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Driven: E-Pace to bring new buyers to Jaguar brand

Pace setter: Jaguar says its new E-Pace small SUV will be the best volume seller for the British brand.

Jaguar to add extra mainstream appeal with 38-variant E-Pace small SUV range

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Jaguar logo28 Mar 2018

JAGUAR is expecting its new E-Pace small SUV to attract a new type of buyer as it moves away from the predominately older, male demographic that are drawn to the brand’s usual luxury sedans and sportscars.

Speaking to GoAuto at the launch of the E-Pace in Kingscliff, NSW, Jaguar Land Rover managing director Matthew Wiesner said he was encouraged by both the initial response to the vehicle and the changing demographic of buyer.

“Certainly we've been very pleasantly surprised in its first few weeks of activity – really how quickly it has started to take off – and that's a combination of the right segment, the right size, positioning price-wise,” he said.

“Obviously design and those things work nicely, but we're seeing people who quite frankly you would really never see in and around the Jaguar brand.

“What that whole segment delivers, and we see it with Land Rover and Range Rover through Evoque and Discovery Sport, (is) a strong female interest in those products because they're the right size –design is a big factor.”

Mr Wiesner said the E-Pace, combined with the I-Pace all-electric SUV due to launch this year, has changed perceptions of the Jaguar brand, putting it in a much more progressive space than before.

When asked if E-Pace will bring new buyers to the brand from rivals, Mr Wiesner said: “We're seeing that already.

“Broadly, you assume (they're coming from) our German competitors, because it (E-Pace) is the new kid on the block, but also in that segment you get a lot of churn around those cars, and we're the new thing, so you've got to get in there and play it hard.

“That segment probably also benefits from more aspirational people coming up from some of the more premium Asian brands, because from a pricing point of view they have come up to that space, so that allows some of those people to start moving across to an E-Pace, or Evoque or Disovery Sport or German brands as well.” He added that Jaguar also expects to gain buyers from those who have driven a larger vehicle in the past and are looking to downsize.

Mr Wiesner conceded that E-Pace would probably not be able to match the 2500-3500 yearly sales of its German competitors, the Jaguar small SUV will certainly become the largest volume seller for the brand.

Buyers are spoiled for choice with the new E-Pace range with a total of 38 variants spread across five powertrains, four specification levels and two exterior trims.

Mr Wiesner said the reason for the huge variant selection was to give the buyer the ultimate choice for their vehicle, but acknowledged it could become overwhelming for some.

“We like everybody having an opportunity to make a decision for a product that they want for themselves,” he said.

“Some people don't like it. Some people find it difficult because they would prefer to have less choice and an idea delivered to them. Some people absolutely love it.

“We need to work out what's the best balance of allowing choice, but trying to help people make a decision that works for them.”

The range kicks off from $47,750 plus on-roads for the diesel-powered D150 and tops out at $84,370 for the 183kW petrol First Edition P250.

Both petrol and diesel engines are 2.0-litre turbocharged Ingenium mills, with the oil-burner offered in three different states of tune ranging from 110kW/380Nm in the D150, to 132kW/430Nm in the D180 and up to 177kW/500Nm in the D240.

The two petrol offerings consist of the 183kW/365Nm P250 and 221kW/400Nm P300.

All variants come paired to a nine-speed automatic transmission with all-wheel drive standard across the range.

Like other Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) models, the specification grades consist of the base, S, SE and HSE, while a limited-run First Edition variant will be offered in the D180 and P250 variants.

R-Dynamic versions score a subtle bodykit, satin chrome highlights around the gloss-black front grille and front foglights, and tack an extra $4800 to $6690 to the asking price depending on variant selected.

Inside, a new-look steering wheel, metal pedals, sports seats and black gearshift paddles and headlining are included with the R-Dynamic.

Standard specification on the base-level model include 17-inch alloys, tailgate spoiler, automatic LED headlights, autonomous emergency braking, lane keep assist, front and rear parking sensors, 10.0-inch Touch Pro infotainment system, six-speaker sound system, All Surface Progress Control, dual-zone climate control, heated side mirrors, automatic wipers, push button start, leather steering wheel and fabric seats.

Moving up to the S grade nets buyers 18-inch wheels, 360-degree cameras, satellite navigation, auto-dimming rearview mirror, puddle lamps, folding side mirrors, daytime running lights, rear traffic monitor, Wi-Fi hot spot, leather interior and 10-way power adjustable front seats.

SE variants add 19-inch wheels, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot assist, high-speed emergency braking, automatic high-beam headlights, power tailgate, 14-way adjustable front seats and 11-speaker sound system.

Opting for the top-spec HSE adds 20-inch rims, head-up display, foot-operated tailgate, keyless entry and 18-way adjustable front seats.

First Edition versions are bolstered by the inclusion of 20-inch wheels, panoramic sunroof, additional power sockets, activity key and First Edition carpet mats, leather seats and metal treadplates.

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