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Jaguar E-Pace's chamfered front overhang, distinctive swage lines and rear haunch treatment produced some engineering challenges.

Jaguar's 2018 E-Pace shares Land Rover bones

Jaguar revealed its all-new compact, 5-seat SUV on 13 July in London. The 2018 E-Pace joins its larger F-Pace cousin to take the company further into SUV territory. And it is also the first Jaguar to be produced outside of Britain, in Austria and China.

Initially, with its U.K. facilities close to capacity, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has partnered with engineering and contract-manufacturing specialist Magna Steyr in Graz, Austria, for E-Pace production. Beginning next year it will also be manufactured for the Chinese market at Chery JLR’s facility in Changshu. The forthcoming all-electric Jaguar I-Pace will be Graz-built, too.

Jaguar labels its new transverse-engined AWD a “compact performance SUV with sports car looks,” noting that the vehicle borrows some aesthetic cues from the F-Type coupe. An optional R-Dynamic pack further adds to its image.

Director of Design Ian Callum and his team were determined to distinguish the car from the common SUV signature, he told Automotive Engineering. It’s a tough task, so they used a similar coupe-like roofline to that of the F-Type.

Said Callum: “The most challenging thing is to get a car of this type’s size and proportions to look dramatic and exciting. We worked to make it look different from other SUVs; to make it look very dynamic. Proportion is everything, including the wheels which are 21-inch.” To disguise front-end overhang, the car has chamfered corner, he added. Cd is 0.325.

And the car’s side elevation carries swage lines running up over its rear haunches, another F-type cue. There is a black, fixed-glass panoramic roof section and the driving position also picks up F-type cues. Automatic transmission versions get a stick selector, not a knurled rotary design as fitted to other Jaguars—a feature which may have had its day.

Steel-intensive body

Graham Wilkins, Chief Product Engineer, said the car's architecture is derived from the D8 used for the Land Rover Evoque and Discovery Sport. The integral-link rear suspension is conceptually similar to that used for the XE, XF and F-Space. Wilkins noted that the electronic-assist steering "benefits a great deal from learning with the XF and XE.”

Riding on a 2981-mm (117.3-in) wheelbase,  the E-Pace measures 4395 mm (173 in) long overall and stands 1649 mm (65 in) tall. It is powered by variants of JLR’s 2.0-L Ingenium family of diesel and gasoline units (see and (, with a power spread from 110 kW to 221 kW (147 to 297 hp). The torquiest among these produces a claimed 500 N·m (369 lb·ft). Best claimed acceleration to 100 kph (62 mph) is 6.4 s and the car's CO2 rating is 124 g/km.

Unlike its aluminum-intensive stablemates, E-Pace has a steel-intensive body structure and chassis. Variants weigh (EU unladen) between 1775 kg/3913 lb (front-drive D150 version) and 1894 kg/4176 lb for an AWD P300. Aluminum is used for the hood, front fenders, roof panel and liftgate.

High formability (0.7-mm/.027-in thick) steel is used for the body sides—another contributor to mass reduction as is the cast-magnesium cross-car beam. Hot-formed Boron steel is used for A and B pillars. Wilkins claims torsional stiffness is 28.7 kN/degree.

Leica-inspired controls

The interior’s wraparound cockpit and the driving positions feel very similar to that of the F-Type. There are large stowage areas in the cabin including an 8.42 L (.297 ft3) center console and 10.07-L (.35 ft3) glovebox. Trunk space spans 577 L (20.3 ft3, rear seats up) to 1234 L (43.6 ft3) with seats folded. Callum said a huge amount of effort went into packaging efficiency.

Leica camera lens controls were the inspiration for some of the car’s dials. A “Jaguar Cub” graphic is integrated into the puddle lamp projection. What would company founder Sir William Lyons have made of that?

Connectivity and infotainment capabilities are now gauged by many OEMs to be significant brand delineators, so the E-Pace’s digital connectivity is considerable. It includes a 21:9 super-wide format (1280 x 542-pixel resolution) display with multi-tasking capability including a main screen with side panels showing navigation or weather data.

A 12.3-in full color digital TFT instrument panel is optional. Satellite navigation is backed by a dead-reckoning facility when out of GPS contact. And a Commute Mode learns a daily drive route and automatically offers an alternative if congestion is detected. Up to eight devices can stream content using the car’s 4G Wi-Fi hotspot. And there is connection to favorite while the car is on the move.

A new generation HUD (Head-up Display) projects large color graphics supplying both essential and less essential information, the latter including engine speed, chosen entertainment media, adaptive cruise control settings and lane departure and blind spot alerts.

First Active AWD

Most fuel efficient of the Ingenium engines is the 110-kW (148-hp) diesel driving only the front wheels—the first FWD Jaguar since the X-type. The diesel uses low-flow injectors to help towards a combined fuel consumption figure of 4.7 L/100km and 2124 g/km of CO2 emissions. That’s with 6-speed manual gearbox and 17-in wheels.

The gasoline versions deliver a choice of 183 kW or 221 kW (245 to 297 hp). Engineers said upgrades to the car’s twin-scroll turbocharger deliver up to 26% more air compared to the previous version. A CVVL (Continuously Variable Valve Lift) system is fitted. The gas engine is paired with either the 6-speed manual or close-ratio ZF 9-speed 9HP.

An Active Driveline AWD is claimed to be a first for Jaguar, providing rear-drive characteristics (including power-oversteer drifts). It incorporates torque biasing. Nearly 100% of available torque can be transferred to the rear axle when required. Two independent electronically-controlled wet-plate clutches distribute torque between the rear wheels. Software analyzes yaw rate, throttle position, steering angle and lateral acceleration.

Salient chassis aspects include Adaptive Dynamics for continuously variable damper technology featuring triple-tube design. The system monitors vehicle movements every two milliseconds.

The integral-link rear suspension helps maximize luggage area packaging. Front suspension details include use of a lightweight hollow-cast aluminum knuckle for additional camber to improve turn-in.

The car has a specially tuned semi-solid mounted front subframe designed to provide a stiffer structure including solid mounts. This contributes to “exceptional drive dynamics,” according to Mike Cross, Chief Engineer, Vehicle Integrity. Aluminum suspension components are used extensively.

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