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Magna starts Jaguar I-Pace production

The I-Pace will arrive in European showrooms before the end of the year.

Independent contract manufacturer Magna Steyr has started building the new, all-electric Jaguar I-Pace.

Assembled in Graz, Austria, the Jaguar I Pace hasn't changed much in its transition from a concept to a production model. It hasn't been officially unveiled yet, but earlier spy shots confirm the quasi-sedan, quasi-crossover silhouette remains virtually unchanged, and designers haven't added traditional door handles.

We expect the specifications sheet will stay roughly the same, too. That means the production I-Pace will arrive with a 90-kWh battery pack linked to twin 200-horsepower electric motors (one over each axle). All told, the drivetrain will pump out 400 horsepower and over 500 pound-feet of torque.

The I-Pace will boast about 300 miles of range, and it will hit 60 mph from a stop in four seconds flat. Jaguar boldly claims it's developing a sports car, not an electric crossover.

With its first electric car, Jaguar is turning a concept into a production in record time. Magna explains this wouldn't have been possible if it hadn't been involved in the project since the start.

"We were invited very early in the product development time frame in order to provide our process and manufacturing engineering proposals," Karl-Friedrich Stracke, Magna Steyr's president of vehicle technology and engineering, told Automotive News.

We'll get our first look at the Jaguar I-Pace this fall at the Frankfurt Auto Show, though it might debut sooner; we wouldn't be surprised to see it in a few weeks at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. It will arrive in European showrooms a few short weeks after the event, but Americans will need to wait until next year.

Common heritage

The Jaguar I-Pace won't be the only Graz-built car on the market. Magna-Steyr has been building the Mercedes-Benz G-Class since 1979, and it began producing the newest BMW 5 Series earlier this year.

It has assembled countless cars over the past few decades, including the original BMW X3, the Saab 9-3 Convertible, the Peugeot RCZ, MINI's Paceman and Countryman, and the first three generations of the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

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