Jaguar Land Rover changes up a gear with E-Pace launch

Jaguar E Pace interior

Jaguar E-Pace launch countdown LIVE - New SUV price, specs and design to be revealed

The E-Pace is Jaguar's third SUV, after the aforementioned F-Pace and the I-Pace electric vehicle concept, which will go on sale in 2018.

Luckily the E-Pace comes with a microSIM port in the storage bin between the front two seats - although you'll have to provide your own data SIM (which will see you incur a monthly fee for the service).

As you can see, the compact crossover carries a resemblance to its F-Pace sibling, though up front, its lines are not almost as taut or muscular.

All the E-Pace's engines are 2.0-litre affairs, but both the diesel and petrol variants are available with different power outputs. For now, the USA gets the two gas engines, one producing 246 hp and 269 lb-ft. The ZF-sourced gearbox also is available in the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque and Discovery Sport. The modes control the E-Pace's throttle response, steering, transmission shift speeds, and, if equipped, the optional Adaptive Dynamics active suspension, which will be available some time after the initial launch. The base engine makes 247 hp, but now you can check the.

The aforementioned mode selector has four settings - Normal, Dynamic, ECO, and "Rain, Ice and Snow". It'll show safety systems, navigation directions, engine speed and also whatever's on the radio. A First Edition model will be exclusively available for the first year, priced at £47,500, available with either the 178bhp diesel or 246bhp petrol engine and based on the R-Dynamic SE specification pack.

All-wheel drive is standard on the 150S/180PS diesel models, and the 249PS petrol. Prices for the compact SUV kick off from £28,500, with customer able to place orders now.

During the testing, the engineers also drove the vehicle into a wading pool filled with water to the depth of 0.5m. "We anticipate (the E-PACE) will see its global sales peak at around 61,500 units during 2019, at which point we see Jaguar's overall volumes standing at 270,800 units", said IHS auto analyst Ian Fletcher.

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Like other new Jaguars, the E-Pace uses the InControl Touch Pro infotainment system, which sports a 10-inch touchscreen in a wide format.

The new cat sports familiar Jaguar design cues pioneered by the brand's F-Type, including a bold grille, "J-Blade" daytime running lights, muscular haunches and a coupe-like roofline. The idea of taking the front end of F-Type and applying it to a compact SUV was one of several ideas we tried, but we liked the challenge of it. A choice of 11 exterior colors is on offer for the E-Pace, and wheels ranging in size from 17 to 21 inches.

Despite being built on such a platform, the development team made all kinds of chassis changes to make it feel more like a Jaguar than a Land Rover.

A chance to crawl around inside revealed an impressively spacious cabin that benefits from a modest half-inch (13 mm) of additional length compared to the four-door Range Rover Evoque by adding it all to rear passenger legroom.

It won't though be built in the United Kingdom, but in Austria, with China starting to produce later next year.

Buyers of this version are also be treated to upgraded Windsor leather seats, 20-inch alloy wheels, First Edition carpet mats, a "suedecloth" (synthetic suede) ceiling, a head-up display and the Activity Key.

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