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2021 Jaguar I-Pace EV gets better infotainment, faster charging

Jaguar grabbed an armful of features from the JLR corporate store to improve the 2021 I-Pace, including bits from Land Rover and more technology from the brand's Formula E campaign. Restrained exterior mods start with Atlas Grey tips on the grille mesh, three new color choices in Caldera Red, Portofino Blue, and Eiger Grey, new wheel designs, and 19-inch wheels replacing the 18-inchers on the base-model S. An optional Bright Pack affixes a chrome grille surround, satin chrome window surrounds, and splashes of Atlas Grey on the mirror caps and rear diffuser. The optional Black Pack claims more real estate, painting the rear badges in gloss black.

A 3D surround camera system is standard for 2021. Even more ease for drivers comes with the ClearSight digital rear-view mirror that debuted on the latest Range Rover Evoque. A rear-facing, wide-angle camera mounted in the infotainment system's roof antenna can sends images to the inside mirror with the flick of a toggle. 

The biggest convenience addition is the Pivi Pro infotainment system that arrived with the new Land Rover Defender, replacing the Touch Pro Duo unit. A 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster pairs with the carryover 10-inch upper and five-inch lower instrument panel screens. Intended to reproduce the smartphone experience on larger screens, a backup battery gets the navigation initialized quickly, and zooming needs no more than a finger pinch. The "flat" menu structure puts oft-used functions on the home screen, and cuts in half the steps required to input a destination compared to the Touch Pro Duo. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay come standard, as does 4G data enabling live traffic, in-unit Spotify and other listening apps, and swift over-the-air updates. Wireless phone charging with signal boost is optional.

On top of Pivi's algorithms to learn the best routing and stay quiet during parts of a route that the I-Pace travels regularly (why don't more systems do this?), the 4G support means continuously updated info on EV chargers along the route.

Which brings us to hardware and software changes in the powertrain, courtesy of Formula E. Its 394 horsepower and 234 miles of range are unchanged, but the ease of getting that range does. Instead of the 7-kW, two-phase onboard charger, the 2021 I-Pace packs an 11-kW, three-phase charger. Plugged into an 11-kW wall box charger, range grows by 33 miles every hour, compared to 22 miles every hour with the 7-kW system. A full charge will take 8.6 hours instead of 12.75 hours. On public infrastructure, a 50-kW charger feeds 39 miles of range in 15 minutes, a 100-kW charger ups that to 78 miles in 15 minutes. 

Three final fillips make themselves known in standard heated front seats, two extra speakers added to the Meridian 3D surround-sound system, and in-cabin filtration to the PM2.5 standard. Since we're living in times where such things matter, PM2.5 represents particulate matter 2.5 microns in size, such as combustion emissions or road dust; N95 masks filter 95 percent of particles just 0.3 microns large.

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