It’s Not Just A Cub – Jaguar E Pace

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Sri Lanka you pearl of the Indian ocean, you’ve loved the British since they gifted Sri Lanka with many things, the tea plantations, the railway system, the colonial architecture and the pubs.

Thankfully we Sri Lankans have not thought like the British with the ever so popular pun from Clarkson, If the engineering works.. oh its British engineering but if it doesn’t work… ah its Scottish engineering since it was invented in a shed.

With that in mind, we might have forgotten something that the British gave us as well.. and that is the Jaag! When ever we see an E Type our heart skips a few beats and we are stopped in our tracks.

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It was around the end of last year, somewhere around the weekend, when I was about my usual Youtube scrolling when a video caught my eye.. the caption said “Guinness World Records Barrel Roll” and the videos thumbnail pic showed a red SUV upside down.

Right before opening it, I stopped and thought this sort of record attempt could only be pulled off by a rally car. Open the video I did and man was I impressed that an SUV can actually pull this off, of course with the right safety gear like a full on rollcage inside for the drivers safety.

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Stopping a bit more and thinking for the vehicle to land on all its wheels again requires the suspension to go through a lot of stress and has to be designed with an extreme level of stress in mind. Its the sort of thinking that goes into Rally car designing & preparations.. the rally car participants from Japan and Germany require their factory parts to be replaced with custom parts to cope up with the stress. But after doing some digging.. it was clear that this was in fact the only production car that has successfully carried out a barrel roll and with that successful feat the Jaguar E Pace was launched to the world last year.

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While watching the Video the design of the vehicle and its stance did catch my eye.. the feeling of want was so strong that I had to share the video with my Wife and I clearly remember her saying.. “Your not an SUV person but I am.. how come you suddenly started liking one?” to which I had no choice but to reply “exactly.. but its something about this particular SUV which is a Jaag”. The day ended with my wife feeling rather confused and me wondering if I had offended her ๐Ÿ˜€

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So a couple of months ago I was going through the pics of some local reviews of the new E Pace and realized that I was not able to reconnect with the vehicle as I did when I saw it for the first time on screen. I honestly don’t fancy reading “long articles” and that is why I guess my articles are not that long.. I don’t want to pain you all with something I view as painful.

Maybe it was the black E Pace that didn’t do justice for me and I couldn’t find that connection as I did on the video. So a few calls were made and yes there was a very special RED one at JLR and a date was set.

After seeing the one in black I had completely forgotten what one in Red looked like. The moment I went in there and saw it in person, my thoughts of the video came in. The body lines hint at the F Type that it was designed based of. Jaguar calls it the Cub of the F Type. I’ve always loved blistered wheel arches… That’s where the E Type got me, then the F Type and now the E Pace.

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Stepping into the interior it reminds you of the mother cat.. the F Type. I was also reminded and envisioned what Terry Grant the test driver of the E Pace had to prepare for to accomplish that great feat with the only additional been a roll cage and a race seat for safety of the driver in case something went wrong.

No I’m not trying to encourage you to get one and try to barrel role it your self but its about understanding the level of engineering that went in to develop such an SUV for your family.

Well then how does it drive?

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Step into the cabin, set your individual AC controls for your passenger and then for you. Then look at the shifter controls to understand how they function whilst keeping in mind its a 9 speed gearbox (yes NINE) and then your eye bolts to the drive mode button.. Aha!

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Adjust your seat to your perfect driving position.. this is possible and then get a feel of the seat bolsters in case your one of those people who loves to hit the mountain roads and have the seat bolsters hold you in place when carving up those mountain roads.. the drive mode button is there for that. The wife will also feel at home beside you.

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Looks down at the dashboard to get a feel of where all the switches are then what buttons you’ve got to use on the steering.

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Whilst keeping in mind there’s also room for elder son (Loku putha) and younger son (Podi putha) at the back and if the boy plays basket ball and is a 6 footer, he should be rather ok with his legs at the back.

