What do you do when your boss ask you if you want to drive his First Edition Jaguar I-Pace back to the office? “You’re really into cars, right?”
Today we had our department lunch and on the ride over there we noticed the new Jaguar I-Pace roaming the streets of Costa Mesa with a cat like prowess. Silent, yet rather quickly, jumping in and out of lanes like…well like a cat. A very large and beautiful black cat. The driver of the vehicle that I was in said that must be Bob’s new car. We stopped at a light and from my vantage point of the rear seat all I could see was the front of the Jag and those amazing optional 22″ wheels with carbon fiber inserts.
When the light turned green, the Jag took full advantage of its 4.5 0 to 60 speed and sticky rubber and ripped a left turn through the intersection. Tried as we did to keep up, Bob was showing off to his passenger what the I-Pace could do. The all electric SUV maneuvered through the streets making use of its 394 hp and 512 lb-ft of instant torque. With that kind of power the Jag arrived at the restaurant minutes before us. Lucky for us, actually lucky for me, there was an empty spot right next to where the Jag lay resting from the spirited drive. I snapped a pic of it when we arrived.
I’m relatively new to the dept, so my coworker was looking out for me when I heard her tell Bob that I really like his car. It got better when after lunch Bob was showing off his new purchase and I struck up a conversation my team lead, who the passenger in the I-Pace. My supervisor also drives a electric car, so I am sure they did all their EV talk during the ride to the restaurant. I asked him what his thoughts were on the I-Pace and he said that he was actually more of a fan of the Tesla. He likes its simpler interior design and the large screen. Being familiar with Teslas, I can say the Jag has a more premium look and feel inside and out. Personal view of course, but it’s my blog so there.
My supervisor knows that I like cars and told me that I should ride back with them. Also said for me to ride up front so I could check out the Jag first hand. Of course he had to twist my arm for me to say yes 🙂 . When the sleeping Jag was awakened, the side mirrors unfolded and the door handles extended out like that of the Tesla Model S, making them easy to grab. With a slight tug the door opened right up revealing a very well appointed cabin.
Once seated I was able to examine just how nice the interior of the Jaguar I-Pace First Edition is with its black leather sport seats, dark wood accents and the optional black suede headliner. The headliner material isn’t much as it encompasses a large fixed panoramic roof. The dash, steering wheel and seats have contrast white stitching and there are splashes of aluminum to help break up the black.
Just as I was admiring the interior layout, Bob looks over at me and says “you’re really into cars, right? Wanna drive?” In a moment of Neo and Morpheus Red pill or Blue pill decision making, I gulped and uttered “What?” “You wanna drive? This will be your only chance.” he says. Collecting myself and trying to suppress my excitement “Yes, of course.” Once behind the wheel, I had to get my bearings. Adjust the seat, buckle my seatbelt. I had to hunt for the start button as it rather subdued and not behind the steering wheel like other cars. No giant red “push me” ignition button here. A simple, almost elegant designed black button to compliment the very modern center console.
Starting an electric vehicle takes some getting used to as there is almost no sound, well only the sound of the interior coming to life. Setting off in the Jaguar, you simply push “D” for Drive and press the accelerator pedal. No trans shifting into gear, no roll when you take your foot off of the brake. Very simple when you think about it.
I felt all kinds of nervous taking my boss’s $90k Jaguar I-Pace First Edition onto a public road. “What if I pull out in front of someone? What if I don’t break in time. What if I hit the accelerator with my lead foot and break the tires loose on this AWD beast.” I was put at ease with the conversation we were having and threw those “what if’s” out the window. Especially when my boss told me to “punch it”. So you know I did and was immediately pinned to my seat. With an electric vehicle, you feel the torque instantly. And the I-Pace has plenty to go around.
Impressive 234 mile range for a vehicle of its size if you keep your foot out of the tank…well off the electric go pedal and let the regen-braking do it’s thing. Can I tell you that the handling is terrific for a vehicle of its size? The steering is sharp and direct, which I am sure is assisted by the size of the performance tires. My supervisor snapped a pic of me driving. I’m sure I looked like a frightened child from his view.
I drove us back to the office safely and thanked Bob for the opportunity to drive his baby. That takes some kind of trust to hand over you brand new car to anyone without vetting them first. I guess it’s a car guy thing. He was proud of his purchase and wanted to share that joy with me…another car guy.
The car is amazing and makes a strong case against Tesla. It may not have “Ludicrous” mode but it drops the hammer nicely. You’d be doing yourself a disservice if you don’t consider Jaguar when cross-shoping against Tesla.
Sorry for the lack of pics this post but here are 2 of the shots I took at the OC Auto Show and the link to the Jaguar website to get a better look at what is offered for the Jaguar I-Pace First Edition.
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