Category: Jaguar

Jaguar I-Pace Driven Review South Africa

Jaguar I-PACE South Africa

Jaguar I-PACE Driven

We drive the Jaguar I-PACE on the national media launch in South Africa 

Whether we like it or not, it would seem as though the future of motoring is electrification. And yes, there are certain manufacturers who are exploring all manner of alternative means of power such as hydrogen fuel-cells and fart harvesting but ultimately, this is an expensive exercise, whichever route they go. As a result, the future now points in the direction of whichever platform the major manufacturers gravitate to, and in case you’ve been living under a rock, that platform is good old electricity.

Jaguar I-PACE Charging

The concept of an electric car isn’t a new one, and while modern electric motors are now capable of hurtling vehicles to and fro with eye-watering capability, the electric car’s Achilles heel has always been range. This, coupled with the fact that the uptake on electrification in South Africa hasn’t exactly been rapid means that charging stations are few and far between. Now as much as everybody loves to save the world and nature, given a choice between walking home and a turtle living a few extra years, I know which one ‘Trish’ from Sandhurst is choosing…

So the solution, then; a little more convenience than a conventional car, a range somewhat akin to that of a full tank of petrol and a zhuzh badge so that ‘Trish’ doesn’t feel like she’s being robbed of her “status”. Bless.

And so we introduce the Jaguar I-PACE, the British manufacturer’s first foray into the world of full electrification. The numbers alone are staggering, 294 kW, 696 N.m and 0-100 km/h in 4.8 seconds, however, the game changer here is a claimed range of nearly 500 km. As with a reciprocating motor, the range is heavily dependent on how the vehicle is driven, but given that that is nearly double the range of any other electric thing that’s been on sale in South Africa before, it would seem as though Jaguar are onto something…

Jaguar I-Pace Front

Of course, there’s that gentleman named Elon from Pretoria who also makes some pretty great electric vehicles, which feature in some pretty hilarious YouTube videos, but those aren’t on sale in South Africa nor are there concrete plans for the brand to be introduced anytime soon, so I’ll mention neither him nor his vehicles again.

Think of the I-PACE as South Africa’s Tesla, oops, sorry. First and foremost, Jaguar Land-Rover, henceforth to be known as JLR, already have an existing dealer network from which to work. This is crucial as not only does a brand require a distribution network, but also the backup in order to service the vehicles, which isn’t all too often in an electric vehicle FYI…

Secondly, and this is imperative for a platform such as electrification to pick up, there need to be rapid vehicle chargers with enough frequency along routes to warrant long distance journeys in an electric vehicle. JLR have invested R30 million into building an electric infrastructure to support theirs as well as other manufacturers’ electric products. It’s worth noting, however, that Audi has stated that they won’t be making use of this particular network, GridCars, as they would prefer to keep everything in-house. That doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to charge your e-Tron on this system, but it does mean that the I-PACE shall remain peerless in the electric game for a little longer.

What’s it like?

And so with all of that out of the way, what is the Jaguar I-PACE actually like? Well, it’s a strangely proportioned thing, but there’s no mistaking its Jaguar DNA – its handsome from most angles. Featuring a “cabin forward” design, it makes use of all sorts of clever aerodynamic features in order to reduce its drag coefficient and get the most out of its 90 kW/h battery. And what a battery that is. While maintenance on an electric vehicle isn’t huge at all, the cost of replacing the battery every 100 000 km or so is eye-watering. Jaguar have a solution for this, though.

The battery itself is made up of individual cells which are able to be replaced independently of each other. What this means is that when a cell dies, it is no longer necessary to replace the entire battery pack at vast expense, but rather just replace the cell that has given up the ghost. Think television remote, but on a much grander scale.

Just as a side note, the I-PACE is paving the way for the brand’s future in which they state that all models will feature an electrified derivative by 2020.

Jaguar I-PACE rear

One could argue that by purposefully making electric vehicles/hybrids look vastly different from their guzzling counterparts, manufacturers initially created a niche for these vehicles where in actual fact people just wanted the same old car but with a different means of propulsion. Sure, there’s the odd person here and there who fancies driving around in an upright zen garden or a Tron inspired sedan/hatchback mishmash, but for the most part people gravitate to what is familiar to them.

Jaguar have hit the nail on the head with the I-PACE’s styling – it’s interesting, but not interesting in the same way that a Prius or an Insight is interesting. The interior is what you’d expect from a Jaguar, swathed in lovely leather, tactile plastics, cool-to-the-touch glass and metals and – a personal favourite – wood trim! Now of course, different veneers and trim options are available, but build quality is impeccable throughout, no matter the specification.

