The new E-PACE baby luxury SUV is exactly what Jaguar needs


Jaguar's smallest SUV yet, the 2018 Jaguar E-Pace has been finally been unveiled globally, but not without the company's trademark stunts in place. This latest crossover confidently casts its own shadow with a design theme paralleling that of the stunning Jaguar F-type coupe.

But E-PACE is a departure from traditional Jags as well. Indeed, the company just debuted its latest, the E-Pace, in London. The E-Pace will be available only with a gasoline-fueled, turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four in two states of tune. There are 246 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque on tap in base, S and SE models of the E-Pace, while output jumps to 296 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque in the top R-Dynamic models. The next step is a 177bhp diesel with a little more torque, which is yours with manual or ZF nine-speed automatic transmissions. The standard driveline uses permanent all-wheel drive, while the R-Dynamic has what Jaguar calls an Active Driveline that can transfer nearly all engine torque to either the front or rear axle depending on driving mode and conditions.

Speaking to press, Jaguar design don Ian Callum revealed that his team's codename for the E-Pace during development was the "cub".

The new E-Pace shares the same elegant and fluid design cues as the F-Pace, but has been extensively reworked overall. He points to the F-Type-like headlamps and the extended swooping roofline, as well as the short overhangs and muscular wheel haunches. The E-Pace features an optional Active Driveline all-wheel drive system, which is a premiere for Jaguar. It is also the first Jaguar to exclusively feature Ingenium petrol and diesel engines. This means you can drive it more like a sporty RWD auto - like the F-Type, see? - with controlled drifts and power-on oversteer.

As you can see, the compact crossover carries a resemblance to its F-Pace sibling, though up front, its lines are not almost as taut or muscular.

More news: Matt Reeves Confirms 'The Batman' Is Ditching All Of Ben Affleck's Script

Inside, the dashboard is recognisably Jaguar with a large central touch screen, three climate dials below, and mood lighting flooding the door pockets and foot wells. But don't try this at home, folks; months of planning - including CAD modelling - went into the stunt, which earned both Jaguar and Grant yet another Guinness record, this time for the longest barrel roll of a auto. Jaguar says the tailpipes - sprouting from within the rear valance - are inspired by jet engines, while the bold front grille is 3D-chamfered.

A 10-inch touchscreen is complete with voice commands and customisable apps. You can spec up to five USB ports and four 12-volt sockets to make sure your eight devices are kept charged. In all, it's an even more attractive space than the F-Pace's.

There are also all the usual smart-driving technologies like Blind Spot Assist, Autonomous Emergency Braking, and Adaptive Cruise Control (plus Queue Assist). A choice of 11 exterior colors is on offer for the E-Pace, and wheels ranging in size from 17 to 21 inches.

Next year, the E-Pace will be followed into showrooms by a production version of the I-Pace that's expected to be priced from about £60,000, while a larger model - possibly called the J-Pace - is expected in 2020.