A growing list of new battery-powered luxury cars being developed to compete with Tesla (TSLA) has one more member, the I-Pace from Jaguar.
Tata Motors (TTM) , the Indian conglomerate, displayed its new Jag Monday night in Los Angeles, a market where it hopes to be selling quite a few when the car goes on sale in 2018. Though pricing wasn't announced, I-Pace will probably cost in the neighborhood of Tesla's Model S, which currently sells for about $90,000.
While I-Pace carries the SUV designation, it looks very much like a sportier, slightly modified sedan with a bit more cargo room, a hatchback and an elevated stance. Jaguar will equip the car with a 90-kilowatt battery, permitting a zero to 60 mph acceleration of four seconds and a range of 220 miles or more.
Speaking of the new model's design cues and layout at the debut, designer Ian Callum said "our brief was to create a spacious performance SUV that could comfortably carry five people. Otherwise we had a clean sheet of paper."
Unlike some early electric vehicle models, I-Pace's body and battery don't rely on existing hardware. Thus, Jaguar could design a purpose-built vehicle with a low center of gravity that delivers tight handling on top of the quick acceleration that comes with electric drive, a benefit that helped make the Tesla Model S popular with reviewers and owners.
German automakers Daimler (DDAIF) , Volkswagen (VLKAY) and BMW have stepped up electrification programs in response to looming zero-emission regulations in the U.S. VW's Porsche subsidiary showed a high-powered EV concept last year in Germany called the Mission E, seemingly aimed straight at Tesla owners and intenders. Local Chinese automakers, responding to encouragement and incentives from their government, are bringing out new EVs, mostly aimed at mainstream customers.