What this means is that ‘Trish’ will be able to climb straight out of her F-Pace/Cayenne/X5 and into an I-Pace without A) having to attend night classes in order to operate her new vehicle and B) feeling as though she has had to sacrifice her school run status for the well-being of the forests. Don’t get me wrong, it’s certainly futuristic, but by no means alienating. This is the first feather in the I-PACE’s cap.

Jaguar I-PACE interior

The second has to do with how well thought out the whole package is. From charging to driving to small details such as being able to change how severe the brake regeneration is when you lift off the throttle, sure it’s been done before but for some reason it just feels better in the Jag.

How does it drive?

From a performance perspective, the Jaguar I-PACE is a veritable blast! That 696 N.m lump of torque is available from 0 rpm and as such, overtaking is actually hilarious, as is launching the car from a standstill. Due it’s low centre of gravity, torque vectoring and 50:50 weight distribution, its remarkably nimble and balanced through the twisties. 0-100 km/h is dealt with in 4.8 seconds, all in complete silence. Because there is no engine noise, all you can here are belongings being flung around the cabin under heavy acceleration and at highway speeds, there is very little wind noise thanks to double glazing on the front windows. The response from the steering isn’t hugely communicative, but one must remember at whom the I-Pace is aimed – our friend ‘Trish’. However, that’s not to say that her ‘hubby’ would have a problem taking it for a little weekend blast – it’s a hoot to drive! So the actual vehicle is great, but what about the infrastructure?

Charging Infrastructure

JLR have invested big money into South Africa and in partnership with GridCars, they have deposited 82 60 kW charging stations around the nation, most importantly along arterial routes that people use to get to their holiday destinations. So no, you’re not likely to find a charging station in Bothaville, yet.

Dubbed the Jaguar Powerway, the Garden route and the N3 to Durban are two of the important routes that make up this ecosystem of chargers. With a battery capacity of 90 kWh, the chargers are capable of charging the I-Pace from 0% to 100% in just 90 minutes or alternatively you can gain 100 km of range for every 20 min which will give you an extra 300 km while you enjoy a casual lunch at Harrismith, for example.

Now of course skeptics will make mention of the current ‘power crisis’ with which we are faced in South Africa, but the reality is that with the majority of our electricity coming from coal powered stations which can’t exactly be ‘switched off’ from sunset to sunrise, we have a significant surplus of energy which is actually just being wasted. In other words, if you charge your vehicle as you would your mobile phone when you head to bed in the evening, there are no downsides whatsoever.

The 7.4 kW home charger will set you back more or less R30 000, depending on how far your garage is from your house, and will take 12 hours to fully charge your Jaguar I-PACE from empty, but the idea is that your I-PACE never really reaches “0 electricities” but rather you just top it up as you would your Apple Watch. At R1.94 kW/h, a full charge on the Jaguar I-PACE will set you back R174.60. That’s significantly cheaper than the price of a full tank of petrol, and when you consider a realistic range of 400 km, the cost savings start to become pretty evident, however…

Living in the stone ages, we are subject to an additional 7% tax on electric vehicles which means that the I-PACE is between R100 000 and R130 000 more expensive than it should be – in most countries, electric vehicles are tax exempt so we can only hope that a proverbial spark is ignited somewhere in the near future.

Jaguar I-PACE pricing in South Africa

As such, pricing is on a par with equivalent performance SUV’s, however it’s worth noting that the Jaguar I-PACE is a little smaller than competitors. The I-PACE comes with an 8-year/160 000 km battery warranty and due to the fact that electric vehicles don’t require as much maintenance as a conventional car, service intervals are every 2 years or every 34 000 km.

S                       R1 687 230
SE                     R1 745 540
HSE                  R1 829 880
First Edition    R1 920 700

 

So, is the Jaguar I-PACE the future? Well, no, not really. It is, however, a really good glimpse into the future of motoring. Arguably, it’s the first of the all-electric vehicles that the owner doesn’t need to supplement with a petrol powered vehicle, too. You could easily own an I-PACE and only an I-PACE, and if you ask me, that’s a big step in the right direction. If this is what we have to look forward to, then we can’t wait for what is yet to come!

Learn more and find a  dealer here.  

 

Jaguar’s XJ Range updated and includes a 300 km/h performance model.

