Jaguar is the first of the premium manufacturers to launch an SUV to rival the Tesla X. The I-Pace seeks to give Jaguar an opening that other manufacturers are still working on and is due on sale this year.

With a range of almost 500 kilometres, a 294 horse power output and a 0 to 100 KPH time of just 4.5 seconds, Jaguar makes the reasonable claim that the I-Pace is now at the forefront of the electric vehicle revolution. Until now, the only electric SUV has been the Tesla X and the market is tiny. However, premium manufacturers are certain they can attract premium and conscientious buyers are premium prices, provided the the car carries the cachet of a big name.

The I-Pace has the kind of acceleration associated with electric cars.

The car runs on twin electric motors and has all-wheel drive. Jaguar says the I-Pace can be rapidly re-charged from zero to 80 per cent capacity in 40 minutes and just a 15 minute charge should be enough to give it a 100 kilometre range from zero. Standard home charging - usually undertaken at night - will take ten hours.

The car is also fitted with electric vehicle navigation to show available charging points and to allow the car to navigate to them.

There is an eight year warranty for the battery and service intervals are 33,700 kilometres or every two years.

The car is already available to order and the UK price is £63,495, after government incentives. No Irish price has been indicated yet. 

The design of the car has been influenced by the other cars in the Jaguar Pace range. It is described as allowing interior space for five adults and luggage.

The interior of the I-Pace.

Jaguar says the car has smart settings using algorithms to tailor the I-Pace to individual driver preferences and will have "exceptional" ride comfort and driving dynamics.

The arrival of the car on to the market will now increase the pressure on other manufacturers to follow suit in terms of all electric vehicles with long range battery capacity. In the meantime, the field is open to Tesla and Jaguar.