Jaguar just gave a closer look at its Tesla rival coming in 2018 -- and it's gorgeous

Jaguar just gave us a closer look at the Tesla rival it plans to release in 2018.

Jaguar first showed off the I-PACE, the automaker’s electric SUV concept, at the Los Angeles Auto Show last November. At the time, Jaguar said the concept would serve as the basis for a production model set to arrive next year.

Last week, Jaguar released new images of the concept in an absolutely gorgeous red that allows the car to look more like a production vehicle.

Jaguar is planning to build an electric SUV at a time where demand for smaller sedans is waning. It’s a smart strategy that several automakers are taking, and it puts Jaguar in direct competition with Tesla, particularly with the Model X.

Scroll down for a closer look at the I-PACE:

Behold: Jaguar's I-PACE, a five-seat SUV. Here it looks somewhat similar to Tesla's Model X.

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See what I mean?

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The I-PACE is a preview of Jaguar's electric, five-seat production car coming in 2018. That production car will be Jaguar's first ever battery-powered vehicle. The brand new red I-PACE will debut at the Geneva Motor Show that kicks off March 9.

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Jaguar said in a statement that taking a cab-forward design approach frees up room in the interior to make it more spacious.

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That design approach is why some will see the I-PACE as more of a crossover SUV. It has a compact body and is fairly low to the ground for an SUV, but it still seats five while offering plenty of cargo space.

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The Jaguar I-PACE has the same suspension system as the F-PACE, which Business Insider's Matt DeBord called 'the most beautiful SUV on planet Earth' in 2015.

Jaguar has admitted the design it chose is unique in that sense. 'The I-PACE Concept is, however, something altogether new: not a traditional sports car, saloon or SUV and absolutely not a traditional Jaguar,' the automaker wrote in a press statement.

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The car comes with a 90 kWh battery pack that powers two, 200 hp electric motors sitting over each axle.

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There's no word on how much the Jaguar electric SUV will cost yet, so it's hard to really compare it to the competition just yet. But Joe Eberhardt, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover North America, said in a Business Insider interview it will be comparable to luxury offerings from brands like Porsche.

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As Business Insider's Benjamin Zhang pointed out, that means you're looking at an asking price north of $US50,000, which, again, not to beat a dead horse, really places it as a competitor with the luxury Model X in both offerings and price.

Jaguar said the car will offer 400 hp and 516 lb./ft. of torque, allowing it to accelerate to 60 mph in 4 seconds. That outpaces the Model X 75D and 90D, which can accelerate to 60 mph in 6 seconds and 4.8 seconds, respectively.

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... And a full-length panoramic sunroof.

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Using a 50 kW DC rapid charger, it will charge the car in two hours.

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The interior itself is striking. The seats are made of fine Windsor leather that matches the light colour palette used inside.

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The cockpit comes with two touchscreens on the center console.

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The traditional driver's instrument was also replaced with a virtual screen that can be controlled using buttons on the steering wheel. The buttons offer haptic feedback when in use.

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Here's another shot of the cockpit, which was finished with dark walnut veneers.

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It's easy to see the attention to detail, from the stitching on the seats...

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... To the seamless integration of metal and wood...

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... To Jaguar's personal engraving etched with laser on the instrument panel's wood surface.

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From what we know about the car so far, it seems Jaguar's car has the potential to be a real contender in the electric car space when it arrives in 2018.

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