Jaguar XJR575

Jaguar updates its XJ Range in South Africa

The Jaguar XJ has been with us for quite some time now, but not many would notice this due to fact that it was mostly overshadowed by brand conscious consumers seeking the gratification of the Germans and their brands. This by no means meant it was terrible rubbish, in fact quite the opposite, as it took a quintessential British “Jaaag” like approach to the typical Luxury salon. The XJ was a far more than just an interesting prospect for the clean cut suit types that could afford the house-like pricing that it occupies.

After some time on the market, Jaguar has brought about the updated version with changes both to the dynamic elements, technological and safety updates.

Jaguar XJR575

 

The MY2018 model that will arrive later this year will feature changes to the infotainment system with a 10” touchscreen with high definition graphics and user interface, that when specced with the Touch Pro system offers door-to-door navigation, IOS and Android connectivity and 4G Wi-Fi connectivity.  The TFT instrument cluster now offers full-screen navigation and a customizable setup. Externally, the changes include full LED lighting and unique ‘double J-Blade signature’ day time running lights. The optional Black Pack offers enhanced exterior styling cues including blacked out grill and trim pieces. In the interest of luxury and offering the right product for varying consumers, the XJ is available in both Short and long wheel bases.

Jaguar XJR575

The overall safety in both passive and active assistance systems has also undergone some changes, with the addition of Adaptive Cruise Control with Queue Assist, Reverse Traffic Detection, Blind Spot Monitoring, 360-degree Camera Systems and semi-automated parking being added to the options. The All-surface Progress Control traction system has to be revised in the interest of keeping in times with technological advances, with the control of traction and throttle in slippery surfaces now becoming automated, requiring only directional inputs from the driver. Further assistance includes Forward Traffic Detection, Lane Keep Assist, and Driver Condition Monitoring, which is able to identify lapses in steering activity followed by sudden or excessive inputs from the driver.

Jaguar XJR575

XJR 575

The flagship performance model will be replaced with the more powerful XJR 575. The 5.0-litre supercharged V8’s power output having been enhanced to 423 kW and 700 N.m. These figures are enough to blast the XJ to 100 km/h in just 4.4 seconds and all the way to 300 km/h.  Available in just two bespoke SVO or Special Vehicle Operations colours, the XJR will be identifiable by the either blue or grey paint. Performance orientated enhancements include the rear spoiler, black front air intakes and side-skirts. The XJR 575 badging and twin bonnet louvres also help to remove from the image of the standard model and hint as to the vehicle’s sporting prowess. Standard fare are the 20” Farallon gloss-black wheels and red brake callipers with the interior receiving diamond quilted leather buckets, embossed with the 575 logos finished in the choice of either black or white.

Jaguar XJR575

Luxury, Premium Luxury, Portfolio, R-Sport, XJR 575 and Autobiography models will be powered by the same range of petrol supercharged V6 and V8 and engines with varying outputs and displacements. The 3.0-litre V6 will offer 250 kW, with the V8 offering either 375 kW or 423 kW in the XJR. Fans of the oil burner will have the option of a 3.0-litre V6 diesel, with 221 kW 700 N.m.

Alternatives

The XJ faces off with the highest standard in premium luxury sedans with the likes of the BMW 7 Series, Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Audi A8 providing stiff competition. The other less mainstream alternative is the Lexus LS460

Jaguar XJR575

Jaguar XJ Pricing in South Africa 

Prices start at R1.13 million and climb all the way to above the R2 million mark for LWB top spec models.

  • XJ Luxury – R1,132,300
  • XJ Premium Luxury – R1,627,500
  • XJ Portfolio – R1,925,400
  • XJ R-Sport – R1,854,500
  • XJR575 – R2,524,500
  • XJ Autobiography – R2,713,100

JAGUAR XE SV PROJECT 8 – The most powerful Jag Ever!

JAGUAR XE SV PROJECT 8

JAGUAR XE SV PROJECT 8 

Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations, not only sounds like a special task force but also have the inherent ability to create ludicrously fast and loud versions of JLR cars. Their acumen has now been applied to the XE sedan to create the Jaguar XE SV Project 8. Making its debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed on the 30th of June, the Project 8 will position itself as their most brawny big cat to date. Powering the XE is the thunderous 5.0-litre V8 we’ve seen in other hot JLR products, but with extra gusto to the tune of 441 kW and 700 N.m. The numbers suggest serious contention to the title of the fastest super saloon with a 3.7 second 0-100 sprint time and a supercar-rivalling 322km/h top speed.  Drive is to four corners with a dynamic AWD-system, driven by an 8-speed “quick shift” transmission.

