Jaguar I-Pace first drive review | Baby Steps

The modern-day Jaguar is the pre interpretation of the brand’s future. Read on to know more...
Photographs by: Sachin Kawankar

What used to be a sprint, has transformed into a marathon. That’s right. Remember how we always used to be in a hurry? Be it success, happiness, health, or even wealth, let alone love. We wanted everything now! Not surprisingly though, this hurriedness became the way of life where we tried to change too much at once, eventually expecting too much from ourselves, and then stopping ourselves from taking even that first step because we were overwhelmed by our goals while the dreams seemed intimidating. And you know what this resulted into? Two words: Frustration and failure. And we don’t want that, especially when it comes to our future now, do we?

Hence, one of the simplest ways to go ahead in these times is to start taking baby steps. Now you know where I am coming from for the I-Pace? Well, I wouldn’t even hesitate to say that for Jaguar, it is the modern interpretation of ‘One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind. Although it may look like a tiny step, a lot has gone into making the I-Pace. That’s the story for another time, but today we are going to see how it feels to be with one.

We lived with one for around two days and after the ‘Thud’ of the door, all I could hear was the ‘Thump’ of my heart in between my tidal breaths inside the I-Pace. And no, this wasn’t only when it was at standstill, but also when it propelled me to 100kmph...and beyond. And boy did this 2.2 tonnes mahoosive electric SUV feel fast while it pushed me into the seat with 400 horses and 700Nm of torque! And you do not have to wait for it since the start of it right at the moment you press the throttle. The world is instant. This jolting was quite useful in the city for short and quick overtakes while popping out of a lane calmly on highways and silently passing by the long trucks was nothing to worry about. This is that one thing you might have to get used to since this all happens quite quietly. Also, just to hear a hum since I’ve got used to this feeling of not being able to listen to any clicking noise or revs while on the go is now a norm. Argh! Weird that isn’t weird anymore.

Now, if you drive like a saint (or unlike me) then you might get close to what Jaguar claims the range to be, that is, 470kms. However, while it was handed over with almost full charge in Bombay to us, we shot the car on day one (mind you, it eats up a lot of miles), and returned it with around 250kms or 60% left, that is after charging it at one of Jaguar’s showrooms in Pune on day two. Of course, this was a result of us using all basic to not-really-needed features that the car comes with, which was all powered by batteries. But, if you are me, you will barely use these features on the go since all the aforementioned power goes so impressively well with how it handles; so much so that you will experience the beautiful handover from Jaguar’s ICE’d cars to this car right here. This means that the best mix of being roguish as well as confident at the same time will be at your service. In fact, the absence of the engine in the front - the weight of which used to directly affect the steering - has given space to the motors on the axles resulting in a positive scale, that is, it is aptly ladened now. Furthermore, what anchors this double tonner is the battery pack that is installed across the floor for two reasons; equally distributed weight and lowered center of gravity and no SUV hates a hunkered stance with the drive to all four wheels. Jaguar has also thrown in a firm suspension set up which also adds to the brilliant handling of the I-Pace. Bring this all together and regardless of how acute the corner gets or what your speed is at that moment, unless you turn the traction control off, it will hold on the road and never let you hold on to your dear life. But this does not mean that it will keep you uncomfortable on bad roads.

Phew! Now that I was almost done with all the trickery, it was time to remember how rich and luxurious I felt inside the cabin while I made a note of all the above on still wheels. And it wasn’t only me, but our crew too who occupied the seats to cut slack for a bit. The well-bolstered seats, abundant space, and above all, quite literally, the massive sunroof made sure that they didn’t step out of the car for almost half an hour. Although, there were some places where the space could’ve been better, like the glove box and even the boot, where the space saver occupies most of the space. Erm yeah. But hey! That doesn’t mean we didn’t have a good time in the cabin at all. Oh, how the three screens kept the people smoothly busy simultaneously; features like the climate control, 8-powered front seats, Meridian Surround Sound system, wireless charging, and much more. We liked it!

Get out of the car and as much as it is a Jaguar inside, it is from the outside as well. Hence I’ll let the design do the talking here since, as usual, Jaguar has beautifully flown from rich to raw from inside to the outside. And that’s the beauty of it. It is a killer, not only in terms of its looks but when it comes to range anxiety as well. But that doesn’t mean that the Jag compromises on the driving bit. Exactly why I call it an Aye-Pace, for it will listen to you every time you swoosh away. Be it on good or bad roads, day or night. The Jag has swiftly made an entrance into the future. And that is now!