The new Jaguar E-Pace has been unveiled in glitzy style in London, with it breaking a new world record for stunt jumping. Yes, it’s a Jaguar that leaps. This new entry-level SUV is going up against some very talented rivals – but is a vital piece of the jigsaw if JLR wants to meet its ambition to build a million cars per year.
As with the rest of the Jaguar range, the E-Pace is made from aluminum, and is powered entirely by the company’s efficient range of Ingenium engines. The new car is the smallest member of Jaguar’s Pace-family of SUVs, and shares its underpinnings with the Land Rover Discovery Sport – but it’s an altogether different proposition.
What’s the engine line-up?
The Jaguar E-Pace engine range starts with a 2.0-litre twin-turbo diesel that develops 148bhp and is mated to a – gasp – front-wheel-drive transmission. Given it’s a stylish family car on stilts first, all-weather SUV second, that is par for the course. It does, however, make this the only front-wheel-drive car in the current Jaguar lineup, and the first one since the X-Type.
It’s efficient on paper, too. The 148bhp E-Pace returns an official fuel consumption figure of 60.1mpg and develops 124g/km. There are also 177bhp and 237bhp diesels on offer, but these are exclusively four-wheel drive, and are available with a six-speed manual or nine-speed automatic transmissions.
The two petrol options are 2.0-litre turbo petrols with the range-topper offering 296bhp and 0-62mph in 6.1 seconds.
What’s it like inside?
It’s more F-Type than F-Pace inside, which is a very good thing. There’s a set of sporting-looking seats, and the dashboard features the passenger grab rail of the sports car, too. There’s plenty of tech inside, too, with a 10-inch touchscreen for its infotainment system, and the welcome use of rotary controllers.
You get a traditional gear selector, unlike the rest of the Jaguar saloon and SUV range, which will probably help it appeal to new people coming to Jaguar. One area which Jaguar has received criticism in recent years is its interior quality, but the company says that the E-Pace is an improvement in this area. First impressions are certainly positive.
In terms of room and accommodation, it’s commodious upfront, the rear seat room is acceptable, and the boot is well-shaped and offers up to 1234 litres in capacity.
How will it drive?
Clearly, Jaguar is talking up the E-Pace’s dynamic ability. Given the poise of the F-Pace (if it is at the expense of ride quality), we can believe that, although a final judgment will have to wait until later in the year.
But it’s light in structure, and employs aluminium suspension components, so it certainly looks good on paper. It is also offered with adaptive dynamics, active four-wheel drive and torque vectoring by braking.
The most sporting version will be the R-Dynamic model. The rest of the range comprises of First Edition, S, SE and HSE. The First Edition (pictured) will come with ‘Caldera Red’ paint, 20-inch alloys, a head-up display and load rails as standard.
The full range details are yet to be revealed, but Jaguar has announced that it will cost from £28,500 and is available to order now, with first deliveries taking place ‘before the end of 2017’.