The wraps have been taken off the Jaguar E-Pace, the brand's newest and smallest SUV, at a lavish unveiling in London overnight.
In typical Jaguar fashion, the car was unveiled to the world's media with a world record attempt at the helm of stuntman Terry Grant.
Not to be confused with Jaguar's all-electric I-Pace concept, the E-Pace is an all-new small SUV from Jaguar set to compete against the likes of the Audi Q3, BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC. Pricing is expected to start from $48,000 (plus on-road costs) when it arrives in Australia during quarter two of 2018.
The range will launch globally exclusively with four-cylinder Ingenium engines, of which three are diesel and two are petrol, with a First Edition expected to push the asking price all the way up to $85,000 (plus on-road costs). The newest SUV in the Jaguar family will be built in Austria, with a version unique to the Chinese market to be built in China.
Consisting of an aluminium roof, bonnet and tailgate, the use of lightweight steels has helped reduce weight by 30kg in comparison to comparable steel products. Measuring in at 4395mm long, the 2681mm wheelbase caters for five passengers with 892mm of rear leg room for the 95th percentile of passengers.
Graham Wilkins, chief engineer for E-Pace told CarAdvice that the rake of the second row doors deliberately rakes upward at the rear of the door to allow children the ability see out of the car without feeling claustrophobic. This, in addition to clever storage within the cabin is what Jaguar hopes will make this car stand out for SUV buyers.
Five USB ports (all with the ability to charge), four 12V power outlets and 4G wireless connectivity for up to eight devices means this car is a mobile media player. A huge bin in the centre console stores up to 8.4 litres, which equates to two full wine bottles or two one litre drinks laid flat. There's even a section within the console for storage and charging smartphones and tablets.
Cargo capacity is 577 litres with the second row up, which expands to 1234 litres with the second row folded. To put that into context, it's big enough for six flight suitcases. Like the F-Pace, the tailgate can be opened with gesture control, while an activity key can be optioned to allow the key to be locked in the car while you're away swimming.
On the safety front, buyers are spoilt with blind spot assistant with lane keeping function, forward traffic monitor, semi-automatic parallel parking, adaptive matrix LED headlights, pedestrian impact airbags and stability control. Jaguar expects the E-Pace to achieve a full five-star EuroNCAP safety rating when it's finally tested.
In terms of powertrains, the diesel range kicks off with the E-Pace D150, which produces 110kW of power and 380Nm of torque, moving from 0-100km/h in 10.1 seconds. The next available diesel is the D180, which pumps out 132kW of power and 430Nm of torque, sprinting from 0-100km/h in 9.3 seconds. The final diesel engine is a whopper, producing 176kW of power and 500Nm of torque, dashing from standstill to 100km/h in 7.4 seconds.
On the petrol front, the E-Pace P250 offers up 183kW of power and 365Nm of torque, performing the 0-100km/h sprint in 7.0 seconds. The most impressive engine of the range, though, is the P300, which produces 220kW of power and 400Nm of torque. It offers up an impressive 6.4 second 0-100km/h sprint.
Aside from the entry-level D150, which comes with a six-speed manual, the entire range uses a nine-speed ZF Sachs automatic gearbox. While some of the range will be available in front-wheel drive, Australian vehicles will only be available with all-wheel drive.
Driving technology comes in the form of torque vectoring by braking to help achieve a dynamic drive at faster speeds. The vehicle's ECU is also able to fully disconnect the rear axle to save fuel, only sending torque to the rear axle as required. The E-Pace is also capable of sending almost 100 per cent of torque to the rear axle when needed.
Dubbed the Active Driveline, the system can send up to 100 per cent of rear-axle directed torque to one wheel within 100ms when required, with the main ECU taking measurements and readings every 10ms.
Jaguar's Adaptive Dynamics variable dampers can be optioned to further refine the ride, with dampers capable of changing damping rates almost instantly with new readings taken every 2ms.
Arguably one of the coolest features is a newly developed system called All Surface Progress Control (ASPC). It's a semi-autonomous off-road mode that allows the driver to cruise at a steady speed between 1.8 and 30km/h over any type of terrain uphill or downhill.
While in motion, the car is actively varying torque sent to each wheel and can detect the surface type to ensure wheel slip is kept at a minimum and progress remains steady, meaning the E-Pace is the only car in this segment with this advanced type of technology, co-developed with Jaguar's Land Rover off-road specialists.
CarAdvice is attending the global reveal of the E-Pace as you read this story. If there's anything in particular you want to know or want to see, leave your comments below or ping Paul Maric while he is on the ground.