It seems the Jaguar F-Pace crossover may be getting a new family member quite soon. A smaller crossover, that is expected to be called the E-Pace, has been spotted during winter testing. The SUV seen here appears to be sized like compact luxury crossovers such as the BMW X1. This fits with the automakers brand director’s statements that it has been considering an SUV for this class.
Much of the car is well camouflaged, but taking a close look, this E-Pace has a surprisingly short dash-to-axle ratio. It’s not as drastic as the electric I-Pace concept, but there’s so little space between the bumper and the base of the windshield that we sincerely doubt that a longitudinal inline-4 or V6 could be lurking under the hood. And, if the E-Pace does in fact use a transverse mounted engine, it probably doesn’t share a platform with any of its rear wheel drive based stable-mates.
It may seem strange that a company known for its rear-drive cars is considering a transverse, front-drive-based vehicle, but there are reasons it may be going this way. For one thing, Jaguar’s brand director said he wasn’t sure that the company’s existing platforms could be scaled down far enough for such a compact crossover. That would seem to preclude using an existing rear-drive platform or developing a totally new one. In fact, it only leaves one real option in the JLR line for this vehicle; the R R Evoke platform, which is also shared with the Discovery Sport, a small SUV platform with a transverse layout. It’s also currently available and should be cheap to adapt; perfect for jumping on to the hot crossover market.
Arrival date to the market is expected to be in 2018
Image credits; Autoblog