Jaguar boasted prior to the rollout of the I-Pace that the electric crossover would be capable of a wide range of over-the-air update functionality, with the potential, in the same way Tesla has used updates, to tweak power management, cooling behavior, and things like regenerative braking—to make the vehicle more efficient or, perhaps, better performing.
Up until now, Jaguar hasn’t allowed that functionality though—and as the 2020 model year came without any significant changes, we began to wonder whether the I-Pace was serving through a lame-duck term before more hardware changes to allow the functionality after all.
Turns out, we just needed to wait—like a year. Those wishes are finally due to be granted now with the announcement Monday of an update to existing I-Pace models.
Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy racecar
The update, Jaguar says, is based on more than 50 million miles of real-world trips, globally, and scrutinizes “every element of the vehicle’s performance.” Most notably, says the automaker, it includes data from the I-Pace eTrophy race series.
While the software update doesn’t change the I-Pace’s EPA-rated range—234 miles from its 90-kwh battery—it claims that it might yield drivers an improvement of up to 8% (or about 12 miles) of real-world range.
The update includes a set of significant changes in how the I-Pace operates: Jaguar has applied changes to the torque distribution between the front and rear motors that will raise efficiency; the active-radiator vane system will make more use of the I-Pace’s thermal control; and the I-Pace’s battery is now being allowed to run to a lower state of charge.
Jaguar I-Pace in urgent need of electrons
Other changes introduced by the update include changes to the predictive range calculation algorithm we found little trust in, after driving experiences in several different I-Paces. Jaguar says that it “will deliver a more accurate and consistent estimate of vehicle range, while being reflective of an individual’s driving style.”
The operation of the regenerative braking system has also been changed to that there’s more energy recovery at lower driving speeds.
There's a catch. The update still isn't an over-the-air one, but it sets the stage for them. Owners are instructed to take their I-Pace to a Jaguar dealership for the update, where changes will enable over-the-air functionality updates. At that point it can at last receive more “ongoing enhancements” in the future.
And we’re of course eager to find out if these changes remedy much of what we found hard to accept so far in the I-Pace—so that we can enjoy all of this vehicle's many positive points. Just having a better idea of how much range drivers have left—and being able to comfortably use it—would go a long way.