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Heated seats also available for those drives up to Nuwara Eliya.

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This has to be the nicest mutli media system I’ve seen. Very visual and interactive. Not the usual boring static displays.

Oh yeah maps also come pre-programmed into the system. So don’t worry you will not have to have the maps retrofitted locally.

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If your driving to one of those high end hotels, simply check the Valet mode and hand it to the valet guy.

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You will be enjoying your favorite beats through the Meridianโ„ข Sound System.

Well then I can literally hear the boys shouting “what about performance”.. well lets pop the hood shall we?

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The moment thats done your eyes are taken to Castrol.. yes the Oil I’ve been using for years now. Good stuff. Jaguar does recommend Castrol as well for their vehicles and Edge in particular.

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Engine is the P250 Spec good for 250bhp & 365NM of torque from down low as 1,300 – 4,500RPM.

When you look at the engine you may scratch your head a bit and think… wait a min a Jag has its engine placed wrong? eh.. the F Type typical FR / AWD layout with an longitudinal engine and is known to drive like a charm but the E Pace with a transverse engine more front biased AWD? Well I’ll tell you, I’ve driven the likes of symmetrical all wheel drive / quattro’s / haldex & AWC although not on their limits on corners why? I’m not a racing driver.. Am I a good driver? Nope. Am I a decent driver? yeah.

Honest truth here.. but I have learned to understand my bottom when it describes power (Power Compared to a dyno… it reads bit below lol but ill still go to a dyno) and how the AWD system works on decent cornering on city streets with a bit of spirit. With the above mentioned AWD systems they work in different ways..
The symmetrical all wheel drive.. floor it from a stand still and you’ll realize your been pushed from behind and your front paws will make up for any lost traction from the rear.. corner and you’ll realize the power coming to the front to contend with the weight in trying to give grip to the front… resulting in under-steer.
AWC floor it you will realize your been pulled from the front and the rear paws will make up for lost traction from front.. corner and you’ll realize you have over steer and power will be sent to the rear to contend with the weight to balance off the over steer.
Quattro.. simillar principle to symetrical awd. Haldex similar to AWC.

Driving the E Pace from a standstill power goes instantly to the rear which felt odd to me as I was feeling been pushed and not pulled. In the corners I could feel the rear working and then power sent forward to cope with any under-steer. Was i feeling it all wrong knowing that the AWD should be more front biased with its transverse layout but was actually feeling the opposite of rear biased? What was going on? Was it some engineering catastrophe?

I had nothing to bias me prior to the drive as I haven’t read any sort of review of the vehicle and neither did I walk in there expecting the drive to be impressive. All I did was simply looked at the pics of the local reviews.

I was actually smiling knowing that although I was a bit sad to see the engine layout, the baby Jag made up for it with its drive.

So I came home and started doing some digging on the AWD system of the Jap E Pace and that’s when I stumbled on some very interesting info. The Jaguar engineers had developed the system to be able to deliver 100% torque to either of the rear wheels. Now that’s interesting.. quite ingenious I believe.. so 100% torque to the rear oh blimey!

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Looking at the side profile of the baby Jag or the E Pace.. the rear lights and rear end, front lights, front bumper, side fender and blistered rear arches remind you that this is the Cub of the mother F Type.. Me personally I would loved if it had the Sports seats like what the F Type comes with and coupled that with the P300 spec. But hey 250 break hp in an SUV is not too bad either.

The only slight negative i felt was that with my driving position, my seat had to be set back and that left me with a blind spot on the driver side… which was a slight hassle as I had poke my head forward when at an intersection. But hey nothings perfect.. even people aren’t.. so a lot of margin should be given for error.

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So in summary I love the E Pace and would take it if I could afford it with the available spec. It certainly surprised me and adds value to the phrase.. never judge a book by its cover and if you have a cool 22 Mil stashed somewhere give it a try ๐Ÿ™‚

A thank you goes out to the boys at Jaguar Land Rover Sri Lanka for the opportunity.

– Ramien

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