Jaguar E-Pace launches with a barrel roll

Jaguar E-Pace

Jaguar E-Pace

Given Jaguar's teasers - which have shown the vehicle without any camouflage, we can all safely assume the E-Pace is a very close relative to its bigger brother. As with the F-Pace, company officials used a lot of words explaining how this size-smaller crossover has been influenced by the F-type sports vehicle. The head- and taillights, for example, are dead-ringers for the units on the 2018 Jaguar F-Type, while the two models' front fascias have their fair share of similarities.

"With plans already in place to take Jaguar Land Rover's three vehicle manufacturing plants in the United Kingdom close to their operating capacity, the creation of overseas manufacturing facilities delivers additional volumes needed to support the company's future strategy", the firm said in a statement. It's more like a Jaguar design best-of album. In an attempt to one-up the larger F-Pace's loop-the-loop reveal, the E-Pace had a rather more horizontal task - performing a barrel roll, and breaking the a record in the process - the Guinness World Record for "Furthest Barrel Roll".

Despite Jaguar's dangerously similar naming scheme, don't confuse this vehicle with the all-electric Jaguar I-Pace, as the E-Pace doesn't sip electrons. It might not find a place on teenager bedroom walls like the Ford Escort Cosworth, Aston Martin DB9 or other highlights from Callum's CV, but the E-Pace is certainly pretty. From the pronounced shoulders and character lines right down to the shape of the seats, it exudes style everywhere you look.

It's in the interior that you see the difference in quality between the E-Pace and some of the top trim cars that are a tier lower, like the Qashqai or the Kia Sportage.

In terms of dimensions, the E-Pace measures up well with any of its German adversaries. The smaller E-Pace is expected to capitalize on the segment's red-hot popularity with its sports-car styling and high-end heritage. OK, so this stuff's been around for a while, but don't forget that this is the cheapest SUV that Jaguar's ever built. R-Dynamic models employ a front bumper with larger air intakes, much as on the XF S and F-Pace S, plus body-color sill panels and a more aggressive rear bumper. Elsewhere, the camber stiffness has been cranked up a few notches, and the steering rack has been mounted directly to the unibody for improved responsiveness. The latter will be available in the car's sporty, R-Dynamic trim. The 148bhp and 158bhp diesel engines are available with a six-speed manual gearbox, with a ZF nine-speed automatic available across the rest of the range. Jaguar promises the lower-output model will hit 60 miles per hour in 6.6 seconds, while the uprated version will shave that number down to 5.9 seconds. Drop the standard split-folding rear seats and luggage space grows to 1,234 litres - although this is some way behind the X1 (1,550 litres) and Q3 (1,325 litres).

The interior also gets all the latest tech JLR has been packing into its products these days, with the added bonus of more than one USB port. Jaguar will also offer a limited E-Pace First Edition at a price of $54,545.

No Jaguar comes without lots of power for its four paws, and the E-PACE will be no different. The absence of wood trim in the cabin in favor of aluminum pieces is meant to present a modern image (read: not a stodgy, British-luxury-car one) to first-time Jaguar buyers, who the company said are expected to account for up to 80 percent of E-Pace sales.

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