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Jaguar E-Pace: Designed to Cross Over

Jaguar E-Pace: Designed to Cross Over

Offbeat nomenclature aside, the E-Pace is the baby Jaguar SUV which will slot a segment below the much acclaimed F-Pace.

Jaguar took the official wraps off its new compact crossover SUV, the 2018 E-Pace by performing a spectacular 50-foot jump and 270-degree barrel roll to enter the Guinness Book of World Records. Jaguar claims that the new chassis hardware developed for the E-Pace maximises its interior space while also providing the strong foundations for the vehicle's all-surface dynamic capabilities. It measures 4345mm long, 1984mm wide, 1649mm tall on a wheelbase of 2681mm, making it considerably smaller than the Landie.

Front-wheel drive will only be offered on the entry-level 150hp, 2.0-litre diesel model that comes with a six-speed manual.

Starting at £28,500, the E-Pace will be priced only just above that of the Audi Q3 and BMW X1 but over £2000 less than its Evoque cousin.

That means the E-PACE will be available with front-wheel drive in some European markets, although the cars we get in Australia will all come with, what's said to be, "a rear-biased all-wheel drive system" that, at a steady cruise, disconnects the rear axle to boost efficiency.

The compact five-seat E-Pace is positioned below the F-Pace, launched in 2016 and already Jag's best-seller.

The E-Pace sits on a longer wheelbase than the Range Rover Evoque, with excellent rear leg room and headroom for a auto measuring less than 4.4m in length, while the boot capacity ranges from a minimum 577 litres to a maximum of 1,234 litres.

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Inside, the E-Pace receives a sprinkling of the F-Type to go along with the brand's more conventional bits. The 2-litre, four-cylinder, turbocharged petrol motor develops 249PS and 365Nm of torque. Mixed in with Jaguar's 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and 10.1-inch infotainment screen is the sports car's driver-oriented layout and electric shifter (rejoice, ye that dislike the retracting rotary shifter).

Jaguar has managed to get the front-wheel-drive E-Pace's Carbon dioxide emissions down to 124g/km, meaning company-car drivers will be liable for a Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) tax rate of 26% - but this requires you to choose 17-inch alloy wheels. The latter of those engines will be paired to the range-topping model which can accomplish the 0-100km/h sprint in 6.4 seconds.

Jaguar Land Rover is renowned for creating SUVs that get stuff done, and that's the case with the E-Pace too. The boot opens up to 577 litres of luggage space.

It is hard to believe an SUV do that, considering it has a Wi-Fi hotspot and five USB ports. A Meridian premium sound system is offered as optional. Jaguar says the tailpipes - sprouting from within the rear valance - are inspired by jet engines, while the bold front grille is 3D-chamfered.

Speaking of brakes, the E-Pace will used brake-induced torque vectoring to balance the distribution of that force among all four wheels during cornering, which improves grip and steering control while reducing understeer and enhancing driver confidence.

Under the bonnet, E-Pace features Ingenium petrol and diesel engines. Expect the 2018 Jaguar E-Pace to hit dealers early next year.

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