Jaguar’s updated range is now complete with the unveiling of the revised-for-2020 E-Pace. Far from being just a facelift, the small SUV has moved to a new platform to allow it to accommodate both mild-hybrid and plug-in powertrains.
The 2020 E-Pace follows on from the recently overhauled XE, XF and F-Pace, with the F-Type updated last year. The revisions here are arguably more extensive, though, as the old Ford-related D8 platform has been ditched for Jaguar Land Rover’s newer PTA platform. It’s the same change that the Land Rover Discovery Sport and Range Rover Evoque made in 2019.
Jaguar claims the new underpinnings benefit handling, ride and overall refinement thanks to improved suspension attachment stiffness. But the main purpose has been to transform the powertrain offerings.
Six of the seven new engines are hybridised. Only the fleet-focused front-wheel-drive, manual 161bhp diesel entry point isn’t. That same unit in nine-speed automatic, all-wheel-drive form receives an efficiency-boosting 48V mild-hybrid system, with the small lithium ion battery mounted under the boot floor. A 201bhp version of that powertrain is also available.
The most significant petrol addition is the plug-in hybrid model. It mates a 197bhp 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine with a 107bhp electric rear axle motor and 15kWh battery under the boot floor. Jaguar claims a 0-60mph time of 6.1sec (making it the fastest-accelerating E-Pace available), CO2 emissions of 44g/km and up to 141mpg. Claimed range on a full charge is 34 miles.
Three other petrol offerings are based around a mild-hybrid 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, with outputs of 197bhp, 246bhp and 296bhp. All are auto and all-wheel drive only. The PHEV has eight speeds, while the others receive nine.
The all-wheel drive is a new-generation on-demand system that can disengage the rear axle during steady cruising to boost efficiency. However, the 296bhp P300 Sport model uses an Active Driveline set-up, which, as well as distributing torque front to rear, can also direct up to 100% of torque to either rear wheel in as little as 0.1sec. Further dynamic changes include a new automatic Adaptive Surface Response mode for the Drive Control system.