Jaguar Says Single-Motor I-Pace Would’ve Been Lame


It all comes down to performance. And 2 is oh so much better than 1.

If you’re hoping for an all-electric, rear-wheel-drive Jaguar F-Type, we’re sorry to report that’s not happening. That’s not to say there won’t be an all-electric F-Type one day – or some successor. What isn’t likely is an electric vehicle from Jaguar being rear-wheel-drive only. Placing a motor (or two) on one axle poses a host of handling and efficiency problems Jaguar says aren’t worth it.

It’s not that the company can’t make such a car. Jaguar Land Rover head of vehicle development Wolfgang Zeibart told that building a two-wheel electric I-Pace would work in theory, but fail in actual practice. “If you really want a lame duck then you can do it,” he told the publication. And it’s not like there aren’t two-wheel EVS currently on the market – just look at the Nissan Leaf, BMW i3, and early Tesla Model S sedans.

However, a single-axle EV presents some vehicle dynamic issues. A motor on the front axle is more effective during braking while a rear-mounted motor is better regarding traction and driving dynamics. And it doesn’t matter which axle the motor is on, front or rear, having just two driven wheels causes instability during hard regenerative braking. It makes the most sense to power all four wheels for a performance-oriented brand like Jaguar.

“If you accelerate, the rear motor is the better motor,” Zeibart said to the website. “If you want to recuperate, the front motor is the one. We can recuperate up to 150kW, but if you only do it on the rear axle you are limited to about 60kW. If you recover (only) from the front, any longitudinal force you apply reduces your available side force. This then makes the car unstable.”

Jaguar is being coy about its next all-electric model. However, the automaker has hinted at an EV hypercar. I-Pace engineer Dave Shaw said recently there are benefits to having independent torque at each axle. He even name-dropped Rimac and McLaren and their quest for EV hypercars. Whatever model the company decides to electrify next, just know it’ll be an all-wheel-drive machine for the best performance.

Jaguar I-Pace
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26 Comments on "Jaguar Says Single-Motor I-Pace Would’ve Been Lame"

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I hadn’t thought of regeneration for stability reasons. Would love to drive an I Pace, maybe my next EV when they are 4 years old 😉

Have you experienced regen in the snow? on a rear wheel drive the car fishtails around and on the front drive, the front end plows out. Regen is a major balance issue. Cars in the 20-40s didn’t have distributed break force and would pull hard in different situations. Now all cars have distributed braking force to settle the car. Regen throws a new wrench into this equation.

Traction control works on regen too… just like acceleration.

It’s hardly a surprise that a performance-oriented company like Jaguar would eschew the idea of a single-motor, two-wheel-drive EV.

Good to see all the positive reviews of the I-Pace; is it too much to hope Jaguar has a winner on its hands? The EV revolution needs more compelling models!

However, it’s bizarre that Jaguar chose to label this 5-seat hatchback (or liftback sedan) as an “SUV” and compare it head-to-head to the 7-seat Tesla Model X in their advertising. A comparison to the (standard) 5-seat Tesla Model S liftback sedan would make far more sense.

Of course I-Pace got good reviews, its a well built car… None of the Model 3 quality problems, although I did hear a couple reviewers talk about lag in the infotainment, and tire noise. Will have to check that with a db meter… Hopefully the final software update fixes the lags in the infotainment before shipping. I do not compare what you compare it to, Pu Pu… I’ll just call it mine… Actually my wife said I can buy Mission E too… Yeah!

It’s highly capable and SUVs sell better. Just about every small SUV out there is not really an SUV these days, nevertheless people buy them since they’re classified as SUVs. Is what it is, right? Or is what it’s not?

“It is what it is”, or as Shakespeare put it: “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Sure, that’s Truth, no argument there.

If enough people use a word to mean a certain thing, then that becomes an accepted meaning of the word. That’s also true, but I decry the application of terms to such a broad category that they become meaningless. If auto makers continue to use the word “SUV” to mean any passenger vehicle that’s a “car” rather than a pickup, then pretty soon we’ll see them invent a whole new set of descriptive terms to differentiate between what is now (or a very short time ago) called by various names such as “sedan” and “hatchback” and “crossover” and “SUV”.

Just call me a Grammar Nazi, Steven! 😉

P.S. — Re Ford discontinuing its “sedan” models: Are they really going to discontinue them, or just re-label them as “SUVs?” And that’s a serious question.


Well technically SUV should be a wagon that is truck based and on a full frame (suburban invented the class back in the 40’s)… Like my Lexus LX, that is based on the Toyota Landcruiser, and has terrific off roading ability, although we just use it for snow.

I think most “SUV”s these days are simply hatchbacks with 2” higher ground clearance. A lot of SUV buyers don’t care about anything else either.


Yes, the class has been invaded by marketing people… But Crossovers/SUV are super hot too, and outselling sedans in the world by a huge margin

Just watch the video’s of the I-Pace driving up a river or crawling up a hill – its probably more SUV than a lot of vehicles that purport to be so.

Agree, This is exactly why Bolt has stronger regen then the current Model 3.

Yet the Model 3 has the highest efficiency.

It does… But you pay for it… Bolt premier can be had for 39K here in Seattle, Model 3 is 50K , Thats almost 30% more… I think if you can afford it the model 3 is the better buy… but if you can only afford in the 30’s, … What am I saying… Wait for the Kona, it has more utility and cheap…

Kona EV is expected to be priced higher than the Bolt EV. It also is slower, smaller back seat, less trunk room. I see no way it has “more utility”.

Yeah they keep claiming that but I haven’t seen it. I talked with one Model 3 owner who was rather bragging he got 4 miles/ kwh in city driving, but I said with my BOLT ev 5 or 6 is typical and he said that’s not possible. But some people have gotten around 8, if they try. And then there are no overnight vampire losses with the Bolt ev that there are with the ‘3’ that, percentage wise become worse the less you drive. As far as Jaguar calling 2wd operation ‘lame’ – if thats the only problem I have with an EV, i’ll take the lameness any day. The 60-70 kwh you get with Regeneration (recouperation?) of a BOLT ev (I wonder why on a larger vehicle they say they can only do 60? That doesn’t have the ring of truth either, if they say they can get 150 from all 4 wheels) spoils me. 150 KWH in the I-PACE would be VERY HARD braking. Not a bad thing but even 60 kwh would be totally usable. The overarching point here from Jaguar must be that absolutely everything else about the car must be absolutely perfect. Doesn’t affect me… Read more »

They probably could but then you would need to apply the friction brake to the other axis in order to keep it stable.

Talking to a Jag engineer at the auto show, Jaguar is adding 3 phase charging in the second production year, for Europeans. In the USA we are all single phase in homes anyway. Same with China.

Any size change and if so, are they going to make the US model keep up with the Euro model?

Sorry Bill, I do not understand your question…

A complaint by some has been the 12.9 hour recharging time of the 7,2 kw charging system from a totally dead battery. If they are coming up with a 2 or 3 phase charger for the euro markets is it still going to be in the 7 kw class or are they going to up it to something approaching 10 kw? If the new ‘euro’ charger is going to be increased to 10 kw or thereabouts, are they also going to increase the US bound cars to around a 10 kw charging rate?

I’m asking questions of another commenter… What is ‘negative’ about that?

No. That is the Hyundai Ioniq.

I-Pace review by Tesla S owner from Fully Charged…