RE: Jaguar I-Pace to (and around) the N?rburgring

RE: Jaguar I-Pace to (and around) the N?rburgring

Sunday 15th December 2019

Jaguar I-Pace to (and round) the Nürburgring

A lap of the Nordschleife in Jaguar's I-Pace race taxi is a ride to remember, but we wanted to try the self-drive option too



Can the classic road-trip survive the transition into the electric age? Internal combustion isn't dead yet but many of us are considering a life beyond it; driving a Jaguar I-Pace to (and hopefully round) the NΓΌrburgring is my attempt to see if a weekend away on battery power can be as fun as one fuelled on super unleaded. And figure out how long we have before this site needs a major rebrand.

At the outset the novelty of a continental EV road-trip seems a genuine adventure, even if the 230 miles from Rotterdam to the 'ring is hardly the sternest practical test. The emotional one though? More of a leap.

The plan goes to pot almost immediately. Heavy traffic en route to Hull eats into allocated charging time and hopes to board the ferry with a full battery. It then turns out The Future is tripping over cables in a dark pub car park and swearing at a malfunctioning charging terminal. A fruitless diversion round a dark retail park locates another charger lurking behind a scuzzy filling station. We sack it off and head for the ferry, automated anti-fraud calls from my bank a legacy of the repeated pre-authorisations at the first charger. Facing arrival on Dutch soil with 50 miles range and a locked-out bank card it looks like a romantic weekend for two in Rotterdam with photographer Sim.



Over beers on the ferry I do my homework and download yet another app to my phone to explore fast charging options on Dutch soil. My fuel strategy is already shot but it's our only hope.

My chosen Fastned station is handily located in some motorway services and there are high fives of relief when the DC fast charge cable plugs straight in, my waved bank card wakes the terminal and - yay! - the battery is charging. At this point in the idealised EV world you sit somewhere warm and sip a latte while humblebragging on social media about how woke your personal transport choices are. Fastned's charging station is sparkly and new, but reaching shelter, snacks and toilets requires stomping across muddy grass, walking between parked trucks and then over the petrol station forecourt. Not ideal. In the time it takes to down a couple of coffees, though, the I-Pace has sucked in best part of 50kWh for 29 euros. The range says this is good for 175 miles. Distance to the next planned charging stop? 160.

Eco mode on and cruise set to 70mph we suck it and see. My mood has lifted a bit and I'm warming to the I-Pace. It strikes a neat balance between familiarity and futurism, the design resolved and nicely detailed with inventive use of fabrics and surfacing inside. And it's blissfully peaceful to cruise in. But the range is dropping faster than the distance to destination, so we bottle it and try our first charge with the Ionity network for which Jaguar has provided an RFID card. Time from pulling up to plugging in and the charge light going green? 30 seconds, tops. We're getting the hang of this, the 40 minutes or so taken to eat a sarnie and complete ablutions enough for 100-odd miles and our next stop in Germany. Cost? 8 euros.



Over the border the Autobahn skirts a vast open-cast coal mine on one side and huge wind turbines and some manner of fossil-fuelled power station on the other. Which is a handy reminder that electricity comes from somewhere. With no sim supplied with the car, dreams of playing with the connected elements of the I-Pace's nav are abandoned in favour of a flesh and blood Sim on his phone playing with many and varied apps. Back in the day cars needed a riding mechanic to pump in fuel; the modern equivalent is a co-driver pounding the data to stay on top of the route and charging options. Progress, eh.

A quick top-up at a second Ionity station gets us to 60 per cent battery with 20 miles to the 'ring and a couple of hours of tourist laps to run. I ring Dale Lomas, formerly of this parish and now driver of the Jaguar I-Pace Race Taxi, to check the score and learn 40 per cent charge will do me for a couple of laps. Game on.

Time is tight when we get there so Dale jumps in and we go for a quick sighter. I've got some cobwebs to blow out so we chill and chat, the I-Pace lapping the Nordschleife with eerie silence and deceptive speed. I then hop in beside Dale for a lap in the taxi but we're scuppered by a yellow flag and potter back to the car park just as the track closes for the day.



We meet next morning at the test centre, plug the black car in and head out in Dale's, which is completely stock bar the stickers. This is certainly a change from the F-Type SVR and Project 8 he usually drives but the idea to run an I-Pace EV experience off the back of interest whipped up by the Taycan versus Tesla hype has proven a smart move.

