It might be easy to think Jaguar’s new electric car is in made in the same mold as other all-electric vehicles, but don’t make that mistake. While some electric vehicles focus on conserving energy, the 2019 Jaguar I-Pace focuses on unleashing it.

The new I-Pace, the first-ever all-electric vehicle from Jaguar, is powered by a pair of electric motors that when combined develop 394 horsepower and a mind-blowing 512 lb.-ft. of torque, which is more torque than a lot of full-size pickup trucks.

And the bonus with this electric beast is that the torque is instant. Mat the pedal in this Jaguar and your head will be moved to the headrest as the power comes on smoothly and quickly. There is no traditional transmission because each electric motor directly powers one of the axles.

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And what’s more, the range on the I-Pace is up to 240 miles on battery power alone. Not your typical electric car, the 2019 Jaguar I-Pace is a luxurious Jaguar sports car that happens to be powered electrically, and it’s turning heads all over the country. Motor Trend says the I-Pace “feels nimble and planted and it jets out of corners with uncanny ease.”

Paretti Jaguar of Baton Rouge allowed me to take a new I-Pace for a spin last week, and it’s easy to see what all the excitement is about. I didn’t get the normal week-long test drive, but I drove the car enough to understand what Motor Trend was saying.

Just pulling out of the parking lot of Paretti Jaguar on Airline Highway, I could feel the car’s immediate reply to the pedal. And on the long, straight entrance ramp from Bluebonnet Boulevard onto Interstate 10 west, I floored the gas…uh, electric pedal and was amazed at how the car responded. It bolted from a slow roll and was lightning quick to the freeway.

Officially, the I-Pace will hit 60 miles per hour from a standstill in 4.5 seconds, which is mighty fast. And there’s no turbo-lag or other delay that can occur with combustion engines, just raw and instant electric power.

Each one of the I-Pace’s electric motors powers an axle, which results in AWD and a low center of gravity because there’s no heavy motor sitting up high on the frame. The I-Pace’s massive 90kWh battery is comprised of 432 Lithium-ion pouch cells arranged in 36 modules of 12 below the floorboard. Jaguar says that layout and technology is the best way to deliver the best combination of range, performance and efficiency.

The battery compartment runs nearly the length of the car, but it’s not intrusive because of its design and location. The battery is heavy, further helping the car maintain its low center of gravity.

The car’s charging system can be synced with smart phones and can be “smart charged” at home with a 7kW AC charger during off-peak hours overnight. Or, if you’re in a hurry, a 100kW DC charger can put an 80 percent charge on the battery in just 40 minutes.

The battery location and the lack of a gasoline engine mean there is more room inside the cabin. And the I-Pace has a sleek high-tech interior with contrast stitching across the dash. Headroom is a generous 39.9 inches in the front seat and 38.1 inches in the rear seat. Legroom in back is 35 inches. All of which means the I-Pace has a roomy and comfortable cabin.

Driving the I-Pace is an experience like no other. If you wanted, you could drive the I-Pace with just the accelerator pedal because of the regenerative energy that is used to help charge the battery. Take your foot off the pedal and the car uses the drag of the wheels to generate energy for the battery. It’s enough of resistance that you don’t really have to brake unless you need to stop quickly. If you don’t like that experience, there’s also a setting where the regenerative charge is imperceptible and the car coasts like normal cars.

Connectivity in the I-Pace is superb via a 10-inch high-definition screen, and the more you learn about the car, the more it learns about you and your driving preferences and positions. Even the climate control system can tell how many people are in the car and adjust the air conditioning to the proper seats.

Jaguar also leverages Alexa-enabled devices that allow the owner to remotely check the charge level and vehicle status. It will even turn the house lights on before you get home and inside.

2019 Jaguar I-Pace

Engine:

Two synchronous permanent magnet electric motors

Horsepower/torque:

394/512 lb.-ft.

Zero to 60 mph:

4.5 seconds

Price:

$69,500 plus freight

Estimated highway range:

Up to 240 miles