The invitation from Ryan Bermudez of Jaguar Philippines was short notice but it was so unique and intriguing that we felt compelled to go. We were invited to test drive the 2020 Jaguar I-Pace EV400 AWD, the company’s first fully electric vehicle, at the site of the new Sevina Park exclusive townhouses in Biñan, Laguna. Since the test drive was scheduled on a Sunday (October 11th), we decided to make it a fun family drive.
The drive from our home in Quezon City to Laguna via the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) was a welcome respite after being cooped up at home because of the pandemic. It felt good to breathe fresh air and enjoy a cool, gentle breeze when you open the car windows. When we got to the site at around noon, we were greeted by Chris Ward, the jolly head honcho of All-British Cars, Inc., and immediately, he sat us to an al fresco lunch on a wonderful meal catered by Wolfgang’s Steakhouse.
Caring for the Environment
Over lunch, Chris and Ryan informed me that for this test drive event, they tied-up with Arthaland, the realty development company behind Sevina Park, because they shared the same goal of helping preserve the environment. We learned that Sevina Park was master-planned by Sasaki Associates as a balanced residential and commercial development with 60% green and open spaces, and its own composting facility, waste segregation and management system, and rain water systems.
The villas in Sevina Park were designed to be energy-efficient, with optimized use of natural light, natural ventilation, and water. The 4-bedroom villas, which are designed for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environment Design) Home certification, can be fitted with an optional solar panel system. And parked in front of such a villa was the Jaguar I-Pace, quietly charging its batteries using its portable 220-volt charger that was plugged to the villa’s electric outlet.
A Glimpse at the Future
While waiting for our turn to drive, we toured the villas and realized that we’re getting a preview of the near future. Energy-efficient, sustainable residences will be located within a short distance from business offices and commercial establishments while electric vehicles will be parked at the driveway of most residences. We were told that the I-Pace’s battery and interior were being pre-conditioned for the test drive while it was being charged at the car port. The touchscreen was used to prompt the pre-condition feature and cool the cabin without using power from the battery to preserve its range. This command can also be done remotely with a smartphone app.
More importantly, the I-Pace features a Cabin Air Ionization system to improve air quality in the cabin, neutralize odors, and minimize bacteria, which can help avoid the infection and spread of the dreaded coronavirus. Its luxuriously comfortable seats, abundant legroom, and clean, uncluttered interior design provides a pleasant and healthy in-car environment while its utility is enhanced with a load space of 1,453 liters behind the rear seats, 27 liters under the front hood, 10.5 liters under the center armrest, and a useful cubby hole in the center console.
Revolutionary EV Technology
Before the test drive, Ryan briefed me that the I-Pace is a leap forward towards revolutionary design and technology. To achieve sports car-like road manners, the I-Pace keeps its weight between the wheels with the 90 kWh lithium-ion high-voltage battery cells sitting low between the axles, allowing a near perfect 50:50 weight distribution. Its lightweight alloy and steel body was fashioned to maximize strength and safety while its aerodynamics was designed to maintain downforce at high speeds.
Two permanent magnet synchronous electric motors are integrated with the front and rear axles to provide 395 horsepower (400PS) and 696 Newton-meters of torque. Its All-Wheel Drive (AWD) traction accelerates the I-Pace from rest to 100km/h in just 4.8 seconds. Without a conventional transmission, the JaguarDrive system instantly delivers sustainable acceleration up to 12,000 rpm with no lag and no gearshift interruptions, delivering power to the wheels with maximum grip.
It Pampers You Almost Immediately
When it was my turn to drive, I immediately felt pampered with the deployable door handles that pop out when the doors unlock and retract flush with the exterior during the drive to smoothen the airflow. I learned that an optional Activity Key in a waterproof wristband allows owners to take part in sports and other activities where carrying a key is not convenient. The I-Pace’s Smart Settings can identify each driver using their key and phone, adjust the seat and mirrors to preferred positions, and play their favorite media at the start of each journey. It can also learn and automate these preferences based on each driver’s habits and past routines.
Once seated in the comfortable and supportive sport seats, which feature individual heating and cooling, I observed that Jaguar’s sophisticated motor encapsulation and acoustic laminated glass on the front windows and windscreen reduces noise entering the cabin from outside. The only sound inside comes from the intuitive Pivi Pro infotainment system that is mated to a fantastic Meridian sound system.
Hush! On with the Drive!
Ryan coached me how to start the Jaguar I-Pace. “Push the Start/Stop button, see the 12.3-inch Interactive Driver Display light up, press the Drive button, and let’s go! It’s like driving an amusement park bump car, only a lot faster and a lot more comfortable”, he exclaimed. He pointed to the Head-Up Display that shows not only our speed but the navigation directions in full-color high-resolution graphics.
With its instantaneous electric torque, this Jaguar leaps when you stomp the throttle. The quick acceleration pushes you into your seat and is akin to a supercar or a ‘60s muscle car but with, ahem, a dash of British manners and civility. The short test drive course around Sevina Park didn’t allow us to test the I-Pace’s handling but we felt that the ride was taut yet smooth and refined. The only sound you’ll hear is a whisper of tire noise and the hushed whirl of the powerful electric motor at high rpm.
Regeneration, Recharging and Reassurance
When I lifted my foot from the accelerator, I immediately felt a strong deceleration. Ryan explained that the I-Pace uses an Enhanced Brake Regeneration system that effectively slows the vehicle down while converting the power generated to charge the battery and optimize its range. Chris later added that the level of regenerative braking can be adjusted, and he boasted that by increasing the level, he can drive the I-Pace in stop-and-go traffic using only the accelerator pedal.
While we’re on the subject of charging, the I-Pace’s battery can be fully charged in 12 hours and 48 minutes using the bundled 7-kW wall charger while an optional 11-kW charger can shorten charging time to 8 ½ hours. Jaguar claims a range of around 470 kilometers using the WLTP Cycle, which is short for Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure. The battery is covered by an 8-year, 160,000-kilometer, 70% State-of-Health (SOH) warranty while the entire vehicle comes with complimentary 5 years Scheduled Maintenance, Manufacturer’s Warranty, and Roadside Assistance.
With a price of P7,590,000, the 2020 Jaguar I-Pace EV400 AWD is not inexpensive but it’s a lot of technology for the money. Ryan pointed out that the P24-Million 4-bedroom villa at Sevina Park comes with a solar panel, which can charge the battery of the I-Pace and power the appliances in the house, to make it an authentic sustainable and environment-friendly combo. Oh, where can I get my hands on P31,590,000 (I-Pace + 4-bedroom villa) to finally live sustainably, and drive quietly, while helping Mother Nature?
Classification: 5-door luxury EV
Engine type: Two permanent magnet synchronous electric motors
Maximum power: 395hp (400 PS)
Maximum torque: 696 Nm
Transmission: Single speed automatic
Length: 4682 mm
Width: 2139 mm
Height: 1566 mm
Wheelbase: 2990 mm
Curb weight: 2133 kg
Ground clearance: 174 mm
Turning radius: 11.98 m
Driving range: 470 km (WLTP Cycle)
Acceleration: 4.8 seconds
Maximum speed: 200 km/h
Load space behind second row: 505 liters
Load space behind first row: 1163 liters
Load space under front hood: 27 liters
Jaguar Land Rover Philippines
All British Cars, Inc.
1008 Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA),
Greenhills, San Juan City, 1502 Metro Manila
Phone: (+632) 8784 5000