JAGUAR XE SV PROJECT 8

Externally the differences between this and the standard model are rather extensive, with the typical fast car perquisites checked off the list. These include the addition of a Titanium quad exhaust and manually adjusted boot spoiler for added aerodynamic downforce at the immense speeds the Project 8 is capable of. In the pursuit of weight saving, the use of carbon fibre is generous with a carbon bonnet, front and rear bumpers with passive air ducting to create downforce and aid in cooling.  Just 300 units will come to form and will be exclusively left-hand drive

 

Hardcore Track Pack

The optional track pack ditches niceties, like the standard Magnesium performance buckets for a set of lightweight carbon fibre front ones, saving 12.2kgs. This theme is carried on in the rear, with seats removed altogether and replaced with a harness retention hoop, in support of the 4-point safety harness. Other track specifications include a fire extinguisher system.

JAGUAR XE SV PROJECT 8

 

Interior

The hardcore focus remains with the use of black Alcantara to line the instrument cluster in the aim of reducing reflection, so too are the door cards and steering wheel. A 12.3 inch TFT instrument screen provides as the information hub for driver data. An aluminium plaque will serve as a reminder as to the exclusive numbers showcasing “1 of 300”. The features list is extensive as one would expect from Jag, with a 10.2-inch tablet like infotainment centre, offering dual-view technology, a 4G wi-fi hotspot and InControl Remote app control connected to a 380W 11 speaker MeridianTM Sound System.  

JAGUAR XE SV PROJECT 8

 

 

JAGUAR XE SV PROJECT 8 Pricing in South Africa

Ahhh well, no allocation of units per country has been made but the base price in the UK suggests to £149,995 equivalent to R2.5 million in South Africa, but more importantly, we are a Right-hand drive country, so it’s very likely this will be exclusive to LHD markets.

JAGUAR XE SV PROJECT 8

Alternatives

The Project 8 is far dearer than all its rivals, but the serious numbers lead to rivals from the likes of the newly launched Mercedes-AMG E63S, the new BMW M5 and the now ageing RS6 Avant, because its quite a bit more mental than the M3, C63S and Giulia!

Is the glorious noise gone? Jaguar F-Type now comes in 2.0 litre variant.

South African Car News: Jaguar F-Type 2.0 

So by now you would’ve heard that the F-Type will feature an entry level 2.0 litre engine. For those of you who love cars, you may be worried. The thing about a sports car like an F-Type is that the silly things are often what matters most. So yes the car may be lighter and yes it may love the trees a bit more, but will it still sound like you’re a superhero each time you plant your foot down? Let’s hope so. The F-Type was part of the cars that made the “pop and bangs” popular. Some call it “fake noises” but we really don’t care, because a screaming F-Type on overrun is as aurally pleasing as a Jimmy Hendrix solo.

Performance Figures

As much as noise counts though, we have to give credit where it’s due. The 2.0 litre F-Type still offers great performance credentials, as it produces 221kW/400Nm. As a result it’s good for a 0-100 time of 5.7 seconds. The fact that the car is lighter also means that it will be more dynamic which generally means more fun. The introduction of this power-plant makes sense, as it makes the vehicle more accessible. By accessible we don’t mean from a monetary aspect, but rather from a drivers perspective. Sometimes less is more and in the case of the F-Type 2.0 litre, this perhaps could be the reality. Not everyone can man-handle a V6 or V8 F-Type with the grace of a Top Gear presenter, in fact majority people aren’t too interested in lap times and going sideways. The sledge hammer performance offered by the top of the range F-Type can be a bit intimidating, especially for someone who simply wants something the stylish and sporty. As a result the 2.0 litre variant may just be the car that client is looking for.

Jaguar insists that vehicle still sounds great and from the small clips we’ve heard, it still has the pops on overrun. Joy. The F-Type’s new Ingenium engine has some smart technology which aids performance and fuel economy. This includes a specialised exhaust manifold, a clever valve system, a twin scroll turbocharger and centrally mounted fuel injectors.  The changes don’t stop with the engine, as subtle front and rear end tweaks have been made, giving the F-Type a fresher face.

Overall this new model can be viewed as “the people’s Jag”. One can also expect to pay less for this model but we  have yet to receive formal pricing on the car in South Africa. Until we drive it and hear how sounds, we’re holding thumbs. We smell a Porsche 718 Boxter/Cayman dual happening soon with this car. Stay tuned.

 

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