Another huge impediment to Germany’s plan for world domination.
There’s a reason anti meth campaigns coined the slogan, “not even once.” All it takes is one quick life-changing hit and instantly an addiction is formed. The more socially acceptable way to induce pleasurable and habit-forming brain chemicals is to make money, and in that sense, the F-Pace has been Jaguar’s hit of meth. Sales are booming, money is raining in torrential downpour proportions, and Jaguar wants more of it. It’s for this reason that we now have the pleasure of welcoming the Jaguar E-Pace to the family.
Though Jaguar prefaced its reveal with a Guinness World Record-breaking 50 foot-long 270-degree corkscrew-like barrel roll, the E-Pace needs no tricks to have everyone staring at it. Just look at this thing. The E-Pace looks a lot like its bigger brother, and though it’s not like Jaguar is breaking any new ground and stepping away from the F-Pace’s design, it doesn't have to. The larger SUV was named the most beautiful car in the world in 2017 and well, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. And for the most part, the rest of the E-Pace keeps with the F-Pace recipe. Inside there's room for five and room for luggage under the hatch is afforded by an Integral Link rear suspension. Put simply, the E-Pace has all the utility the millennial families it’s aimed at needs.
Being an exotic pick, even among luxury competitors like the BMW X1, Audi Q3, Mercedes GLA, Lexus NX, and Infiniti QX30, it must bundle that capability with striking looks, sports car agility, and the attitude of a confident prowling cat. Jaguar even goes as far as to call it “the hot hatch of its segment.” Under the hood is one of two flavors of the transversally mounted 2.0-liter turbocharged Ingenium gasoline engine. The one we’re interested in is the 296 horsepower unit, which sends power through the standard nine-speed automatic and out to all four wheels, the sum of the drivetrain being a 0-60 mph stampede in 5.9 seconds before it tops out at 152 mph. Speaking of the all-wheel drive system, Jaguar decided to make that standard.
Higher trim R-Dynamic models get the special Active Driveline unit to provide rear-wheel drive feel for an improved experience and all-wheel drive traction when it’s needed. On the options list beside that is the Configurable Dynamics system that allows the driver to play with throttle, transmission, and steering settings as well as the optional Adaptive Dynamics suspension system. Being a child of 2017, the E-Pace needs formidable technological prowess if it wants to keep up, but did you really think JLR would skimp on that? Four 12-volt outlets, five USB connection ports, and onboard 4G Wi-Fi ensures that no occupant is left without their favorite form of dopamine delivery: their smartphones.
The E-Pace does come with a host of driver aids but won’t quite drive itself yet, so Jaguar gave the driver a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system to play with. If that’s not enough, an optional 12.3-inch digital instrument panel is put on the options list along with two Meridian audio systems. When the road is demanding focus, the driver won’t have to succumb to anxiety induced by a screen-free existence because the E-Pace comes loaded with a full color heads-up display. Don't worry about all the distractions either because Jaguar fitted Autonomous Emergency Braking, Lane Keep Assist and Traffic Sign Recognition, as well as an Intelligent Speed Limiter and Driver Condition Monitor system as standard.
These systems rely on a stereo camera to see the world, which is combined with the rear radar and electric steering to deliver a Blind Spot Assist function. And if the driver is truly incapable of driving, or just distracted from all the screens, there’s a Forward Traffic Detection system as well as front and rear parking aids to round out one ironclad safety system. Surprisingly, most of this laundry list of features can be had at the E-Pace’s base price of $38,600, not including the optional Activity Key that debuted on the Land Rover Discovery. We have yet to drive one to tell you if it's any good or not, but with looks like these and a price this low, expect the E-Pace to reposition Jaguar as one of the segment leaders.