Tesla could face strong competition from rival Jaguar, as the automaker’s new I-Pace concept has the potential to become a breakthrough electric car. This new concept will produce an electric vehicle that will be among the first long-range electrics from a mainstream automaker to directly compete with Tesla, reports USA Today.

Tesla
Jaguar Electrifies with I-Pace Concept Car by Jaguarmena

Competing with Tesla Model X

By the end of 2018, the British automaker promises to release a plug-in luxury SUV. The automaker is previewing its I-Pace battery-powered vehicle this week at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The car will compete with the Tesla Model X.

Jaguar’s vehicle will be powerful and capable of long-distance cruising. In comparison to Tesla’s Model X crossover, the I-Pace is smaller; however, due to its cab-forward design, it requires less space up front and is roomy inside. There is a small trunk in the space up front where the engine is normally placed, says USA Today.

Anna Gallagher, global launch manager for the Jaguar I-Pace, said there is nothing like it on the market. The U.K.-based automaker chose to reveal the I-Pace in a most unusual way to underscore a point. The I-Pace made its debut in VR, floating in space as people watched simultaneously on two continents in 3D, notes USA Today.

Built from scratch

Jaguar called on Design Director Ian Callum to come up with something different rather than simply fitting the new electric Jaguar F-Pace SUV with lithium-ion batteries. Callum did come up with something different. He went with a cab-forward design that stretches the wheelbase (at least in the prototype) with almost no overhang at either end. The design is stunning, and Callum expects it to remain mostly intact, as the I-Pace begins production in 2018, notes USA Today.

The U.K.-based automaker is promising a range of 500 kilometers between charges and a two-hour charge time. The vehicle has a pair of electric motors at either end for all-wheel drive and will surge to 100Km/h in only 4 seconds. The automaker is not ready to discuss pricing or even where the vehicle will be built yet, but it did say that the motor show concept car has been developed from a completed production model.

Callum describes the I-Pace as the most significant new model for the automaker since the E-Type sports car in the 1960s. He says car design will change more in the next five years than it has in the past five decades. The decision was made to make the car from scratch because EVs are here to stay, says Callum.

“We decided this was going to happen. We saw Tesla. We saw this is inevitable.”