Perhaps the first European luxury brand to launch a normalized battery-electric SUV won’t be the Germans. Jaguar appears to be nipping at the heels of the big German brands by declaring it plans to launch its I-Pace battery-electric SUV later this year in Europe. In fact, it’s already in production.
The I-Pace, revealed in concept form at last year’s Los Angeles Auto Show, is no small feat for the small company. The vehicle is built on an all-new platform, driven by an all-new electric powertrain and is the first Jaguar to have an all-aluminum body using new bonding techniques. Oh, did we also mention it is being manufactured by supplier Magna Steyr in Austria?
Yeah, the amount of wildcards with the I-Pace is rather staggering. It’s especially staggering considering Jaguar Land Rover is considerably smaller of an organization than the likes of Daimler and BMW Group.
Automotive News reports that part of the reason the I-Pace is chugging along so well is because Jaguar involved Magna Steyr very early on in the process. While the I-Pace itself was developed by the company who’s brand is on the hood, the manufacturing processes were developed by Magna.
Magna Steyr’s president of vehicle technology, Karl-Friedrich Stracke, says the I-Pace is already being produced at its Austrian facility and is confident it will be flawless when it goes on sale in Europe later this year and then in the U.S. in 2018.
Flawless is almost an imperative for Jaguar with the I-Pace. This vehicle is tasked with upping Jaguar’s shaky quality record and achieve strict Europe Union emission standards.
It also sounds like Jaguar is subtly prodding at Tesla and the Germans as well.