Jaguar E-Pace revealed as all-new small SUV

Talking of which, with Jaguar's United Kingdom factories close to capacity, paymasters TATA have had to cast their net a fair bit wider. It will be joined by the all-electric Jaguar I-PACE from 2018. Before that, the XE showed other compact saloons how it's done.

Expect a similar model range when the new Jaguar E-PACE goes on sale in the new year.

The I-Pace appears to meet one of those goals, with no word yet on a battery electric sedan.

So what else is worth knowing about the Jaguar E-Pace? Both D150 and D180 auto variants have Carbon dioxide emissions of 147g/km, with 162g/km for the D240. The chassis is actually shared with the Range Rover Evoque and the Land Rover Discovery Sport, but it has been modified for a longer wheelbase at 268 mm.

The Jaguar E Pace is aimed to offer a dynamic drive
Jaguar E-Pace

This baby is all set to compete with the likes of BMW X1.

Unlike the larger and mainly aluminium F-Pace, the body of the E-Pace is largely made from steel with aluminium panels for the bonnet, roof and tailgate saving some 30kg in critical areas higher than the vehicle's center of mass.

The one area where the F-Pace falls down is the interior, which is solid but looks a bit cheap and nasty. It also lends a more sports vehicle feel, but bringing in the SUV practicality are the LED headlamps inspired by the F-Pace. Air vents nestling in the front bumper have also been derived from the sports auto, as have the muscular arches above the rear wheels. You can have up to 21-inches of metal, in fact, which is substantially larger than the standard 17-inchers. Australian E-Paces will be AWD-only starting from around $50,000. Perhaps that's why Jaguar chose to attempt this record.

The E-Pace will be built in Austria by Magna Steyr under contract and at a plant in China that will supply the Chinese market.

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"With the E-Pace, our aim was to develop a Jaguar SUV that feels and responds with the character of any of our rear-wheel drive vehicles", chief engineer of vehicle integrity Mike Cross said.

A 10-inch colour touchscreen will be home to Jaguar's latest Touch Pro infotainment system, with smartphone commands, such as pinch and swipe to zoom in or change screen displays.

With practicality for modern life in mind, there are four USB ports, a 4G Wi-Fi hotspot for up to eight devices and storage specifically created to hold phones or music players.

The I-Pace, along with the F-Pace and E-Pace, seem to position the British brand on solid footing. It also features stiff suspension bushes and anti-roll bars, both of which are said to enhance the sporty feeling.

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Buyers can choose from a selection of 2.0-litre four-cylinder Ingenium engines, with outputs ranging from "a 148bhp diesel to a 296bhp petrol", says Evo.

Despite up to 300PS, the Jaguar E-Pace will be a bit slower than some of its scarier rivals.

At the opposite end end of scale, there will be a high-performance 240PS diesel with 500Nm of torque and a 0-62mph time of seven seconds. The D40 stops the clock in 7.4 seconds and the D180 9.3.

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However, the Colombian is still 55sec off the lead, as he was at the start of the day, after being penalised 20sec for illegally taking a water bottle from his team in the final 10km.

  • Jermaine Castillo