From Russia with love

Russian trade attaché Boris Abramov put the all-electric Jaguar I-PACE through its paces – and pronounced it licensed to thrill.

As a busy Russian trade representative, Boris Abramov is on the road a lot, travelling the length and breadth of the UK, so having a high-performance, yet economical vehicle is non-negotiable. So it was no surprise that when the offer came up to test drive Jaguar’s debut all-electric five-seater I-PACE at Jaguar’s Art of Performance Tour in Millbrook, he was first to sign up.

Invited VIP guests were offered a combination of track driving and driving on the surrounding public roads on a variety of Jaguar models, but the focus was on the all-new I-PACE.

Launched on 1 March 2018, the all-electric five-seater sports car is a combination of dramatic design, cutting-edge technology and Jaguar sports performance – a world-leader both its design and engineering.

Key statistics are impressive: with 700Nm of instant torque and 400PS from the two compact electric motors, 0-60mph takes just 4.0 seconds. Thanks to the all-electric powertrain, there’s ample space for five within a compact, elegant and aerodynamic body. Crucially, it has a range of over 300 miles between rapid charges. And of course, it produces zero emissions.

But how would it go down with Boris? His first impressions of the I-PACE were favourable. “It’s very comfortable – very nice to drive,” he reported. “I felt fully in control, regardless of the road surface, on any type of road.”

Part of the day’s activities included being driven on track by one of Jaguar’s pro drivers, to experience the full performance of the I-PACE. Despite the exhilarating twists and turns of the race track, the I-PACE the battery cells are safely incorporated in the floor, keeping the centre of gravity low and endowing it with limpet-like roadholding.

It’s fair to say Boris was electrified. “It was scary but very exciting being driven by an expert on tracks very quickly,” he enthused. But he soon got to grips with the I-PACE from the driving seat. His verdict? “I absolutely loved driving on a race track – I’ve never done this before and it is so different from driving on normal roads.”

Boris currently drives a BMW diesel and like most newcomers to electric vehicles, he did wonder about the charging infrastructure for journeys outside London, “especially if you live in an apartment”.

Jaguar expects most owners to choose the 7kW Homecharge wallbox which will fully charge the I-PACE overnight for a fraction of the cost of a tankful of petrol. Hopefully he was reassured to learn that there are also over 6,000 charging locations around the UK, including stations, motorway services and shopping centres.

Overall, it seems as if the new I-PACE had helped to challenge the preconceptions of Boris as with many others.

And did the day improve his perception of Jaguar Land Rover? “Absolutely. A very strong and innovative brand. Something refreshing to me,” he replied.

Summing up his experience, Boris is clearly a convert: “Incredible car, incredible day, incredible memories,” he concluded. For Jaguar, that’s a diplomatic coup.

To find out more about the I-PACE or other Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles, email Sue King, Jaguar Land Rover Diplomatic, Military and Tax Free Sales Manager UK Operations, on sking40@jaguarlandrover.com.

Are you a fleet manager at your diplomatic mission or a diplomat with a passion for cars? If so, email editor@embassymagazine.com to sign up to the Embassy Automobile Club to hear more about future test driving opportunities.

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