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2018 Jaguar E-Pace Preview

Audi Q5, BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class

Looks like: A baby F-Pace

Drivetrains: Standard 246-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter Used Engine ; 296-hp unit on R-Dynamic model; nine-speed automatic transmission; all-wheel drive

Hits Dealerships: early 2018

Jaguar's first SUV, the F-Pace, has been a sales hit, and the automaker is following it up with a smaller SUV, the E-Pace. The five-passenger compact SUV will be available in standard, S, SE and HSE trims; a commemorative First Edition model will also be available during its inaugural year. A sport-oriented R-Dynamic model adds specific interior trim, exterior styling cues and more horsepower from the standard turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder Used Engine .

Related: 'E' Is for 'Extreme' in Jaguar E-Pace Testing

Exterior

The E-Pace shares its athletic look with the larger F-Pace, including the model's aggressive grille, short front and rear overhangs, muscular wheel arches, sloping roofline and blade-like LED head- and taillights. In back, there's a large tailgate spoiler with a three-piece design, adding to the E-Pace's overall sporty look.

It wears a standard body-colored metal roof, optional black contrast roof or fixed-glass panoramic roof. Eighteen-inch wheels are standard; 21-inch alloy wheels are optional. Color choices include Caldera Red (First Edition only) or Fuji White (Non-Metallic); Borasco Grey, Firenze Red, Caesium Blue, Yulong White, Indus Silver, Santorini Black or Corris Grey (Metallic); and Farallon Pearl Black or Silicon Silver (Premium Metallic).

R-Dynamic models add amped-up exterior styling cues, including a satin-chrome grille, unique front bumper with deeper air intakes and specific foglights.

Interior

The cabin features a wraparound cockpit design Jaguar says is borrowed from the F-Type sports car. It's trimmed in upscale materials, including satin chrome, understated metal, and leather seats and surfaces with twin-needle stitching. R-Dynamic models add brighter colors with contrast stitching along with sport seats. Optional on both models is a configurable ambient lighting system so customers can configure color settings to their personal preference.

Front and center in the cabin is Jaguar's InControl Touch Pro multimedia system, with a 10-inch touchscreen including the InControl Apps feature for smartphone app connectivity. The tabletlike system is customizable and has pinch, swipe and zoom functionality. The screen centralizes many functions, like audio and navigation systems, but features traditional knobs and dials for climate controls. In front of the driver is a large 12.3-inch TFT configurable gauge screen, as well as a head-up display with color graphic projection.

Although Jaguar modeled the cabin's design off the tiny F-Type, the automaker says the E-Pace offers enough room and storage for a small family, with ample interior cubbies — including an oversized center console — and 24.2 cubic feet of space behind the seats. The seats fold in a 60/40 split for 52.5 cubic feet of space; in comparison, the 2018 Audi Q5 has 26.8 cubic feet of space behind its seats and 60.4 cubic feet when the seats are folded. Families will also not have a problem charging devices: The E-Pace comes with up to five USB charging ports and four 12-volt outlets.

Options include a 15-speaker Meridian sound system, a foot-activated tailgate and the Jaguar Activity Key; the waterproof and shockproof wristband provides access to the vehicle using a sensor above the rear license plate.

Under the Hood

A turbocharged 2.0-liter Used Engine and nine-speed automatic transmission comprise the sole drivetrain.  In regular models, it makes 246 horsepower- 296 hp in R-Dynamic models. Permanent all-wheel drive is standard; in normal conditions, it distributes torque between the front and rear to maximize stability and handling. In slippery conditions, it can send almost all of the Used Engine 's power to the front or rear for more traction.

Standard is the torque-vectoring braking system, which uses the brakes to imitate the effect of a torque-vectoring differential for a balanced distribution of Used Engine torque between all four wheels during cornering. Also standard is the All Surface Progress Control system; the low-speed cruise-control system is meant to help drivers maintain control in low-traction conditions. Jaguar says it recognizes differences between surfaces to exploit available grip by automatically adjusting Used Engine and brake settings. It functions between 1.1 mph and 18 mph and can navigate through slippery conditions such as icy roads, wet grass and mud; it can also automatically maintain a steady speed on steep inclines and descents.

A configurable Dynamics system allowing customers to personalize throttle, steering and transmission settings is also available.

Safety

A 360-degree camera is optional, as is Park Assist, which will automatically steer the vehicle into parallel and head-on parking spaces. Also optional is the emergency braking system with pedestrian detection, which uses cameras and radar to scan the road ahead and automatically apply the brakes if a collision is imminent.

Blind spot assist is standard on SE and HSE models and optional on the S trim. If the car detects a vehicle in the blind spot and the E-Pace is changing lanes, it will alert the driver and then automatically apply corrective steering torque to prevent the lane change if needed.

The 2018 E-Pace will be made in Austria and go on sale in the U.S. in early 2018. Base models start at $39,595; R-Dynamic models will start at $48,245 (prices include a destination charge).

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