While the electric motor is relatively modest, with an output of just 20bhp, its role is to fill gaps in the torque curve and help boost acceleration. The MHEV will also be able to shut down its engine and coast in order to preserve fuel.
Comment: Jaguar's sales figures show SUVs are the future
Technology on the E-Pace will include the ability to pay for fuel at Shell service stations with a new in-car cashless payment system operated via InControl Touch Pro. Owners who install the Shell App can drive up to any Shell pump in the UK, and later globally, and use the vehicle’s touchscreen to select how much fuel they want and then pay using Paypal or Apple Pay.
An electronic receipt, which will be displayed once the driver has filled up, will be emailed to the driver.
The new Jaguar is set to be unveiled in May, away from the motor show circuit, and will appear after the BMW X6 and Porsche Macan-rivaling Range Rover Velar.
The coupé-styled SUV, which will be revealed this week and will play a key role in Land Rover’s fortunes, will sit between the Evoque and Range Rover Sport.
The E-Pace’s price is expected to undercut that of the Evoque, which starts at £30,600, and be significantly less than that of the F-Pace, which is priced from £34,730. The BMW X1 starts from £27,850 and the Audi Q3 costs from £27,200.
While Jaguar remains tight-lipped on the E-Pace, the model is due to go on sale later this year.
How global SUV sales have grown
Sales in the premium compact SUV class, in which the E-Pace falls, grew by a quarter globally in 2016 year on year, making it the fastest growing-segment alongside the mainstream B-SUV sector, which includes models such as the Nissan Juke and Vauxhall Mokka.
Global sales volume of premium compact SUVs was 828,000 units, with the Audi Q3 leading the way (227,310 units), followed by the BMW X1 (206,392 units) and Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class (192,496), according to data from JATO Dynamics.
In Europe, SUVs accounted for 29% of all premium sales and sold more than one million units for the first time, at 1.04m. In the USA, SUVs made up a huge 53.7% of overall premium car sales, at 1.15m.
Among the premium SUVs, compact models counted for only 22.7% of last year’s total global sales. “Until now, the market for premium SUVs has been dominated by mid-size and large SUVs,” said JATO’s Felipe Munoz.