Jaguar looks to set the pace with its all-new entry-level SUV. We went to London for the World Premiere
Jaguar unveiled its all-new five-door compact SUV, the E-Pace at a spectacular star-studded event at the ExCel Exhibition Centre in London and Driver’s Seat was there to catch all the action.
Smaller than the award-winning F-Pace, it is set to compete directly with the Audi Q3, Mercedes GLA and the BMW X1 and Jaguar claims a sporting drive with configurable dynamics.
The design and styling has all been done under the expert directorship of Jaguar’s Ian Callum, and the E-Pace looks smart and neat incorporating many familiar Jaguar features.
A neat touch is the small ‘Jaguar and Cub’ silhouette in the lower left edge of the windscreen surround.
All wheel drive is standard on all models with clever torque-vectoring to maximise efficiency when cruising. A six-speed manual gearbox is available on the lower models while most will use a nine-speed automatic transmission.
Available engines are all four-cylinder 2.0-litre Ingenium units; three diesel variants of 150PS, 180PS and 240PS. Two petrol variants producing 250PS and 300PS.
As expected, the connectivity features are state of the art and include a Wi-Fi 4G hotspot to allow up to eight individual devices to be connected at once. A 12.3-inch central display and optional head-up display complete the picture.
After the unveiling and some impressive razzmatazz courtesy of stunt drivers on the ExCel’s internal driving track including video coverage of a Guinness Book of Records ‘first’ airborne barrel-roll, we were able to get up close to some production ready E-Pace models.
It is difficult to make any SUV good-looking but, helped by its compact dimensions, Jaguar has done an excellent job with the E-Pace.
SEE THE E-PACE's BIG BROTHER IN ACTION
The Jaguar signature front grille and rear light clusters give it a ‘mini F-Pace’ look which is not a bad thing.
Interior space is great up front and rear seat passengers don’t do too badly either. The dashboard layout will be familiar to Jaguar drivers and the quality of materials used is above average. Opening the rear hatch opens up a roomy 577 litres of useable luggage space.
As UK facilities are close to maximum capacity, production has started in Austria and will follow in mainland China for the Chinese market in 2018. The E-Pace's online configurator is up and running and the car is available to order in the UK with prices starting from £28,500.