Tesla is coming for the combustion-engine car economy, and every major automaker is feeling the pressure to go electric. Jaguar, the latest company attempting to keep pace with Tesla, unveiled its electric I-PACE SUV on Monday, and it thinks it will be the best electric car on the planet. While that claim hasn’t been tested, we do know that it’s fast as shit, and might even have an edge over the standard version of the Tesla Model X. For now, Jaguar is calling the I-PACE a concept car, but plans to have it in production and on the roads by 2018.
Jaguar is clearly ripping several pages out of Tesla and CEO Elon Musk’s book, which set the standard for luxury electric vehicles. The Tesla Model X is an SUV, and Musk has said that he thinks it’s the best car ever made. The Model S, a sedan, is just as stunning, according to most of America, and it’s also faster than just about everything else on the road. Musk has perfected the Steve Jobs approach to car releases: He’ll hype up the event on Twitter, fill an auditorium with car geeks and acolytes, then put on a show. The crowd, without fail, goes wild.
Jaguar obviously tried to replicate that formula for the I-PACE release — somewhat packed event space, catchy video, and (with some encouragement) a cheering audience. It even asked attendees and live-streamers to reserve the car online, just like the Tesla Model 3, if they so desired. Check out the video below:
The car is undeniably aimed at would-be Model X customers. So how do the two vehicles match up on specs? The I-PACE is fast as heck out of the starting gate — it’ll purportedly get to 60 mph in just about four seconds — but, in an electric car, that’s nothing new. Electricity means instant torque. And the Model X, when equipped with a P100D battery and Ludicrous Mode, can do it in just under three seconds. When equipped with a 90D battery, equivalent to the I-PACE’s 90 kWh battery, the Model X is slightly slower — 0-60 mph in about 4.8 seconds — but with Ludicrous mode, it gets down to 3.2 seconds.
There’s a range discrepancy, too: both the P100D Ludicrous Model X and the standard 90D model beat the I-PACE on a single charge. The 100D gets 289, the 90D gets 250, and the I-PACE goes 220.
Plus, there’s that whole autonomous driving perk, which Jaguar can’t match. Nor does the I-PACE have falcon-wing doors. Nonetheless, it’s a Jaguar, and it’s a pretty attractive car. You might even be able to live in it — which may be necessary, depending on the as-yet-unannounced price tag.