The days of Jaguar letting sister company Land Rover handle the crossover and SUV side of the business are over. The British company broke into the segment two years ago with a model named F-Pace and it is preparing to launch a second model dubbed E-Pace.
The E-Pace is to the XE what the F-Pace is to the XF. The model has not been fully unveiled yet, but two official preview images suggest it falls in line with Jaguar’s recent design language by adopting styling cues such as a wide grille, elongated headlights, and sharp tail lamps. However, we are glad to see Jaguar did not settle for making a smaller copy of the F-Pace. The E looks like it gets its own design identity.
“The combination of sports car looks with Jaguar performance will ensure that the E-Pace stands out. Every Jaguar is designed to excite the senses, and we think E-Pace will do just that, albeit with its own individual character,” Ian Callum, Jaguar’s director of design, said in a statement.
The E-Pace shares its basic platform with the XE, meaning it benefits from the widespread use of lightweight materials like aluminum. Power will come from members of Jaguar’s Ingenium family of gasoline- and diesel-burning engines, but more specific technical details haven’t been released yet. However, the company promises every E-Pace, regardless of engine or trim level, will come standard with all-wheel drive.
The average E-Pace owner might never test the all-wheel drive system, but they can rest assured the model is more than capable off the beaten path. Jaguar explains it built 150 prototypes and had 500 engineers test them for over 120,000 hours in the most grueling climate the planet has to offer.
The E-Pace has been through searing hot temperatures in the Middle Eastern desert and it has soldiered through the frozen landscape north of the Arctic Circle. It crossed rivers in China and it logged more than 400 laps of a challenging race track in the heart of Germany. It even stalked journalists on their way to the annual Geneva Auto Show, according to Car Magazine. If it could write a book, its story would be nothing short of fascinating to read.
Want one? You won’t have to wait long. The Jaguar E-Pace will make its official debut online on July 13 and it will greet the public for the first time this fall during the Frankfurt Auto Show. It is scheduled to go on sale early next year with a base price of $38,600 before a mandatory $995 destination charge is factored in, which places it in the same crowded segment as the Mercedes-Benz GLC, the Audi Q5, and the BMW X3.
Jaguar’s soft-roader lineup will continue to grow in the foreseeable future. After the E-Pace, the next addition to the portfolio will be an all-electric model named I-Pace aimed right at the Tesla Model X. Production has already started, according to industry trade journal Automotive News, but England’s first series-produced EV is still a few months away from its unveiling.
Update: Added information about Jaguar’s testing process.