The run with Dale requires proper mental recalibration, on the basis that track driving in an internal combustion car is typically informed by sensory feedback from engine noise and the like. The I-Pace gives you none of that. Dale's knowledge of the Nordschleife is exceptional, but knowing where to brake or turn requires new focus on visual markers, while corner speed is monitored via HUD speedo rather than seat of the pants sensation. With no feedback from engine revs or punctuation from gearshifts navigating the lap demands new skills, Dale instead using the precise pitch of the tyre squeal to find where the dry patches of tarmac and grip may be on a winter's day like this. And it's fast. Really, really fast. In a rather spooky fashion.

I'll admit I'm wary when I go out on my own for the first time. After the range-optimised mooching this is the first time I've driven the car in anger, the switch from Eco to Dale's recommended Dynamic, Trac-DSC and maximum regeneration resulting in a very different I-Pace. The kick in the backside under the Bilstein bridge and into the compression at Tiergarten commands respect, the I-Pace picking up speed rapidly and then - just as quickly - reminding you there's a lot of mass to throw around when you hit cambers and curves.



Dale's familiarity means he's comfortable balancing the push from the rear motor against the pull of the front for neat little drifts. There is clearly a degree of rear-biased throttle adjustability but I'm rather more timid. The steering is light for the weight of the car and, push come to shove, this is a top-heavy crossover weighing 2,209kg with 512lb ft of instantly available torque going through cold tyres. It handles better than it has any right to but there's plenty to focus the attention.

The silence is the really weird thing. Familiar corners rush by, the motors whining slightly as the speeds pick up towards Schwedenkreuz and down FuchsrΓΆhre. It's all fine but I'm conscious my sensation of speed is skewed and I need to 'introduce' the car to corners, stay off the kerbs and manage the weight proactively to avoid anything untoward happening. As promised, the major sensory interaction with the car is through the tyres. Silence? You're probably sliding. Tread blocks humming? You've got grip to work with. Squeal? You're on the limit.

In the V8s Dale gets two or three laps to a tank of super. In the I-Pace he can do four, leaning on re-gen to recover as much as a quarter of the 30kWh he uses over a lap. This requires strategic use of momentum, early lifts and holding the brake pedal on the threshold between re-gen and pads hitting discs so as not to waste energy as heat and dust. Like learning heel and toe or trail braking, it's just another skill to perfect. True, there's not the intimate mechanical link you get from an internal combustion engined car. But it still demands you apply yourself as a driver.


I line up at the barriers for another lap as a liveried M5 with 'Awesome!' written on its flanks powers out and off into Tiergarten. Last I'll see of him I think. And yet, by Adenauer Forst, I'm reeling him in. Mid-way through Miss-Hit-Miss his indicator flashes and I'm through. I'm stunned. Mid-way up Kesselchen he blasts past me, turbocharged V8s still good for something it transpires. But the point has been made and I get a respectful thumbs up when I reach the car park.

At the outset this journey seemed set to confirm prejudices from my only previous EV experience. No fault of the Tesla I was driving that time but the pre-Supercharger infrastructure made the experience an epic faff. Neither I-Pace nor public charging network are free of wobbles over the trip. And when you plug in with 50 miles range, 90 miles to your ferry and the dashboard flashes up an error message it does make you pucker somewhat, even if the classic IT solution of turning it off and back on seems to sort most issues.

As a product, though, the I-Pace is convincing, given it's practical, smart to look at, fast in ways that'll have you laughing out loud and has range sufficient to have you craving a coffee or comfort break before the batteries run totally flat. With the infrastructure to support it and a proactive attitude to planning your journeys it works.

Enough to have me renouncing suck-squeeze-bang-blow for a life of apps and charging cables? Not quite yet. But if proof-of-concept can be demonstrated on a petrolhead's rite of passage like this it's only a matter of time. Best get brainstorming that new logo, lads.


SPECIFICATION - JAGUAR I-PACE HSE
Engine:
2x motors, 90kWh battery pack
Power (hp): 400 (total)
Torque (lb ft): 512 (total)
0-62mph: 4.8sec
Top speed: 124mph
Weight: 2,208kg
Range: 'up to' 292 miles (WLTP)
Price: Β£74,995 before options (Β£87,160 as tested, comprising Santorini Black paint Β£700; carbon fibre trim Β£1,300; suedecloth headlining Β£900; 22-inch wheels Β£2,400; air suspension Β£1,100; panoramic roof Β£960, cooled glovebox Β£100, cabin air ionisation Β£130; Activity Key Β£300; Carbon Fibre Exterior Pack Β£3,000; Head Up Display Β£900; privacy glass Β£375)

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Author
Discussion

Niffty951

Original Poster:

1,906 posts

180 months

Saturday 14th December 2019
quotequote all
It's the 29€ for a quoted 175 miles that caught my attention. At current Netherland fuel prices that would be the same cost as achieving 40.6mpg in your diesel car. If real world range wasn't 175 then mpg does down from there.

