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Jaguar has fully revealed only its second SUV ever, the new E-Pace, sitting below the F-Pace in the line-up and squarely targeting the likes of the BMW X1 and Audi Q3. The E-Pace makes its world debut at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show and will arrive in Ireland in early 2018.
While the E-Pace clearly draws on the Jaguar F-Pace (and hence the F-Type sports car) for its styling influence, there's no disguising the more compact proportions. In fact, at 4,395mm long, the E-Pace is some 360mm shorter than its big brother, though the wheelbase is only about 200mm shorter, which hopefully translates into usable rear seat space. There are two distinct exterior styles to choose from, the standard E-Pace and the sportier looking R-Dynamic models. Buyers can specify alloy wheel sizes measuring up to 21 inches in diameter. Further customisation comes in terms of a body-coloured, all-black or panoramic glass roof, while there are 11 exterior colours, including Caldera Red, which is reserved for the E-Pace First Edition.
Ian Callum, Director of Design, Jaguar: "Compact cars need to provide intelligent answers to the little challenges everyday life throws at people, and I believe that Jaguar's focus on design purity provides enormous advantages. This is a sports vehicle with unmistakable character - a Jaguar sports car designed for daily lives in a package that is as rewarding as it is practical."
The cabin draws on the Jaguar F-Type for inspiration in terms of the wraparound style of the driver's area, though the E-Pace comes with the latest infotainment and connectivity technology. As standard is a 10-inch Touch Pro touchscreen system and buyers can replace the main instruments with a seriously impressive 12.3-inch TFT display that's customisable. A large head-up display is also available, while up to eight devices can connect to the E-Pace's 4G Wi-Fi hotspot. In terms of practicality, the E-Pace seats five and the cabin appears to feature several large and versatile storage areas. There can be up to five USB and four 12-volt power sockets. The boot holds 577 litres or 1,234 litres with the 60:40 split folding rear seats stowed away.
Alister Whelan, Creative Director, Jaguar Interiors said: "Creating a dynamic, modern and relevant interior continues the promise of the E-Pace's exterior character as soon as the doors are opened. The soft, high-quality materials used throughout the cabin are the first 'handshake' with the customer, while charming British detail design leaves a lasting memory. The E-Pace interior design raises the bar for the compact performance SUV."
Five so-called Ingenium engines are offered from launch in the E-Pace, all turbocharged 2.0-litre units. The P250 and P300 offer 249hp and 300hp respectively and are all-wheel drive and automatic only. Diesel options are 150-, 180- or 240hp, the latter with 500Nm of torque. Only the first two are available with a six-speed manual gearbox (all the others come with a nine-speed automatic), while only the D150 comes with front-wheel drive. It's the most efficient, emitting 124g/km. The fastest E-Pace is the P300, hitting 100km/h from rest in 6.4 seconds.
Whether a buyer chooses the E-Pace or the E-Pace Dynamic, there are then S, SE and HSE specification packs. Standard equipment should include that 10-inch touchscreen, LED headlights, a rear view camera and an extensive suite of active safety systems. Irish pricing has yet to be confirmed, but we expect the E-Pace to start from under €40,000.