Tag: 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 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!

Performance on the rocks: JLR’s Ice driving academy in Sweden.

For those that have attended an advanced driving course, you know how it generally involves a lot of driver briefing and hot weather, especially in South Africa. There’s nothing like coming home sunburnt with a certificate to tell the world that you know what ABS braking does. Jaguar, on the other hand, have tried a different approach to this whole thing. They have opened an ice driving academy in Sweden, so you can drive your favourite Jaguar on the rocks. Cars like the F-Type, F-Pace and Range Rover Sport will be made available to drive in slippery sub zero temperatures. Of course,an expert on all things ice related will accompany to teach you how to best handle these cars in such conditions. We’re sure this driving academy must be fun, considering that back home the best part for many doing an advanced driving course is the skid-pan.

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For those not into modern day cars, you’re not left in the lurch because there is the option to drive some vintage Jag’s and Land Rovers as well. This must be a tad bit more intimidating because most  classic cars don’t feature the safety equipment we have in modern cars today, so it may be advisable to bring some extra underpants. One thing is for sure, you’ll come out a better driver and you’ll most likely have a great time. The not so fun part will be paying your R38 000 for this course because that’s what it will cost you in our money.  Yikes.

Find out more here : http://www.jaguar.com/experience-jaguar/iconic-experiences/ice-drive-sweden.html

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Jaguar XE Driven: Is there space for a big four?

The C-segment has been going through a war for many years now. The majority of those years have been ruled by one brand, the BMW 3 Series. During this time, Mercedes’ C-Class has been in competition with the Bavarian dictator and they have always come off second best in terms of driving dynamics and excitement but have always led in terms of comfort. Meanwhile the Audi A4 has always been the conservative’s choice amongst the lot and as a result, has had a specific audience to itself. With technology progressing and cars getting better and better, the distinct differences in cars within this segment have lessened, making brand loyalty the biggest decision maker for the consumer.

All of a sudden, though, a smaller more exclusive brand has entered the war and their offering has narrowed the gap even more. That brand is Jaguar and the new XE is their contender in this segment. After spending a week behind its wheel we were left wondering if the big three may need to make space for a fourth.

jaguar-xe-exterior-17

Is it really that good?

Yes, the Jaguar XE is a lovely vehicle. From the way it looks to the way it drives, makes it a very appealing package indeed. Add that to the fact that the nameplate it bears is one that denotes sophistication, class, and luxury. The engine line-up is similar to that of its competitors too, ranging from small 2.0 turbocharged petrol and diesel engines to a brutish 3.0 V6 Supercharged power-plant in the top of the range S model.

We had in our care the 177kW 2.0 i4 Turbo with the R-Sport package, a magnificently beautiful car that is as refined as it is good looking. It’s not all looks with the XE though, the car can manoeuvre its way around bends in a confidence-inspiring way. Dynamically the XE is without a doubt one of the best cars in its segment. It’s comfortable too, our Bavarian friends have often sacrificed comfort for dynamics in their Sports Packages, whereas the XE has a better sense of balance between the two.

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Elephant in the room:

It is a fact that all car prices in South Africa are reaching a point where most of us will have to take up cycling in the future. Being that as it is, the price of the Jaguar XE is its proverbial 6th toe. The car is simply too expensive compared to the competition. We were distracted by its looks and charm but when we eventually looked at the price of the car, we were astonished at the base price of R695 000 for the model we drove. That is the only flaw we have for the car, besides that one would be nit-picking to fault anything else about the car.

So we’ve established that it’s good, but is it good enough to justify the price? It depends on two things. Firstly and most importantly, the depth of your pockets and secondly what you’re personally looking for in a car. It is a fact that the Jag is the most exclusive car to own in the segment, especially since every second car you see is a 3 Series and every third is a C-Class. So if you want to put your keys on the bar counter and feel special, then the XE may sway you quite a bit. At the same time, as we previously mentioned the gap is so narrow and the competition’s cars are great, so the majority of people would rather save some money and buy the competition.

jaguar-xe-interior-1

So is there room for a fourth space in the club? From a volume perspective unfortunately not, the top three will most likely outsell the Jaguar XE purely because of South African brand loyalty. What is nice though is knowing that there are options out there for the consumer and that the German’s products aren’t the only ones that are well built, stylish and exciting. What the Jaguar XE has done is throw a spanner in the works for the segment. It has elements of all the big three mixed with some Jaguar sauce and packaged very well. The result? A gourmet C- Segment car, but like all things gourmet you pay a premium for it.

 

 

 

 

 

Five new features in the new Jaguar XF.

What you can expect in the new Jaguar XF.

jaguar-xf_040

The Jaguar XF was the first car in the brand to feature the modern lines we see in many new Jaguars today. Since its initial launch in 2007, the car has undergone some facelifts, making it look sleeker than what it already was. Now 2016 brings us a new XF in South Africa and you can expect to see these interesting new features in the car.

  • Jaguar’s new InControl infotainment touch screen system: This system features Bluetooth, USB and a feature called JaguarVoice.
  • Head-up display: This is a first for the Jaguar XF and it will feature useful information that will be projected to the drivers line of sight via the windscreen.

 

  • LED Bi-Xenon headlights: All XF models will feature this light design. Like it’s younger sibling the XE, the XF will have the beautiful  “J” design LED light strips.

 

  • Lane Keep Assist & Driver Conditioning Monitoring: These safety features are extremely important especially on the long trips that many XF drivers will be doing. The Lane Keep Assist stops the car from veering into another lane and the Driver Conditioning Monitoring will warn drivers and encourage them to take needed rests during a long trip.
  • Pedestrian Contact Sensing: The new Jaguar XF doesn’t only have the driver’s safety in mind, but the pedestrians too. The Pedestrian Contact Sensing feature uses air-bags to lift the bonnet in the unfortunate event of hitting a pedestrian. This will reduce the injury to the pedestrian upon impact.

Besides all these new technologies, the new Jaguar XF features some sharp lines, an aggressive front grille and large interior space. This car comes in at the right time as Mercedes will launch its E-Class soon and BMW will launch its 5 Series later this year too.

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