HOTEL CASADELMAR

Road Trip - - TRIP GEMS -

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.

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