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

House and Leisure (South Africa) - - Contents - COMPILED BY JULIET MCGUIRE PHO­TO­GRAPHS SUP­PLIED

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.

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