The vehicle in question is Jaguar’s 2018 I-Pace, an all-electric premium SUV that is set to undercut the most affordable Tesla equivalent – the Model X 75D – by £10,000 and wipe the floor with it in a game of Top Trumps.
The British manufacturer has been conducting final test on a pre-production car in the US, including a 200-mile drive along California’s West Coast on a single charge, ahead of it going on sale in the UK in March with a price tag in the region of £60,000.
Jaguar engineers have been snapped taking the near production-ready I-Pace on a long-distance range test from Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles to Morro Bay, San Luis Obispo, without having to stop to replenish electricity in the vehicle’s Lithium-Ion battery.
The most northern point of that route took the I-Pace within 200 miles of Tesla’s South Freemont factory.
Jaguar said the US-based test was to mark the one-year anniversary of the I-Pace’s debut at the Los Angeles Motor Show, though the zero-emissions sprint through California could easily have been a warning shot to Tesla that it will begin to face stiff competition from rival mainstream vehicle makers from 2018.
Jaguar said thousands of potential customers have already hit the ‘I want one’ button on its website to place a deposit or register a strong interest in the hotly anticipated electric SUV.
Not only does this guarantee them guest list-like first access to the order books that open in March, but a lucky few will also help Jaguar’s engineers conduct the final validation tests before the I-Pace is rubber-stamped for production.
While no official figures have been revealed by Jaguar, the concept stats suggest the I-Pace could be a real headache for Musk and Tesla.
A maximum power output of 396bhp and 700 Nm of torque has been quoted, while sprints from a standstill to 100kph should take less than four seconds.
And with a range of 500km and a price tag starting from £60,000 (R1086577,00), it gazumps the most affordable Tesla Model X that’s on sale today.