If I've learned anything from diesel uptake it's that the raw cost of the fuel has nothing to do with sale price and the cost will soon increase as the customers move to a new fuel. Suddenly the 'free' driving looks a bit of a pipe dream

For the average consumer to give up time, convenience & sound/driving engagement to take on range anxiety, the loss of three day 1200mile driving tours of Scotland in a long weekend. There has to be a big sell. I thought that was near zero running costs.

There's also a serious safety concern to be addressed around the perception of speed. First highlighted by Mr Hammond.

Price statistics for Netherlands
Last prices from 14.12.2019

LPG 0.862 €/L
Unleaded 1.776 €/L
Diesel 1.478 €/L

Edited by Niffty951 on Saturday 14th December 09:21

mstrbkr

7,243 posts

150 months

Saturday 14th December 2019
quotequote all
Haven't got far through the article yet, but I'm shocked at the price you paid on your first charge! 29 euros to charge from just under 50 miles to 175 miles? eek That's 15 to 20 cents a mile, like running a petrol engine.

Edited by mstrbkr on Saturday 14th December 09:20

Niffty951

Original Poster:

1,906 posts

180 months

Saturday 14th December 2019
quotequote all
mstrbkr said:
Haven't got far through the article yet, but I'm shocked at the price you paid on your first charge! 29 euros to charge from just under 50 miles to 175 miles? eek That's 15 to 20 cents a mile, like running a petrol engine.

Edited by mstrbkr on Saturday 14th December 09:20
Damn! I missed that he only actually gained 125 miles. That's equivalent cost to 29.8mpg

gpfanuk

16 posts

125 months

Saturday 14th December 2019
quotequote all
Chargeheads? Voltheads? Cableheads? As much as I am open to the inevitable all electric future that looms, I can't quite get comfortable with the concept of a full rebrand just yet. How about setting up a sub-site just until our "dinosaurs" are finally banned from public roads judge Nice car though.

mstrbkr

7,243 posts

150 months

Saturday 14th December 2019
quotequote all
Niffty951 said:
Damn! I missed that he only actually gained 125 miles. That's equivalent cost to 29.8mpg
Yeah wink Well he arrives at the ferry with 50 miles and we don't know how many miles covered on the other side to get to the services. So it was probably a few miles under 50.

Anyway, that's the highest charge price I've ever heard of and quite rare I'd imagine. The next one at 8 euros is much more like it.

Niffty951

Original Poster:

1,906 posts

180 months

Saturday 14th December 2019
quotequote all
mstrbkr said:
Anyway, that's the highest charge price I've ever heard of and quite rare I'd imagine. The next one at 8 euros is much more like it.
Currently.

PSB1967

73 posts

108 months

Saturday 14th December 2019
quotequote all
What hold me back from the EV revolution is the 8 year battery life / warranty. Lithium type batteries have a habit of being fine one day then refusing charge the next and becoming scrap regardless of the price point you enter at (Model X or Zoe). Then what? I haven't seen much in the way of rebuilders etc.... At least with ICE it will always run and be fixable while there is dino juice to power it.

Dr G

13,881 posts

194 months

Saturday 14th December 2019
quotequote all
article said:
In the V8s Dale gets two or three laps to a tank of super
That's THREE miles per gallon. Impressive.

hothatchery7

53 posts

27 months

Saturday 14th December 2019
quotequote all


the old e-trophy fleet i was involved with

samoht

1,159 posts

98 months

Saturday 14th December 2019
quotequote all
Niffty951 said:
It's the 29€ for a quoted 175 miles that caught my attention. At current Netherland fuel prices that would be the same cost as achieving 40.6mpg in your diesel car. If real world range wasn't 175 then mpg does down from there.

If I've learned anything from diesel uptake it's that the raw cost of the fuel has nothing to do with sale price and the cost will soon increase as the customers move to a new fuel. Suddenly the 'free' driving looks a bit of a pipe dream
Yes that's expensive, however I don't think that's generally representative of fuel costs. Most people do most of their miles within ~100 miles of home. You can charge at home at the same rate as you pay for domestic electricity. If you had a cut-price diesel pump at home, the fact that you occasionally had to fill up at a motorway services at a high price wouldn't be a major factor in your fuel costs.

