Home

The Jaguar E-Pace is official, and tech is key!

Index

Jaguar has a new TG in mind

After a reasonable amount of hype and a few official leaks, the Jaguar E-Pace is official. And at the launch event in London, the brand emphasized two key elements that drive the DNA of the vehicle: aspiration and practicality. This is a vehicle that targets an incremental customer, young couples or customers who may have only one car in the family. In fact, 80% of E-Pace customers are expected to be new to brand Jaguar. That manifests itself in driver-focused interiors, 12” TFT displays, 4G WiFi, massive boot space and technology aspects.

Jaguar has a new TG in mind

After a reasonable amount of hype and a few official leaks, the Jaguar E-Pace is official. And at the launch event in London, the brand emphasized two key elements that drive the DNA of the vehicle: aspiration and practicality. This is a vehicle that targets an incremental customer, young couples or customers who may have only one car in the family. In fact, 80% of E-Pace customers are expected to be new to brand Jaguar. That manifests itself in driver-focused interiors, 12” TFT displays, 4G WiFi, massive boot space and technology aspects.

Poised to rival the BMW X1 and the Audi Q3, the E-Pace is expected to become Jaguar’s biggest-selling model and result in the fast-growing firm selling more SUVs than saloon and sports cars combined. I was part of the select group of journalists invited to the London event, and technology across the board rates high on the vehicle's USP.

jcrop-previewThe small SUV is derived from the D8 architecture used to underpin the Land Rover Discovery Sport. As Graham Wilkins, the E-Pace’s chief engineer, described it, the E-Pace is a “Jaguar version” of the Discovery Sport.

Think mid-range SUV’s and you have a general feeling of compromise on many fronts. Here, Jaguar Land Rover’s full range of turbocharged four-cylinder petrol and diesel Ingenium engines will be offered in the E-Pace, including a range-topping 296bhp 2.0-litre petrol version. This engine helps propel the E-Pace from 0-60mph in 5.9 seconds and to a top speed of 151mph.  The E-Pace has MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension, and Jaguar has tuned the chassis, along with the four-wheel-drive control system and Adaptive Dynamics dampers, for a sporty on-road drive. The core idea being a vehicle that’s tuned to feel fun and energy like in a rear-wheel-drive car.

Interestingly, the E-Pace at 1700kg, is much heavier than its main competitors. Jaguar counters by saying that its D8 architecture has authentic SUV capability, unlike that of its road-biased rivals. The use of high-strength steel in the structure helps to reduce the weight, while aluminum is used for the boot lid, bonnet and fenders.

In terms of design, Ian Callum, Jaguars Design Head, referred to the E-Pace as “unashamedly F-Type”.  Highlights include the chamfering of the front corners, long horizontal front headlights, and the classy roofline and side swage.

jcrop-previewAnd since they have positioned the brand as the cub among the Jaguar family, they even developed a rather cute motif of a Jaguar and its cub.

jcrop-previewFor the interior of the car, Jaguar has made the front cabin driver-focused. The low grab rail from the F-Type has made it in, along with a stick shifter for the automatic gearbox rather than a rotary controller. A 10in touchscreen housing the firm’s InControl Touch Pro system is offered as standard alongside three rotary controllers. On the rotary dials, Ian Callum explained that he is a “great believer in tactical controls with that mechanic feel. It’s not quite right for Jag [to only have touchscreens].” There is a 4G wifi hotspot to connect up to eight devices, five USB charging ports and the option of a wearable activity key.

jcrop-previewEarly customers of the E-Pace will get the First Edition of the vehicle. The five-door, five-seater will be built under license by Magna Steyr in Austria. Production is set to start in China after a year, and cars made in China will be for the home market. 

Anil George
Avid follower of all things tech. In between his quest for the ultimate gizmo, Anil fiddles with light meters, collects rare books and feeds his fetish for Jap horror movies. As Managing Editor of T3 Middle East for the GCC, Anil oversees content direction across print and digital. He was a CES 2017 Innovation Awards Judge, reprising his role as an Innovation Awards Judge at CES 2015 and 2016. Reach him at: editor@t3me.com.
@anildotgeorge