays and quality problems due to the complex falcon-winged double-hinged doors and seats that moved on a single post. And most buyers were paying more than $100,000 for the technology showcase.

Audi, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Volvo all have electric SUVs under development, as well as plug-in hybrids already on the market.

It’s new territory for Jaguar Land Rover, the British subsidiary of India’s Tata Motors. JLR just introduced its first PHEV in the 2019 Range Rover and Range Rover Sport at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show. It’s the only PHEV capable of off-roading in electric power only, says Range Rover.

But the I-Pace is made for roads. Jaguar’s offering is more of a hatch than a tall-riding SUV, which explains why it’s about 500 pounds lighter than the Model X. Visually, the Model X is a humpback of sorts, while the I-Pace is more of a sleek European hatch.

With a Level 2 charger installed at home, the Jaguar I-Pace will charge the 90kWh battery to 80 percent in 10 hours. Model X 75D takes between six and eight hours. Jaguar owners also won’t have access to Tesla’s supercharger network that simplifies all-electric cross-country travel.

Tesla also offers a 100kWh battery pack with a 290-mile range starting at $96,000.

The Model X is larger on the inside, with 88 cubic feet of storage compared with just over 40 cubic feet in the I-Pace. Tesla excels on its interior and technology, and the single large tablet touch screen in the Model S and Model X is far better than the two-screen setup in the I-Pace, which appears similar to the one in the Range Rover Velar.

A new model with a new powertrain typically has glitches to work out in the first year, but hopefully Jaguar learned from Tesla and put it through its I-paces before customers take delivery in late summer.

COMPARE IT TO: Tesla Model X »

COMPARE IT TO: Volvo XC60 PHEV »

COMPARE IT TO: Guide to plug-in vehicles »

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