Jaguar’s E-Pace cross­over aims to storm a com­pet­i­tive set

The Corkman - - DRIVE INTO 191 -

Just as the F-Pace is Jaguar’s SUV ri­val to the Porsche Ma­can, BMW X3, Audi Q5, Mercedes GLC and Alfa Romeo Stelvio, the smaller, cuter E-Pace sup­pos­edly fights the Audi Q3, BMW X1 and Mercedes GLA. And no, it’s not an XE on stilts.

That’s be­cause it sits on a plat­form that for cost rea­sons, shuns Jaguar’s favoured alu­minium for steel. A plat­form from the Evoque, in fact. Not that you’ll find us com­plain­ing, as Jaguar’s alu­minium cars are rarely that light, or very spa­cious. This is also the first Jaguar since the ma­ligned X-Type that is avail­able with front-wheel drive.

Jaguar says the quintessen­tial ver­sions are best sam­pled with all-wheel drive and the nine-speed au­to­matic gear­box, but lower priced ver­sions will come with two-wheel drive and a man­ual.

Don’t be con­fused by the name: ‘E’-Pace does not mean elec­tric. Jaguar does not of­fer a plug-in hy­brid or bat­tery ver­sion of this car, and has no plans to un­til af­ter 2021. For elec­tric crossovers with a Jaguar leaper on the boot, you’ll want the I-Pace due in 2018. Here, it’s in­ter­nal com­bus­tion only.

En­gines, from Jaguar’s new ‘In­ge­nium’-badged fam­ily of pow­er­plants, are all tur­bocharged, and all have four cylin­ders. Diesel-wise, of­fer­ings stretch from a base 148bhp to 178bhp and 236bhp ver­sions.

Help­fully, the cars are all named af­ter their power out­put in met­ric horse­power, so you sim­ply have to choose be­tween D150, D180 and D240 diesels.

Same goes for the petrols, and their P ini­tial, though there’s no low-pow­ered cheap ver­sion (yet). At launch, there’s a P250 and P300 pair­ing to choose be­tween, and no mat­ter which trim level you plump for, your petrol E-Pace will have all­wheel drive and the nine-speed au­to­matic gear­box.

Up the lad­der is HSE, then bodykit­ted R-Dy­namic, R-Dy­namic S and SE, plus a con­fus­ing com­bi­na­tion: R-Dy­namic HSE. For UK buy­ing habits, a low- CO2 en­gine with au­to­matic gears wear­ing flared bumpers and giant wheels will be the spec you’ll spot most of­ten in the wild.

John­son & Per­rott’s re­cently opened Jaguar Land Rover deal­er­ship on the Ban­don Road, Bish­op­stown, Cork.

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