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Jaguar Land Rover unveiled it's I-PACE concept ahead of AutoMobility LA. The concept is a preview of the first-ever electric vehicle from Jaguar.  Courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover

Jaguar Just Showed Off What Its First Electric Vehicle Might Look Like

Nov 15, 2016

Jaguar Land Rover introduced Monday night the I-PACE Concept vehicle, an all-electric performance SUV that aims to show what the automaker plans to bring to market in 2018.

The announcement is notable beyond the obvious milestone that a production version of the I-PACE would be the first all-electric vehicle Jaguar has ever produced. The unveiling event itself, which was held over several sessions Sunday night and Monday, was exceptional in its own right.

The event, held at Milk Studios in Hollywood, began with guests being ushered into a large cavernous room lined on each side with nooks big enough to fit a large round table and seats. After sitting down, each guest was given a virtual reality headset.

The VR session, featuring Jaguar's director of design Ian Callum, showed off the I-PACE, with each user able to "sit" in the front and back seats of the vehicle, and "stand up" through the panoramic rooftop. The best part: once the session was over and everyone removed their headsets, Jaguar Land Rover had the real deal in front of us.

JLR says the concept is meant to be close to what a production version will look like. The production version will be revealed in late 2017 with a targeted range of 220 miles on the EPA test cycle.

(Photograph: Courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover) 

There's no mistaking the I-PACE for anything but a Jaguar. The five-seat SUV pulls its design inspiration from its C-X75 hybrid concept in the front and the F-PACE performance SUV in the rear. The vehicle has a 90 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack, dual electric motors for all-wheel drive traction, and sports car acceleration of 0 to 60 miles per hour in about 4 seconds.

Without an internal combustion engine getting in the way, the electric drive system allowed designers to push the cabin forward and extend the wheelbase. This makes the vehicle more aerodynamic—an important feature when trying to squeeze extra range out of the battery. The vehicle has a low center of gravity, which should give it a sportier, more responsive feel.

Stay tuned for Fortune's deeper dive into the I-PACE and the design team behind the concept.

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