has led to the historically defined regions of Haute-corse (Upper Corsica), with Bastia as its capital, and Corse-du-sud (Southern Corsica), governed from Ajaccio.
While Corsica may be under French control, the island still has a strong Italian flavour owing to its historical ties with the Italian peninsula and Sardinia. Apart from French, the native tongue is recognised as a regional language. In much the same fashion, the interior of the E-pace is also split – some parts emulating the F-type, such as he asymmetric instrument panel and gear selector for the auto versions rather than a rotary drum, and in others it resembles its bigger F-pace sibling. It has generous rear legroom and sumptuous luggage capacity (577 litres) compared to rivals such as the Macan, GLC, X3 and Stelvio. However, with the rear seats folded down, it has less space than some of its competitors.
It also is one of the most connected and intelligent vehicles in its class, with up to four 12-volt charging points and five USB connections, plus a 4G Wi-fi hotspot for up to eight devices.
TAKING THE COURSE
Touring through the mountainous areas, we negotiated sections used for the Tour de Corse rally – real driver roads, twisting up and down the mountain sides with a hairpin turn every third corner, sometimes on broken tar surfaces with no run-off Route de Palombaggia 20137, Porto-vecchio, Corsica Phone: +33 4 9572 3434 www.casadelmar.fr/en/
areas and a gaping chasm, guarded only by wheel-height rocks, awaiting you if you get it wrong.
Bequeathed with 20-inch Pirelli rubber, the firm ride quality of our red S-specced diesel was immediately apparent. Even in Comfort mode it was quite hard, mostly due to the wide, low-profile tyres. In auto setting, the seamless changes of the ninespeed auto ’box was impressive, but in the short hairpins it was prone to kicking down too far if you were not careful with accelerator modulation. Selecting Sport and Manual mode alleviated this tendency, with the soft rumble of the two-litre diesel becoming more pronounced and the engine and gearbox reaction quickening.