Elegant, practical, sporty and comfortable – Jaguar’s mantra for its second SUV.
Ian Callum shows off the silhouette of Jaguar’s latest baby, the E-Pace. If Callum is to be believed, the second SUV in the Jag range shouldn’t be termed as the baby F-Pace. Does he mean to say that it’s not an out-and-out SUV then? Well, that’s not what he means either!
Naturally, since the E-Pace is a high-riding vehicle, it gets the ‘Pace’ suffix. “What I mean to say,” explains Callum, “Is that, styling wise, it’s not just a scaled down F-Pace. In fact, to be totally honest, the inspiration for this E-Pace comes from the F-Type.” In short, Jaguar wants an SUV that doesn’t look like a conventional car – instead they want it to be sensational. To understand what they’re on about, you’ve to look closely at each and every line in the E-Pace’s design – again-and-again. It’s an agile, dynamic car, meant for driving pleasure, while retaining the style. Not to mention the fact that it clubs this with the practicality of a big car – something that an active family would aspire to own.
“We’ve worked hard on the silhouette of the E-Pace, so as to highlight the sporty aspect of the car. I’m really happy with the harmonic relationship that we’ve created between the shoulder, the tail, the C-pillar and the window line.” The stubby back-end gives it an unmistakably sporty imprint, underlining Jaguar’s stylistic approach adopted in the very first drawing of the E-Pace. Plus, it’s a very compact vehicle – 330mm shorter than the F-Pace. And while it’s not too big on the outside, it has reasonable luggage capacity to the tune of 577 litres – which is truly comparable to a top class car.
The sportiness, highlighted by the design, also explains why driving dynamics have been a key factor in the development of this model. “The platform comes from the Range Rover Discovery Sport, which, in turn, was derived from the Range Rover Evoque – although it’s been remarkably updated now. The chassis has been further modified, and is now in line with the DNA of the brand. Finally, the bonnet, mudguards, hatch and the roof are made of aluminium – so, not only do they reduce the total weight of the car, but also lower the centre of gravity,” says Graham Wilkins, Vehicle Programme Director. At the front, it gets a conventional MacPherson suspension setup, while the rear is a multi-arm type Integral Link – the same set-up that has already been fitted to other models of the range, from the XE to the F-Pace. What refines this layout even more is the optional (electronic) suspension adjustment system that are clubbed with Jaguar’s Adaptive Dynamics. For the uninitiated, the system continuously monitors the wheel and chassis movements (every 2 milliseconds), and automatically adjusts the shock absorbers in order to improve roll and agility. The driver, however, can also preset the stiffness of the dampers using the different driving modes offered. Also on offer (in the top-of-the-line version) is the Configurable Dynamics System, which alters the steering, throttle and transmission response. Inside the cabin, the main highlight is the Touch Pro infotainment system that’s run via a 10-inch central touch screen (a 12.3-inch TFT is optional), which is integrated into the instrument panel. Not only is this bigger on the E-Pace, but it also has higher resolution as compared with the touchscreens on current Jaguar cars.
With Four-Wheel Drive
At launch, in 2018, Jaguar will launch the E-Pace with four-wheel drive and fitted with a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel producing 148bhp. More affordable front-wheel drive versions will be added to the range later on.
Large wheels, massive arches, and big air intakes – the E-Pace may have SUV proportions, but it clearly takes inspiration from the F-Type. Notice the strong shoulder line, raked roof and rounded tail.
The masterminds behind the E-Pace – (L) Graham Wilkins, Vehicle Programme Director, and (R) Ian Callum, Design Director. We met them for a chat at Jaguar’s Design Centre, before the official launch of this new model.
The puddle lamp on the E-Pace shows a Jaguar with a cub dutifully in tow. On the right, the Configurable Dynamics System shows what it can do with steering, suspension and transmission settings.
Like the F-Type sports car, the cabin of the E-Pace is very driver centric. And, like the F-Type, this SUV gets a proper shift lever and not Jaguar’s rotary gear selector.
To set things off, a special First Edition will be offered with exclusive colours – including Caldara red in an R-Dynamics package that features prominent air intakes and 20-inch satin grey alloys. Inside, it’ll have leather with contrast stitching and a panoramic glass roof. The First Edition variants will come powered by a 250bhp turbo-petrol or 180bhp turbo-diesel – both mated to nine-speed ZF automatic transmissions.
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