Jaguar claims to have torn up the rule book by creating “a concept with supercar looks, sports car performance and SUV space, in one electric package.”
The I-PACE Concept car is the start of a new era for Jaguar, and will be on the road in 2018, having made its first public physical appearance at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show on 16th November after a virtual reality reveal.
Ian Callum, Director of Design, says the car “represents the next generation of electric vehicle design. It’s a dramatic, future-facing cab-forward design with a beautiful interior – the product of authentic Jaguar DNA, electric technology and contemporary craftsmanship.
“Our virtual reality reveal has pushed technology boundaries as well, and captures the hi-tech essence of the concept car. We only have one concept car and it is in LA for the reveal. For the first time, VR has allowed us share it across the globe in the most immersive way possible.”
This unique and world-first ‘social VR’ reveal is believed to be the largest live and connected VR event of its type to date. Throughout the day more than 300 guests were transported into a specially created life-like virtual space, into which two of the car’s creators, Ian Callum and Ian Hoban were projected.
From VR hubs in Los Angeles and London, groups of 66 guests including A-list stars Michelle Rodriguez, Miranda Kerr and James Corden, used HTC Vive Business Edition headsets, powered by Dell Precision workstations, to put themselves inside the concept car and interact live with other participants. Guests ‘sat’ on the concept’s virtual seats, had a 3600 view of Venice Beach as the concept was built piece by piece around them, and saw the I-PACE Concept race towards them across a virtual desert.
Dr Wolfgang Ziebart added: “This is an uncompromised electric vehicle designed from a clean sheet of paper: we’ve developed a new architecture and selected only the best technology available. The I-PACE Concept fully exploits the potential EVs can offer in space utilisation, driving pleasure and performance.”
The state-of-the-art electric motors and 90kWh lithium-ion battery pack were designed in-house by Jaguar Land Rover to give the best possible performance and range for most daily journeys. Wherever you are in the world you can simply plug your car into a wall socket overnight, and have more than enough range to complete the average daily commute of around 50 km.
For rapid charging, using a typical public 50 KW DC charging network, a full charge will take just over 2 hours. Enough to deliver more than 220 miles range (measured on the US EPA test cycle) or more than 500 km range (measured on the European NEDC test cycle).
The I-PACE Concept “offers the driver-focused performance and response Jaguar is renowned for”.
To help deliver this, the I-PACE has electric motors on the front and rear axles. Their combined output is 400PS and 700Nm of torque – the same torque rating as the F-TYPE SVR.
Ian Hoban, Vehicle Line Director, described the set up to VR guests who were able to use virtual reality to get under the skin of this ground-breaking technology. He said: “Electric motors provide immediate response with no lag, no gearshifts and no interruptions. Their superior torque delivery compared to internal combustion engines transforms the driving experience. With 700Nm and the traction benefits of all-wheel drive, the I-PACE Concept accelerates from 0-60mph in around four seconds.”
The virtual reality experience also allowed participants to sit in the front and rear of the car and explore the interior, discovering hidden details and features.
There’s a panoramic glass roof, and sporty, elegantly finished seats “every feature bears the hallmark of British craftsmanship” say the makers.
“And there is digital craftsmanship too, with two touch screens serving up information when and where you need it, limiting distraction and improving the driving experience.”
Groups in both Los Angeles and London were able to communicate and interact with one another through the virtual reality event, and the VR content from the reveal is available on Viveport through a dedicated Jaguar app, allowing consumers to experience the I-PACE Concept at home.
Dan O’ Brien, Vice President Virtual Reality at HTC said: “Jaguar Land Rover is renowned for its innovative spirit, and with Vive Business Edition we’re thrilled to be the virtual reality partner to help bring their latest launch into an immersive VR landscape and to VIVE users at home. With the blend of cinematics and Vive’s room-scale VR technology, the I-PACE Concept VR experience offers an incredible level of immersion, and showcases an exciting reimagining of the traditional car launch.”
Ross Wheeler, Head of Automotive at Imagination, said: “For the first time in history, a global automotive brand has used fully immersive VR to launch their latest car. This launch takes the individual far beyond any new car experience they would have witnessed before, allowing people across the world to connect in real time, be fully immersed within the vehicle and share live together their experience of Jaguar’s first ever electric vehicle.”
“Jaguar, by embracing cutting-edge technology in this way, has created an experience rich and rewarding for its consumers. It has undoubtedly redefined the future of how automotive brands introduce their new vehicles to customers.”