First Look: Jaguar shrink-wraps the popular F-Pace to create the new, entry-level 2018 E-Pace crossover SUV

Clearly, Jaguar is firing on all of its proverbial cylinders, as evidenced by the automaker’s non-stop assault on the most popular segments of the luxury marketplace. And among the company’s new models, the F-Pace SUV has proven to be the most successful of them all, thanks to Americans who are ravenous for them.

First Look: Jaguar shrink-wraps the popular F-Pace to create the new, entry-level 2018 E-Pace crossover SUV

Jaguar’s new 2018 E-Pace is a crossover SUV that is smaller and costs less than the successful F-Pace model.

(John Wycherley)

This bodes well for the new 2018 Jaguar E-Pace. Slotting into the lineup beneath the larger F-Pace, the new E-Pace is a compact crossover SUV with a mission to deliver style, luxury, utility, and performance in a slightly more affordable package.

First Look: Jaguar shrink-wraps the popular F-Pace to create the new, entry-level 2018 E-Pace crossover SUV

Jaguar’s inspiration for the new E-Pace SUV was the F-Type sports car.

(Jaguar)

Jaguar says the new 2018 E-Pace features design inspired by the F-Type sports car, and with a mere glance that assertion rings true. From its grille and headlights to its flared rear haunches and tapered tail, the E-Pace’s styling is clearly linked to Jaguar’s 2-seat coupe and convertible.

Inside, the link between the two is also palpable, though the E-Pace is obviously intended to carry more people and cargo. Jaguar says that the E-Pace will comfortably carry five people thanks to what the company calls generous rear legroom, but my bet is that you’ll want four people aboard at a maximum.

Jaguar also says the E-Pace contains a “large luggage space.” Given that the F-Pace offers 33.5 cu.-ft. of room behind its rear seats, and that the E-Pace’s cargo hold is almost certainly smaller than that, the company’s characterization is certainly limited to within the context of the competitive set.

First Look: Jaguar shrink-wraps the popular F-Pace to create the new, entry-level 2018 E-Pace crossover SUV

For the 2018 E-Pace, Jaguar plans a long list of technological features related to safety, convenience, and entertainment.

(Jaguar)

Jaguar plans to offers a full menu of safety, infotainment, and convenience technologies for the new E-Pace.

For example, the SUV will come with standard forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and lane departure warning and lane keeping systems. The camera-based technology also includes drowsy driver monitoring and traffic sign recognition features. Front and rear parking assist is also standard.

The Jaguar InControl infotainment system includes a trial subscription to Remote & Protect service including automatic collision notification. Owners can also use this service package to remotely access selected vehicle information and functions via a smartphone and smartwatch application.

A 10-inch display screen is standard for the infotainment system, which includes Spotify integration. A 4G LTE Wi-Fi connection is available, and the E-Pace supplies up to five USB ports. Two different Meridian premium sound systems are available as upgrades.

Buyers can also choose to outfit the E-Pace with a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel, a next-generation heads up display showing three times more information rendered in full-color graphics, and an Activity Key. Activity Key is a “wearable key” that is water- and shockproof, allowing the owner to leave his or her key fob inside vehicle while running, surfing, biking, kayaking, or whatever.

First Look: Jaguar shrink-wraps the popular F-Pace to create the new, entry-level 2018 E-Pace crossover SUV

Initially, Jaguar will offer turbocharged 4-cylinder gasoline engines for the E-Pace, delivering up to 296 horsepower. All-wheel drive is standard.

(Jaguar)

Jaguar will install a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine as standard equipment, likely the same 247-horsepower unit found in the larger F-Pace. As an option, buyers can select a more powerful version of that engine that will produce 296 horsepower and deliver acceleration to 60 mph in a claimed 5.9 seconds.

All-wheel drive is standard. The E-Pace R-Dynamic models get an Active Driveline AWD system, the first time Jaguar has employed the technology. It uses torque-vectoring capability to deliver secure traction combined with rear-drive feel from behind the steering wheel.

As an option, Jaguar’s Configurable Dynamics technology offers the driver various settings pertaining to throttle response, transmission shifting, steering heft, and when so-equipped, the optional adaptive damping suspension.

First Look: Jaguar shrink-wraps the popular F-Pace to create the new, entry-level 2018 E-Pace crossover SUV

Jaguar E-Pace prices start at less than $40,000 including the destination charge, making it a compelling and competitive new entry-luxury crossover SUV.

(Jaguar)

Jaguar launches the 2018 E-Pace in the fall of 2017, and it will be priced from $38,600 (not including the destination charge).

For comparison, that is about $3,500 less than the most basic F-Pace; about $9,000 less than the most basic Porsche Macan; and about $1,000 less than an equivalently equipped Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class. It is exactly the same price as an Acura RDX with AWD and the safety technologies that are included in the E-Pace.

Translated, it looks like the 2018 Jaguar E-Pace amounts to more than just another pretty face.

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