Also the Tesla supercharger network is £12 to fill a Model 3. So the above example seems unrepresentative of general electric car charging costs.




Aletsch

115 posts

95 months

Saturday 14th December 2019
quotequote all
This section of the article says it all for me...I would not mind driving an electric car, but this faffing about that seems to be part and parcel of everyday usage I can do without....

""""""""""""
It then turns out The Future is tripping over cables in a dark pub car park and swearing at a malfunctioning charging terminal. A fruitless diversion round a dark retail park locates another charger lurking behind a scuzzy filling station. We sack it off and head for the ferry, automated anti-fraud calls from my bank a legacy of the repeated pre-authorisations at the first charger
""""""""""""

Max_Torque

14,609 posts

169 months

Saturday 14th December 2019
quotequote all
Sorry to be the "one" Dan, but it's kWh and not kw/h !

The correct one kWh is kilowatts multiplied by hours, so 10 kW for 10 hours is 100 kWh (note the capital W for Watts, because it is derived from James Watts name)

kW/h would be kw divided by time, which makes little sense


right, that's the end of pedantry corner for today!


PS, good honest write up, the charging network does need to improve, and it will, and it think that is already happening and happening pretty fast. Of course, for most people buying EVs, the vast majority of charging will simply be done at home. After 3 and a bit years with our EV, it's been charged away from home on just 3 occasions..........


(typical EV does 4 miles per kWh, you are asleep for 8 hours, std 13A socket is 3kW, so the "range per night" is 4 * 8 * 3 = 96 miles. And that's from a normal 13A socket, most houses can easily support a 30A single phase feed for 7kW, giving a 224 mile charge per night if required)

David87

5,489 posts

164 months

Saturday 14th December 2019
quotequote all
samoht said:
Also the Tesla supercharger network is £12 to fill a Model 3.
Whilst it’s not bad value, it’s not as cheap as it used to be. I managed to spend £19.44 in one charge session with my Model 3 (0-100% hehe). For such charges, the IONITY ones will be best as not only are they even faster, they’re an £8 flat rate for as much or as little as you’d like.

Dan Trent

1,866 posts

120 months

Saturday 14th December 2019
quotequote all
Max_Torque said:
right, that's the end of pedantry corner for today!
Well, got to give you something to do! Someone with keys to the back room will hopefully correct soon-as. Thanks/apols/etc!

Dan

spikyone

473 posts

52 months

Saturday 14th December 2019
quotequote all
Dan Trent said:
Well, got to give you something to do! Someone with keys to the back room will hopefully correct soon-as. Thanks/apols/etc!

Dan
Can you also ask them to fix the usual missing paragraphs? It's a nice article but this exact cock up happens far too often - I would've been interested in what happened between you and the M5:

Article said:
The I-Pace gives you noneis exceptional
Article said:
Mid-way throusomething it transpires

Dan Trent

1,866 posts

120 months

Saturday 14th December 2019
quotequote all
That’s curious - I’ll get that updated too.

Cheers,

Dan

brogenville

907 posts

153 months

Saturday 14th December 2019
quotequote all
Yeah, this sounds like a total faff, and no more fun that you would have in a similarly priced ICE car.

Matt Bird

1,177 posts

157 months

PH Reportery Lad

Saturday 14th December 2019
quotequote all
Hi all,

Sorry for the problems! Formatting should be sorted now, and it says kWh where appropriate, too. Lesson learnt for next time!


Matt

FlukePlay

104 posts

97 months

Saturday 14th December 2019
quotequote all
So I'm not the only one shocked at the charge of 29 Euro? Blimey, I thought that once you spent 80 grand on an EV then charging was peanuts, 3 quid overnight. I'm beginning to think that EVs are doing more damage than good. Green for me is buying an old car and not plundering the world's resources for a box fresh new one.

mstrbkr

7,243 posts

150 months

Saturday 14th December 2019
quotequote all
FlukePlay said:
So I'm not the only one shocked at the charge of 29 Euro? Blimey, I thought that once you spent 80 grand on an EV then charging was peanuts, 3 quid overnight. I'm beginning to think that EVs are doing more damage than good. Green for me is buying an old car and not plundering the world's resources for a box fresh new one.
On the subject of global resources, more cobalt is used in petrol/diesel production than in battery production.

That 29 euro charge is a real outlier to be fair.