Buckle up for a silent passenger ride in the new I-Pace electric SUV.
The zero-emission I-Pace SUV, which produces 395 bhp and manages the sprint from 0-62 mph in less than five seconds, is now available for passenger laps of the German circuit. The car joins the XE SV Project 8 sports saloon on the ‘Race Taxi’ fleet, offering paying punters a choice of electric or supercharged petrol V8 power.
For just €149 (about £129 at present exchange rates), you can ride shotgun as a professional driver tackles the Green Hell behind the wheel of the I-Pace. That’s 13 miles and 73 corners in a car that can travel at up to 124 mph in a straight line, but doesn’t produce any exhaust emissions.
The I-Pace, which has won a raft of awards since its introduction last year, including 2019 World Car of the Year, uses a 90 kWh battery to power its brace of electric motors. That results in an official maximum range of up to 292 miles, although that’s dependent on a range of factors, including temperature and driving style.
It probably won’t manage anything like that around the Nordschleife, which has a reputation for being among the world’s most unforgiving race circuits. Any number of big names have found themselves in the walls, and plenty have been killed tackling the enormous track, which loops around a whole village. However, Jaguar is promising that the four-wheel-drive electric car will “ feel at home in all weathers” and “will be able to cope with any conditions the circuit has to offer”.
If you don’t fancy strapping yourself into an I-Pace, though, you can choose to spend a much more substantial €249 (about £215) to sit in the passenger seat of the XE SV Project 8. Based on the XE saloon, it features a 5-litre supercharged petrol V8, as well as a stripped out cabin. Officially, 0-62 mph takes just 3.3 seconds and at full chat it’ll hit 200 mph.
That car, which is much more of a rarity, set a lap time of seven minutes and 21 seconds back in 2017. That made it the fastest saloon ever to lap the track, until Jaguar returned earlier this year, armed with some stickier Michelin tyres. The company shaved about three seconds from the lap time, making it a whole seven seconds faster than the next-best saloon - the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 4 Door.