Delivering a standout blend of dramatic sporting design, unrivalled agility and playful practicality that’s ready for anything an active lifestyle or young family can throw at it.
We caught up with a couple of potential customers and some Jaguar engineers to get their opinions on this compact practical sports car.
THE CHIEF ENGINEER | GRAHAM WILKINS – CHIEF PRODUCT ENGINEER | E-PACE
If you’d said when I first started at Jaguar 25 years ago that I’d be the Chief Programme Engineer for a performance SUV like this, I’d have thought you were crazy. But I knew that if we were really going to break the mould and challenge the notions of what a Jaguar could or should be, I’d need a young and very talented team around me. That’s what I had. And throughout this project we just tried to think about things differently. It’s the job I’ve always wanted.
When we started, we realised that many customers want a car that makes them feel the way a sports car does, but their life stage or lifestyle choice means they need at least four seats and plenty of space. So we started talking about a sports car you could use every day. We wanted to deliver the ultimate balance between beauty and practicality.
"A BALANCE BETWEEN BEAUTY AND PRACTICALITY"
I believe we’ve struck that balance. To me, the packaging of the car is just as good as the exterior design. If you look at the interior, there’s huge attention to detail around the stowage in the car. There are some really clever features in the cubby box between the front seats for example, and in the doors, the glove box and the boot to make sure the car is very usable. Of course we’ve been able to access the technology from our sister brand Land Rover, but we’ve tuned it differently for a Jaguar. In the types of conditions you might want to use your Jaguar in, like wet grass, in snow or on ice, it’s absolutely capable.
I believe that you’ll buy a car once because of the way it looks, but you’ll come back for another if you feel like it’s met all your needs, and even anticipated some you didn’t expect. For me the E-PACE does this, and I’m sure we’ll get a lot of loyal, repeat customers.
• Intuitive All Wheel Drive
• Low Friction Launch
• All Surface Progress Control
• Active Driveline available for increased agility
• Fully independent suspension
• Optional Adaptive Dynamics system
• Sophisticated multilink rear suspension
• Torque Vectoring for sharper turning
• Up to 1,800kg towing capacity
Jaguar E-PACE R-Dynamic, First Edition
THE MOTORING JOURNALIST & MUM | ERIN BAKER - MANAGING DIRECTOR | CARS, THE TELEGRAPH
You can’t deny the statistics. Globally, compact SUVs are the fastest growing sector of the car market. As buyers, we just love that combination of raised ride height, a bigger boot, room for five passengers, and the extra security of all-wheel drive.
Most people need these types of cars to be a practical means of transport, often for a family. But it’s also a big purchase, so we want good looks to project the right image.
Premium brands like Jaguar have a big part to play in the SUV market - design and brand appeal really matter here.
F-PACEwas a brave move, and it’s been very well received. Now we have the E-PACE, which comes down a size and now opens up a whole new market.
"IT WILL PLAY THE VERSATILE FAMILY CAR VERY WELL"
When you look at the specifications for the car, it’s clear that Jaguar has stayed close to its roots in dynamic driving. I think this will be a more purposeful driver’s car than most SUVs.
It won’t disappoint current Jaguar owners, who perhaps already have an F-TYPE and need an SUV for family duties. But it will also reassure customers new to the brand that the Jaguar DNA hasn’t been diluted.
As a mum of two, I think it will also play the versatile family car very well. The interior has some clever touches, and that wide boot space is really important to families loading up their shopping, holiday bags or kids’ bikes. Talking to the engineers, I know they worked hard to create more rear legroom - that’s important.
If I set out to design an everyday sports car with a raised ride height and a big boot, I think it would look a lot like this.
Jaguar E-PACE R-Dynamic, First Edition
THE DRIVING EXPERIENCE CHAMPION | MIKE CROSS – CHIEF ENGINEER | VEHICLE INTEGRITY
I think when customers first drive the E-PACE, all those feline adjectives that people apply to Jaguars will come to mind. It feels poised, agile and precise. We don’t see why it should be any less Jaguar-like just because it rides a little higher and has all-road ability.
The E-PACE is an amalgam of what we learned with the XE saloon and the F-PACE. The XE is closest in size to the new E-PACE, and I believe it has one of the best steering systems we’ve ever done. That was our benchmark - we wanted to have the same steering precision. But it’s important to find the right balance. We didn’t want to trade any comfort for that precision, and this new car’s refinement is at least a match for our saloons.
"IT FEELS POISED, AGILE AND PRECISE"
From F-PACE, we took the experience of instilling those hallmark Jaguar dynamic qualities into a taller, higher-riding vehicle, and it got a great reception from the critics.
The E-PACE actually made our task slightly easier because it’s a little more compact. As you’d expect, there’s a lot going on under the skin. One key aspect is our new Active Driveline system.
In steady driving in good conditions its primarily front wheel drive for optimum fuel efficiency. On poor surfaces, or during spirited driving, it can send power to rear, actively dividing the torque between the rear wheels, adding more to the outside rear to help turn the nose into a corner, for example.
Active Driveline effortlessly gives you that classic Jaguar rear-drive feel, but with the absolute security of all-wheel drive.
THE THRILL SEEKER | TASSILO HAGER – MANAGING EDITOR | PLEASURE SNOWBOARD MAGAZINE
I actually have a classic 1985 Jaguar XJS that I drive in Munich over the summer. It’s a really cool car. I owned a modern Jaguar before that, but when the snow comes and the snowboarding season starts I need a car with all-wheel drive, good ground clearance and plenty of space in the back.
An SUV is perfect for me, and I’ve had two in the past. The only reason I haven’t had a Jaguar as my winter car is that the company hadn’t made a smaller SUV, until now. My preference is for a more compact car, so while I love the F-PACE, the smaller size of the E-PACE is ideal for me, and it would still be fine with a couple of kids too.
"THERE’S NOTHING ELSE LIKE IT"
In my winter cars I usually fold down one seat and throw a board bag in the back, and there it stays until April! I bring a load of other stuff too, such as boots, outerwear, and a helmet. Plus, I like to bring my friends along as it’s more fun. Looking at the rear legroom and the boot space of the E-PACE, I can tell that we would all fit in no problem.
And I love the design too. There’s simply nothing else like it in this segment. You can really get a sense of the Jaguar DNA, as you can see the F-TYPE and the F-PACE, but you still see a car with its own personality. Pretty much everything that I think of as being ‘Jaguar’ is in the E-PACE, and no other compact SUV allows you to say, ‘I drive a Jaguar’. That’s important.
• Driver Condition Monitor
• Rear View Camera
• Front and Rear Parking Aid
• Park Pack and Drive Pack available
• Optional 360 degree Surround Camera
• Lane Keep Assist
• Class-leading small item stowage
• Deep 8.4L centre cubby box
• 10L glove box
• Removable cup holders
• Sculpted storage in each door (5.3L front, 4.3L rear)
•1.3m wide load space
• Powered Gesture Tailgate available
• Wearable waterproof Activity Key (optional)
• Premium quality materials
• Standard Sports seats on R-Dynamic models
• 3-spoke leather steering wheel
• Sports Shift gear selector
• 4G Wi-Fi hotspot available
• 10” Touch Pro touchscreen
• Smartphone app connectivity available
• Up to 5 USB charging sockets
• Personalised touchscreen homepage
* Best In-Class practicality at time of publish July 2017
** All in-car features should be used by drivers only when safe for them to do so.
Drivers should ensure they are in full control of the vehicle at all times.