Jaguar is clearly enthusiastic about this launch. So much so, that their excitement seems to be overflowing through their keyboards, for the new E-Pace is accompanied by a 9,000 odd words press release. Jag fondly calls this model the ‘Cub’ and we too, are smitten.
The E-Pace is the British car-makers answer to the BMW X1, Audi Q3 and the Mercedes-Benz GLA. The design is unmistakably Jaguar and yet, is nothing like what we have seen in the market. The sharply raked roofline, the well-defined rear haunches, tiny overhangs and large rear spoiler all point to the new compact crossover’s sporting pedigree.
Ian Callum, the Design Director for the project says that this is one of the most playful machines from the company’s history and he knows that this one has turned out magnificently. “Established Jaguar design principles ensure the E-PACE is immediately recognisable as the sports car of its class. Our new compact SUV combines the interior space, connectivity and security that families expect with the kind of proportions, purity of design and performance not usually associated with such a practical vehicle.”
The interiors feature a typical Jaguar design, with the company’s trademark chicane line on the dashboard which lends a certain dynamism to the setup. Lined with soft-grained Windsor leather and seudecloth headlining with contrast stitching, the rest of the cabin carries forward the sporty theme, further enhanced by the neat ambient lighting. The seats are designed to wrap snugly around the driver and the overall cabin with the fully-configurable 12.3 inch digital driver cockpit is indeed very focused.
Practical touches like four charging ports, 60:40 split folding rear seats and smart stowage spaces including designated spots for your mobiles and tablets and over 40 Litres of indoor cubby-holes mean that this will be an easy car to live with. USB points for all five passengers can be used to control the 10 inch touchscreen and the optional 825 W high fidelity Meridian audio system up front. Passengers also get a 4G Wi-Fi hotspot to help them stay connected on the move.
Other standard features will include six-airbags, an additional pedestrian airbag, all-surface progress control, driver condition monitoring system, autonomous emergency braking and the beautiful adaptive LED matrix headlamps with the signature DRLs. It can even connect to your smartwatch or the Jaguar’s active key wristband to allow you to locate the car, perform a vehicle check or to remotely operate the climate control system.
The E-Pace is powered by the new lightweight Ingenium range of petrol and diesel engines from Jaguar. The diesel engine is available in three states of tune – the 150 PS Td4, 180 PS Sd4 and the powerful 240 PS Sd4 producing 500 Nm of torque. The Si4 petrol motor too, is offered in two variants – a 249 PS variant and the range topping 300 PS trim which can hit the running ton in just 6.4 seconds. A 6-speed manual or an optional 9-speed ZF sourced auto box will deliver the power to the front or all four wheels, depending on the chosen engine and trim options.
This will be complemented with the active driving system which can adjust the power being delivered to the system on a real-time basis. Constantly looking for variations in the grip level at a frequency of 0.1 seconds, the system can direct up to 100% power to the outer wheels during cornering and can simultaneously shuffle between the front and the rear axle. The adaptive suspension is also capable of reacting to changes in as little as 0.01 seconds. Jaguar claims to have tested and fine-tuned the E-Pace in environments ranging from blistering hot Arizona to freezing Sweden and punishing test tracks such as the legendary Nurburbring and Nardo.
Jaguar is very proud of its attention to detail with the new E-Pace Tiny elements such as the Leica camera lens inspired climate control knobs, the Jaguar spot prints on the stowage mats and the tribute to the ‘Cub’ title on the windscreen and the puddle lamp insignia are some of the highlights. The car will be manufactured by engineering specialists, Magna Steyr in Austria and at Chery Jaguar’s facility in China.
The E-Pace and E-Pace R-Dynamic will be available in three trim options – S, SE and HSE when it goes on sale in the UK later this year. The prices would start at a competitive GBP 28,500 mark which can help it pip its German rivals. Jaguar hasn’t revealed an Indian launch date yet but we don’t expect this baby crossover to hit our roads before the end of 2018. Jaguar might even consider assembling the car locally to meet global demands.
The E-Pace launch event was just as ambitious and extravagant as the baby Jag itself. Acclaimed stunt driver Terry Grant piloted the E-Pace through a 15.3 metre long 270 degrees barrel roll, certified as the longest ever such roll by the Guinness Book of World Records.