WHEN I GET A SPARE MOMENT, I LIKE TO LISTEN TO OLD VINYL RECORDS ON A GOLDEN TUBE AMPLIFIER AND A THORENS TD 160 RECORD PLAYER. BOTH CONSIDERED CUTTING EDGE TECHNOLOGY… FOR 1975. IT’S FAIR TO SAY THAT I HAVE TROUBLE MOVING WITH THE TIMES.
But then again, the future isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. For every advancement in how many Ks your bigscreen TV can boast and how many Gs your smartphone network has, there seems to be a bigger floating island of plastic in the Pacific and a couple more turns of the global warming dial. But if we’ve learnt anything from Back to the Future, apart from the fact that puffer vest jackets are very good for travelling, is that the future is variable. Things like travelling back in time and making out with your future mum are, of course, going to have a pretty adverse impact on the course of the space-time continuum, but you can, of course, also influence the course of the future for better.
Moving away from burning fossil fuels to get around is a good start, so driving an EV has surely got to be the future. The problem is that there has been a lot of compromise with this option so far. Generally, you have had to deal with limited range and looking like a knob. Tesla came along and extended the range and added a big chunk of cool to the whole EV thing, but if you looked closely enough, you might notice that the build quality is just not that impressive. It’s almost more prototype than production. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of Elon Musk and I think he is a genius and way ahead of his time, but the future of EV will be really heralded by those automotive companies who have the expertise, systems and production lines that don’t require the CEO sleeping on the factory floor to try and meet promised production levels. What the future of EV needs is a marque with pedigree. Oh… hello Jaguar, I didn’t see you standing there.
Yes, the future of EV is well and truly here and it comes wearing the badge of a fast, predatory cat. The all new, all electric Jaguar I-PACE comes without any compromise. It has a range of 470km, a top speed of 200 km/h and accelerates to 100 km in 4.8 seconds. And, on the plus side, it won’t cut your fingers off if you run them down the edges of the bodywork. It has all of the build quality of a proper car, while also bundling in cutting edge technology. It’s like EV has grown up. And it’s grown from an awkward geeky adolescent into a rather handsome adult SUV. Well, it sort of is an SUV and it sort of isn’t. It has the practicality of one, but with a 50/50 weight distribution and low centre of gravity and, thanks to having battery weight built into the chassis and an electric motor for each axle, it has the handling of a sportscar.
And if you’re like me and lament the growing rareness of the burble that comes from a V8 combustion engine, the I-PACE has its own Sports Mode note. A kind of futuristic whine. Think Tron, instead of Mad Max.
And speaking of Tron, an airflow channel through the bonnet, pop out handles, and overall sculptured design, makes for a pleasing futuristic exterior aesthetic. Of course though, when you are driving, the inside is also important and the I-PACE doesn’t disappoint in this department either. Plenty of crafted leather and three LCD screens with more customisable features than you can throw a memory stick at (actually, that doesn’t include the temperature knobs, which have their own LCD screens too) which enhances an already exciting driving experience.
While the I-PACE has done enough to drag my old-fashioned bogan ways into the future (which is no easy task), it has also impressed some more important people than me along the way. It has scooped up German Car of the Year, Norway Car of the Year, European Car of the Year, World Car of the Year, World Car Design of the Year and World Green Car of the Year, to name just a few. These awards are testament to the fact that the I-PACE is a remarkable engineering achievement, which has advanced the case for an EV world to no-end, but also it is just a great car in any context.
Just need to figure out how to plug my turntable into the I-PACE’s sound system and it will be a perfect car.