Electric vehicles are a growing market in the UK, and more premium marques are launching their own zero-emissions models in a bid to attract eco-conscious customers.

Until now, Jaguar has stayed out of this market, but that will change in 2018 when the British company launches its own electric vehicle – the E-Pace SUV. The so-called E-Pace – the name has yet to be officially confirmed by Jaguar – will take on the likes of the VW Tiguan, Seat Ateca and Nissan Qashqai in the booming small SUV market.

Jaguar E-Pace

What is it?

The E-Pace is due to be revealed in full before the end of the year, and will be the smaller sibling of the F-Pace SUV. It’s expected to offer a lower roofline and even more dramatic styling. It’s understood that while Jaguar will aim to offer the usual benefits of an SUV with the E-Pace – a large, practical interior and go-anywhere driving capability – the car’s emphasis will be on vivd performance and handling and exceptional refinement.

With driving dynamics playing such an important role for the E-Pace, the new SUV will get four-wheel drive as standard. Its batteries will be laid along the length of the car, under the floor. Early prototype tests of the E-Pace’s battery pack have delivered a range of up to 300 miles in ideal conditions. For reference, the Tesla Model X, which is likely to be the E-Pace’s closest EV competitor, can deliver up to 237 miles in standard form.

Power for the E-Pace will come from two electric motors: one driving the front wheels and another for the rears. Together, they’ll produce a combined 308bhp.

What are its rivals?

The E-Pace will face a wide variety of competiton, both from other small SUVs and from established pure electric vehicles like the Tesla Model S and Model X, Nissan Leaf and Renault Zoe – and also from plug-in hybrid SUVs like the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, BMW X5 xDrive40e, Mercedes GLC350e.

Anything else I should know?

Like the F-Pace SUV, the E-Pace will be Jaguar’s first entry into an expanding and global market, so it could quickly become a big seller for the company. Jaguar’s sister brand, Land Rover, will be watching closely, too, because the E-Pace’s internal structure and powertrain will eventually be used on an all-electric version of the Range Rover luxury SUV. That car is expected to arrive around 2019.

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