Jaguar has officially taken the wraps off its new I-Pace electric five-seater SUV, which is scheduled to be launched in South Africa in the first half of 2019.

By that stage, Jaguar Land Rover SA promises that all of its local retailers will be “fully prepared” to sell and service electric vehicles.

The production version of the all-wheel-drive I-Pace is surprisingly similar to the concept revealed back in 2016, both in terms of styling and execution. Like that concept, the new I-Pace employs a 90 kWh lithium-ion battery, but claimed range comes in at a maximum of 480 km (admittedly on the new, stricter WLTP cycle) compared with the show car's 500 km.

A pair of electric motors – which feature driveshafts passing through the motors themselves for compactness – are sited at each axle, producing outputs of 294 kW and 696 N.m (the concept, for the record, made the same peak power figure and a little more twisting force, at 700 N.m). The result is a sprint from standstill to 100 km/h in about 4,5 seconds.

The battery is placed centrally between the two axles, and as low down as possible, allowing a claimed 50:50 weight distribution and a low centre of gravity. The five-seater's luggage compartment, meanwhile, can hold some 656 litres.

The British automaker says owners will be able to achieve an 80% battery charge in 85 minutes using 50 kW DC charging, adding that the new I-Pace will be “fully compatible” with 100kW DC rapid chargers. Home charging with a 7kW AC wall box, meanwhile, will achieve the same state of charge in just over ten hours.

Jaguar I-Pace