Compact new crossover takes its place alongside big brother F-PACE
Jaguar’s crossover revolution continues apace (sorry). The company that achieved fame with iconic sports cars like the E-type now has an SUV as its fastest-selling global model. The F-PACE, winner of the World Car of the Year and World Car Design of the Year awards, helped boost Jaguar’s sales by 83 per cent last year. Clearly the F-PACE formula of contemporary design, Jaguar performance and SUV versatility is a hit – and Jaguar isn’t resting on its laurels. The new E-PACE, due to be announced on July 13 th, will bring this winning combination to a different size category.
Jaguar Director of Design Ian Callum promises that the new E-PACE will deliver ‘sports car looks with Jaguar performance’. E-PACE shares a common platform with the Discovery Sport, but whereas the Land Rover offers up to seven seats the E-PACE is more coupé-like in profile and will only accommodate five. At the front E-PACE features the familiar Jaguar grille, flanked by two spoiler-mounted vents. The headlights offer a point of difference with F-PACE, extending into the bonnet like those of the F-TYPE sports car. At the rear there are wraparound brake lights, a tailgate spoiler and a sporty profile – this is more a crossover than a load-carrier, though it still promises ample space for a family of five.
Full details will be released following the July 13 launch, but it’s expected that the E-PACE will be offered in both all-wheel drive and two-wheel drive versions. Jaguar’s 2.0-litre Ingenium diesel and petrol engines will be the mainstay of the range, though there’s said to be a high-performance version in the pipeline, possibly powered by a 300bhp V6. Looking further ahead the company is known to be developing a hybrid based around a 1.5-litre three-cylinder diesel paired with an electric motor.
There are no EuroNCAP ratings yet, but if you think of the E-PACE as a close relative of the XE saloon then it’s a safe choice. The XE scored 92 percent for adult occupancy and 82 percent for child occupancy, with 81 percent for pedestrian protection. Expect the E-PACE, like every Jaguar, to feature a suite of safety systems such as Emergency Brake Assist and Torque Vectoring.
Jaguar offers its InControl infotainment package across the range, and in the E-PACE this will centre around a large, clear touchscreen. As with other models, the Connect package includes a Wi-Fi hotspot and a range of smartphone-driven apps, while Connect Pro includes extra route-planning features.
Verdict: the popularity of the SUV continues to grow, but not everyone wants to venture off road. E-PACE is a spacious and family-friendly Jaguar that impresses with sleek looks and sporty performance. It could even eclipse the hugely successful F-TYPE – so give our sales teams a call to be first in the queue.