Jaguar barrel rolls the E-Pace into the record books

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Jaguar barrel rolls the E-Pace into the record books

Unlike other Jaguars now on sale, the E-Pace uses a steel body, transversely laid out engines and front-wheel-drive format for the most basic model. Jaguar clearly is, because after selling over 50,000 examples of its F-Pace in 2016, the company has not only announced an all-electric I-Pace crossover, but now this, the E-Pace.

Jaguar will also offer a 183kW/365Nm version of this engine, along with a trio of 2-litre Ingenium turbodiesels in 110kW/380Nm, 132kW/430Nm and 176kW/500Nm guises.

Techno options include Active Driveline which aids grip, cornering, off-road and has a bias towards rear-wheel drive.

That means the E-PACE will be available with front-wheel drive in some European markets, although the cars we get in Australia will all come with, what's said to be, "a rear-biased all-wheel drive system" that, at a steady cruise, disconnects the rear axle to boost efficiency.

Word is there's a petrol or diesel hybrid E-Pace in the wings, but for full electrification the completely new I-Pace SUV coming next year is the one to wait for. You could fairly call the new Jag a "my first SUV", a sporty but sensible auto for a young family who wants something fun but affordable and from a prestige brand with a large portfolio to expand into as they get older.

The most obvious callback to the F-Type is the headlamp design, which is very different from the wide-eyed lights on the F-Pace.

Jaguar Land Rover has a long and proud history of building SUVs, but the core Jaguar brand has typically shied away from the category. An available Configurable Dynamics technology allows drivers to personalize throttle, steering and transmission settings.

The Jaguar E-Pace has officially been launched.

Taking Land Rover's D8 platform, which also underpins the Discovery Sport and Evoque, and before that the Freelander, Jaguar has cherry picked the chassis and platform components it requires to compete in this sector.

Slotted beneath the midsize F-Pace, the all-new E-Pace rides on a 105.6-inch wheelbase and measures 173.0 inches in overall length. Claimed 0-100 time is 10.5 seconds and top speed is rated at 193PS.

The E-Pace will be offered in standard and R-Dynamic forms.

The main system is the InControl Touch Pro infotainment setup that offers apps including Spotify right there integrated into the auto. Available only in the first year of sales, it shares specification with the R-Dynamic line and gets unique First Edition carpet mats and tread plates.

If you disagree however, then you may be more interested in the optional 12.3-inch TFT panel, which replaces the analogue instruments with digital options on the screen instead.

It's the first model in its class to offer 21-inch wheels although it can be specced with diamond-cut 20-inch rims.

With practicality for modern life in mind, there are four USB ports, a 4G Wi-Fi hotspot for up to eight devices and storage specifically created to hold phones or music players.

There's even a wearable, waterproof activity key wristband so you can lock your keys in the vehicle while running, swimming or cycling.

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