Jaguar has unveiled the 2018 E-Pace model which is expected to hit the market later in 2017. This is the second SUV produced by the British manufacturer, and it will be followed by an all-electric I-Pace. The E-Pace will challenge the BMW X1 and the Audi Q3, and Jaguar hopes that it will be the company’s best-seller.
The E-Pace is smaller than the F-Pace, and it is more affordable. However, there are few more differences between this and the popular F-Pace, and it is related to design and dynamic ability which are the main selling features. Even though the focus is on the looks and dynamics, the Jaguar design chief Ian Callum says that practicality and usability are also on admirable level: “At Jaguar, we have to do more than anyone else to prove that we’re good on the attributes that we weren’t in the past,”
The small SUV is based on the D8 platform which underpins the Land Rover Discovery Sport and Graham Wilkins, the E-Pace’s chief engineer, describes the model as a “Jaguar version” of the Discovery Sport. The new E-Pace will be assembled in Austria because the factory at Halewood which is a home to the Land Rover works at full capacity and it has no room for the new SUV.
Engine and Specs
The 2018 Jaguar E-Pace will be equipped with a 2.0-liter diesel engine which will produce 148 bhp. It is connected to a six-speed manual transmission which sends power to the front wheels. This is the base model, but the upper trims will come with an AWD configuration and a nine-speed automatic gearbox.
“The front-wheel drive model is still fun to drive, as the access model to the car and the Jaguar brand,” said Wilkins.
We expect engines from Land Rover to be offered in the E-Pace, so don’t be surprised to see a range-topping 2.0-liter turbocharged I4 good for 296 bhp. With this powerplant, the E-Pace can reach 60 mph in 5.9 seconds and go 151 mph. Power is not the primary goal of the new Jag, which cannot be compared to the Audi RS Q3 Performance that produces 362 bhp.
Wilkins continued: “If we do a car like this, it needs to drive how it looks. We needed no excuses. We chose an architecture that could do the looks and the drive with all the changes we’ve made, and there’s a 300PS [296bhp] petrol version. There’s no excuse.”
MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension are installed, and the E-Pace comes with the tuned chassis as well as Adaptive Dynamics dampers. For a more connected steering feel, Jaguar replaced the camber on the front axle with a semi-solid mounting for the sub-frame.
Wilkins explained: “It has a high driving position and excellent all-wheel drive, but it drives like a Jaguar. The Active Driveline system and the torque bias make it feel rear-wheel drive. It’s tuned to feel fun and energy like in a rear-wheel-drive car. It has an all-wheel-drive capability, but it drives like a Jaguar.”
The curb weight of the car is 1700kg which makes it heavier than its rivals, but according to the carmaker, the D8 platform has authentic SUV capability. The weight is reduced by the use of high-strength steel, while the aluminum is used for the boot lid, fenders and the hood. Callum says that the front end of the 2018 Jaguar E-Pace is “unashamedly F-Type” whereas at the rear we can see large LED lights. The standard wheels are 17 inches in diameter, but Jaguar offers all the way up to 21-inch alloys as an option.
The cabin is driver-focused, and this is what Callum said about the E-Pace: “We wanted sporty, so we took inspiration from the F-Type. We also worked hard on the interior perceived quality, with the right use of metals and materials.”
Also, Jaguar officials compare the knee-room inside the E-Pace to the knee-room of an Audi Q5 rather than a Q3. There is a lot of storage space, and it is the philosophy Jaguar wants to sell. “The important thing – the raison d’être – is practicality,” said Callum. “We worked hard on storage like never before. We’ve embraced it and worked hard on it, as we were not known for it before. Now it’s class-leading. There’s lots of space in the car and it has a stylish exterior. It’s a very usable car.”
A 10-inch touchscreen with InControl Touch Pro system is offered together with rotary knobs. When it comes to the rotary controls, Callum is a “great believer in tactical controls with that mechanic feel.” He added: “It’s not quite right for Jag [to only have touchscreens].” A 4G hotspot is offered for the passengers to connect up to eight devices, but you can also find USB charging ports and the option of a wearable key.
“The car is fully connected,” said Wilkins. “It’s important to offer this to the customer as the car will be on sale for a while, and this is all now necessary technology.”
2018 Jaguar E-Pace Price and Release Date
The 2018 Jaguar E-Pace will hit the market in the UK later this year, and the first deliveries are expected at the end of 2017. The starting price of the entry-level model is £28,500.