33 MOTORING Driver-focused and very cool: Jaguar’s new compact SUV
A driver-focused cockpit joins a family-friendly interior in Jaguar’s new compact SUV
After last year’s release of Jaguar’s firstever SUV – the F-Pace – the brand has launched a compact version that promises to be just as great a seller as its big brother. The Jaguar E-Pace (not to be confused with Jaguar’s electric offering, the I-Pace, which will be out later this year) might be considered a baby F-Pace, but it has its own distinct design language that is largely inspired by the sporty F-Type model.
This new SUV has been affectionately labelled ‘the cub’ by Jaguar Land Rover, and is the perfect balance between masculinity and femininity, simultaneously combining strong, sturdy details with smooth and curvaceous elements. It’s ‘the most playful car’ in the brand’s 81-year history, says Jaguar design director Ian Callum, and has a dynamic, modern aesthetic inside and out.
The cabin features soft, high-quality materials that act as ‘the first handshake with the customer’, says Jaguar interior creative director Alister Whelan. There are also numerous thoughtful touches that will put a smile on your face, such as the subtle Jaguar print on the stowage mat and the tiny Jaguar and cub on the windscreen.
Built on the same platform as the Land Rover Discovery Sport and Evoque, the Jaguar E-Pace offers either a petrol or diesel 2.0 turbocharged four-cylinder engine, and all variations come standard with an all-wheel drive system. The First Edition model will appeal to those who enjoy the custom-made, and it boasts a unique paint finish, panoramic sunroof, 20 inch wheels, black exterior pack, Windsor leather seats in Ebony, First Edition carpet mats and metal tread plates, and a host of other one-of-a-kind additions.
The Jaguar E-Pace range starts at R598 500 for the base model, but can hit the higher figures if you tick the optional extras boxes, so proceed with caution. If the F-Pace is anything to go by, there is no doubt that this ‘cub’ will become a firm favourite among South African buyers.