What happened was, Lauren and I played hookey from work and took in Jaguar/Land Rover’s Art of Performance tour, and it was a total blast, a couple hours of pure fun. This is just a recommendation for the show plus a few things I’ve learned about the car (which remains super interesting) since the last Jag-Diary entry.
The Tour · If it’s coming anywhere near you, I recommend signing up and going; near as I can tell, the only requirement is that you have a driver’s license. It was in a big boring suburban mall parking lot. They started with good coffee and hors d’oeuvres in a tent, and a bunch of pretty Jags and Range Rovers outside in the parking lot, all unlocked so you could get in and fool around. I can’t tell one Range Rover from another, but there was this one the size of a small nation-state, and I mean just the back seat.
We went in for an intro lecture, which was given by this charming dude who totally loved cars; early in his remarks he said “Our products are things that absolutely nobody really needs”. In maybe fifteen minutes we got the history of Jaguars, which is pretty interesting; also of Land Rover; like quite a few greybeards with a rural background, I have a memory of the farm Land Rover, the old kind with the sideways seats in the back. The new ones aren’t like that at all. The host was actually a little sarcastic: “We build these vehicles that can go everywhere and do everything, but I guess it’s OK that a lot of their owners don’t go anywhere or do anything”.
They showed some history-of videos, which were lavishly produced, with voiceover in ludicrously-plummy British toff accents. In which the pronunciation of the word “Jaguar” is ludicrous: JAAYG-YOU-AWW. I use a gruff North American JAG-WAHR. Neither is etymologically sound; Wikipedia tells me that the name (of the cat, obviously) derives from a Tupian word and was something like “yaguareté”.
The staff were uniformly charming, cheerful, and genuinely unironically enthusiastic about their love of cars.
The first demo was riding around in a pair of Land Rovers that they took up over and around the sides of purpose-built obstacle, tilting sideways at an angle of 27° (feels terribly dangerous) and up over an odd-shaped construct that left the car balancing on two wheels. Very cushy. Yawn. Over on Twitter, Mark Pedisic posted some pix of the event, including a Range Rover up in the air.
Then we took turns driving F-Types around this big parking lot. There were pairs of cones all over with lights on top, which lit up in random sequence and you had to drive through the ones with the lights on, getting scored on speed, precision, and distance (less is better). You had a driver in the passenger seat who yelled “Left! Hard right! Boot it! U-turn right!” and so on. I pretty well totally sucked, going through at least one gate backward. Never have been any good at following instructions.
The F-Type is a blast though, a two-seater that is somewhat Porsche-inspired in that it has no decoration, just shape. Its engine sounds like a dragon’s cough, there’s plenty of kick, and it loves being flung into a corner.
Then we walked over to another part of the parking lot where they had the I-Paces, which we drove around a course laid out in red traffic cones, no lights or anything. The I-Pace isn’t quite as agile into the corners as the F-Type but it’s still superb, and OMG it has twice the kick coming out of the corner and when you stomp the accelerator you can’t help but grin ear-to-ear. Also, the silence is eerie. The seats were divine. I thought it was way more fun to drive than the F-Type. I can’t wait to get mine.
Anyhow, if you like cars and you get a chance, go take in the show.
More things we know ·
When you’re discussing electric cars, you can talk about kWh/100km or Wh/km; I prefer the latter. Modern BEVs get numbers between 200 and 250 Wh/km.
The Jag’s effective range, for typical driving patterns, is somewhere around 225 miles, 375 km.
Android Auto and iOS CarPlay now run fine on the I-Pace. At the moment, you have to put Android Auto into developer mode, go into the Developer menu, and enable 1080p output, or it looks junky.
Earlier reviews said that the infotainment was laggy and clumsy. My personal experience of it was fine, so they must have fixed it.
I threw it around the little track pretty hard, to the extent that on one straightaway the jovial Jag guy in the passenger seat exclaimed a word of caution. At the end of that straightaway, I tried to take the almost-180° turn with just the regenerative braking for slowdown, and I think it could have worked but my nerve failed me and I hit the brake. Fun!
The big modern electrics that are starting to arrive (Jag, Audi, Mercedes, Porsche) can charge from chargers delivering 100KW and up. Here in Western Canada, the “Fast DC” chargers only give 50KW. My calculations suggest that such a charger will add around 220km per hour of charging.
At the moment, long-distance trip planning in a BEV is a complicated thing. If you want to minimize your travel time, you have to plan ahead to figure out which chargers you’re going to stop at, and how long you’ll spend at each — for a variety of reasons, you don’t want to go all the way to 100%. There are apps for that.
Speaking of which, I have looked at ChargeHub, ChargePoint, Flo, Greenlots, and PlugShare. Of those, PlugShare is by far the best; in particular, its browser version does a great job of providing filters that you can use to see which chargers on the road ahead are appropriate for your use.
More later, when I have one.