Two More 2019 Crossovers

New eye-catchers from Jaguar and Rolls-Royce

BY MICHAEL FRANK — Winter 2019

 

Jaguar I-Pace

Jaguar designed its new all-electric I-Pace, which gets 234miles per charge, with speed in mind, pushing power to all four wheels for maximum traction. Breaking with traditional EV thinking of cheating the wind for the longest-possible range, this cat’s groomed to hug the ground. Even when we were rocketing around Jaguar’s test track in Portugal, we felt pinned and poised. Oh, and it’s roomy, not just zoomy; the hatch’s 25.3 cubic feet of cargo space smokes what any trunk can offer.

21st-century cockpit: We’re fans of Jag’s blend of digital and analogue. For the former,a wide touchscreen display for entertainment functions floats above a secondary touchscreen for climate functions, both of which nest in glossy, piano black housings. Non-digital bits include brushed aluminum trim framing these broad, flat panels and sweeps of twin-striped stitching embellishing the dash and doors.

Quiet, please: When you build a car without an engine, your customers suddenly hear other noises, like the whoosh of wind. So Jaguar added a double-pane glass windscreen so you can stay focused on what you want to hear, like the excellent 15-speaker Meridian audio system.

Something special: We prefer the Danish-made wool-blend seats because they’re cooler in summer and cozier in winter. Also, they look sharply distinctive against the leather-clad dash, doors, and steering wheel.

Details: From $69,500. jaguarusa.com/i-pace

 


 

PHOTO BY JAMES LIPMAN

Rolls-Royce Cullinan

Named after the largest diamond ever mined, a 1-pound, 6-ounce baseball-size hunk of stone, much of which eventually wound up in Queen Elizabeth II’s regalia, the Cullinan sports a proud shape of its own. Very much like a royal carriage, it looks fittingly imposing. Yet don’t forget you’re getting an SUV, so the rear seats fold totally flat, the better to accommodate skis or golf bags. Unlike other SUVs though, Rolls-Royce created an ultra-quiet cockpit, using triple-thick glass, 220 pounds of sound-deadening material, and foam-filled tires, all to mute the din of the outside world.

PHOTO BY JAMES LIPMAN

Have it your way: When you buy a Rolls-Royce, the brand wants you to have whatever youwant, quite literally. So although our tester featured Spanish-box-grain leather seats that were, naturally, both heated and ventilated, and had deep, lambswool carpeting, these are hardly defaults. Still, there are some standard features. The rear doors swing backward from the central pillar that divides the front and rear cabins, the better for stepping out easily (say, onto a red carpet) without that door in your way. Also, all doors wrap around the bottom, so your pant or skirt leg won’t pick up grit upon your exit.

Powerfully poised: On our drive, the Cullinan handled with eminent confidence, whether we plied muddy byways through Wyoming pine forests, or on pocked pavement. Everywhere we went, the car’s cameras actively read the terrain ahead and fed the information to the air suspension. The Cullinan anticipates what’s to come, rather than reacting after the fact, for an uncannily smooth ride. At slower speeds, rear-wheel steering increases agility and, despite the car’s 6,000-plus-pound weight, enables quicker cornering. Plus, the 563-hp V-12 delivers bottomless power, so we could feather the throttle even while climbing straight up mountainsides.

Something special: You can order custom recreation modules that tuck precisely into the hatch area to carry anything from fishing and golf gear to picnic and portable bar needs.

Details: From $325,000. rolls-roycemotorcars.com

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