2019 Jaguar I-Pace First Drive: Spark Of Genius

Tesla has dominated the chatter around electric vehicles. The upstart brand and its founder, Elon Musk, helped turn the EV from something admired by the granola-munching, tree-hugging crowd to a must-have fashion accessory, a screaming performance vehicle, and a technological hotbed that's forced slow-to-adapt legacy automakers to move.

Jaguar Electrifies:

 

And now we're seeing the unintentional fruits of Musk's efforts. Major global automakers are diving into electrification, and if the all-electric Jaguar I-Pace is any indication, Tesla should worry about the sleeping giant it’s awoken.

2019 Jaguar I-Pace: First Drive
2019 Jaguar I-Pace: First Drive

Despite the technology involved, the I-Pace's layout is rather simple. Two electric motors – one on the front axle and one on the rear – provide 394 horsepower and 512 pound-feet of torque split evenly between all four wheels. Effectively all-wheel drive, there's a single-speed transmission to put the power down, while the floor-mounted, 90-kilowatt-hour battery pack gives the I-Pace a manufacturer-estimated 240 miles of range. Disregard saving electricity, and this sleek four-door crossover-coupe can get to 60 miles per hour in just 4.5 seconds.

Those numbers are no match for the straight-line speed of a Tesla Model X P100D, but the I-Pace is two-tenths of a second quicker than the more common 100D. And importantly, the Jag outperforms two of its gas-powered rivals, the BMW X4 ...