Jaguar’s I-Pace SUV has claimed a lap record for battery-powered production cars at California’s famous Laguna Seca Raceway.
The fearsome circuit, which is about two hours south of San Francisco, was tackled by a Photon Red I-Pace in HSE First Edition trim with no modifications whatsoever.
In the hands of professional racing driver Randy Pobst, the 394 bhp SUV dispatched the in just one minute 48.18 seconds.
In collaboration with US automotive media company Motor Trend, Jaguar has released a video of the lap, which shows the I-Pace achieving speeds of up to 112 mph as it laps the 11-corner circuit.
The eerily quiet video is punctuated only by the squeal of the I-Pace’s tortured tyres, the buzz of wheels on rumble strips and Pobst’s laughter as his four-wheel-drive SUV runs through the fabled ‘Corkscrew’ corner.
The I-Pace can sprint from 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds and was conceived as a high-performance vehicle from the start. Jaguar has placed the car’s battery pack as low as possible between the axles to lower the centre of gravity and reduce roll through corners, while the weight is split evenly between the front and rear to improve handling.
Although the I-Pace has set a “production car” lap record, the I-Pace is not yet on sale, with the first cars expected to arrive in dealerships later this year.
However, when the car arrives it will do so amid a fanfare. Jaguar will use the electric SUV in a single-make race series to support Formula E. Dubbed the I-Pace eTrophy, the new series will follow Formula E from next season, racing the tracks between Formula E sessions to keep the action going for fans.