The vertical skyline that is New York, New York, sets the backdrop for a swift 48-hour American adventure inJaguars exciting, evocative and first electric car, the I-Pace.
Why New York? Our backdrop for the weekend was the finale of Formula E’s fourth season, which ends in the city with a double bill of electrified racing. Positioned alongside the harbour, where cruise ship tourists come ashore with stiff necks and bewilderment at New York’s unending skyline, this Formula E race would be the last of the first generation, which literally put electric racing on the map with a global championship hard-fought by top-notch racers. The now retired car has been a springboard for manufacturers to tell the world about their electrification plans, not least of which is Jaguar – not a brand that usually springs to mind when thinking of pioneering electric.
Times have changed.
Today, Jaguar represents one of a number of ‘smaller’ manufacturers that due to their size are able to flexibly adapt to new technologies without the burdens encountered by the likes of Ford, for example, which once owned the British marque. Jaguar’s electrification plans are amongst those leading the world, with every model to be electrified in just a few years’ time, by 2020. What does that mean, exactly? All new models that Jaguar produces from then on will be offered with an electrified version.
Despite NYC’s suicidal yellow cabs, aggressive Eldorado SUVs and oblivious sky-gazing pedestrians’ best attempts to cause accident or incite road rage at every turn, driving I-Pace prototypes through the city was gratifying.
This was largely thanks to the I-Pace itself. It’s a sensationally calm place to be inside, no matter what the traffic around you is doing. A zombie apocalypse could be going on, but the I-Pace would somehow get you through it. Unlike combustion powered machines, the I-Pace exhibits no constant vibrations, aiding the tranquillity.
And New York was hot. Daytime temperatures were up to 36ºC in the shade, so the Jaguar’s air-con would be put to the test, especially with its cosmic-sized glass roof.
The plan was to drive from our hotel in Brooklyn, head across the eponymous Brooklyn Bridge to Manhatten, drive through the city and north, across the Hudson river and into New Jersey into a national park. From there, we’d explore the I-Pace’s capabilities and then return via the Big Apple to Brooklyn. Should be a walk in Central Park then.
Brooklyn into Manhatten
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