Will it be quicker than the Mercedes-AMG GLA45?

Having struggled for many decades with few and often outdated products, Jaguar made a big step toward getting back on the horse by launching its first-ever SUV, the F-Pace. Inspired by the F-Type sports car, the F-Pace received a smaller brother, called the E-Pace, in 2017. Designed to compete against the likes of the BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA, the E-Pace is not yet in dealerships as of July 2017, but we’re already thinking about what versions Jaguar might release soon. Obviously, a beefed-up SVR variant is at the top of our list.

Would an E-Pace SVR make sense right now? Definitely. At this point, you can’t have too many SUVs, especially performance-oriented, premium ones. Now you could argue that the E-Pace SVR might not have many competitors to go against in this niche, but that’s exactly the point. Jaguar can become one of the first to step in this market instead of doing what it usually does: following the path laid by others. But of course, this means that Jaguar must move fast and launch the E-Pace SVR before BMW rolls out the X1 M and takes some market share from the Mercedes-AMG GLA45 and Audi RS Q3. And while Jaguar has yet to confirm a small SVR, we went ahead and created a rendering to go with our speculative review.

Continue reading to learn more about the Jaguar E-Pace SVR.

Exterior

2018 Jaguar E-Pace High Resolution Exterior
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2019 Jaguar E-Pace SVR Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop Exterior
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Jaguar E-Pace Jaguar E-Pace SVR
We've seen some fine examples from SVR in the past, and I don't see why the E-Pace couldn't become a more aggressive animal.

Following in the footsteps of other automakers that spread a design language across the entire range of vehicles, the new E-Pace is essentially a shrunken F-Pace. Sure, there are some key differences, such as the redesigned headlamps, the beefier rear haunches, the coupe-style roof, and the more rounded design of the quarter windows, but both SUV share many cues.

The E-Pace looks quite sporty too. The coupe roof helps, but so do the tailgate spoiler, the short overhangs, and the massive outlets in the front fascia. Could Jaguar improve on that? Definitely. We’ve seen some fine examples from SVR in the past, and I don’t see why the E-Pace couldn’t become a more aggressive animal.

A vented hood with carbon inserts would round out the front fascia.

The recipe is pretty simple and it’s revealed in our rendering. As usual, the grille and all the air vents would receive a honeycomb mesh. The main grille would also sport a thick horizontal slat and an "SVR" badge, while the side intakes would be bigger and sport a slightly different shape. The lower vent would also grow in size, as well get a large splitter, likely made from carbon fiber. A vented hood with carbon inserts would round out the front fascia.

Onto the sides, I think Jaguar would decide against beefier wheel arches, but could add new side sirts, redesigned front fender vents, and black mirror caps. New wheels in a lightweight construction are definitely on the table, as is a lowered ride height for improved stability and a sportier stance. The rear should also get a few aggressive touches, including a larger, black-painted roof spoiler and a redesigned bumper. The latter would include a race-inspired diffuser, which in turn would incorporate a quad-exhaust layout.

Interior

2018 Jaguar E-Pace High Resolution Interior
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Note: Jaguar E-Pace interior shown here.

For the SVR, Jaguar will take the E-Pace's new interior layout and combine it with a number of exclusive features.

In recent years it became very clear that automakers are moving toward cleaner, simpler, and uncluttered interior layout, and the E-Pace is one of the best examples out there. The two-tier dash is smooth and clean on the passenger side, while the wide center stack is organized to be as used friendly as possible. We have the A/C vents on top, the large screen below, and all the control placed between the display and the gear shifter. It doesn’t get easier than that.

The three-spoke steering wheels also includes a bunch of controls, while the digital instrument cluster provides access to all the vital data. But while simple, the dash is by no means poor. There’s contrast stitching, leather, and other soft surfaces. After all, it’s a premium vehicle we’re talking about. The same goes for the door panels and the seats, which provide some bolstering even in their base configuration.

2018 Jaguar E-Pace High Resolution Interior
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Note: Jaguar E-Pace interior shown here.

Aluminum trim will be standard in the SVR, but you'll also be able to order carbon-fiber.

For the SVR, Jaguar will take all of the above and combine them with a number of exclusive features. The standard seats will be ditched in favor of sporty units with heavy bolstering, and maybe even quilted center surfaces and contrast piping. The rear seats should offer optimum support during spirited driving, although they won’t be as aggressive. Aluminum trim will be standard in the SVR, but you’ll also be able to order carbon-fiber for the door panels, center console, and dash.

In case you don’t like the black upholstery of the standard model, you can rest assured that Jaguar will provide many options, including a couple of contrasting themes that will include white, red or blue. Also look for a few "SVR" badges and maybe even a custom start-up screen for the infotainment system.

Speaking of which, the 12.3-inch TFT instrument cluster should be standard, to go with the large, 10-inch Touch Pro interface in the center stack. It remains to be seen whether the TFT head-up display will be standard on this model, but you’ll definitely get a premium sound system at no additional cost. Wi-Fi hotspot, 12-volt charging ports, and numerous USB ports are also on the table.

Drivetrain

2018 Jaguar E-Pace High Resolution Drivetrain
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Note: Jaguar E-Pace interior shown here.

I think that Jagur will take a safer route and use the supercharged 3.0-liter V-6.

The regular E-Pace is already a solid crossover in the performance department. Available with diesel engines rated at 147, 177, and 236 horsepower and gasoline mills with either 245 and 295 horses, it already has everything it needs to give the competition a run for their money. These impressive outputs come from Jaguar’s relatively new 2.0-liter four-cylinder powerplants, which are quite versatile based on those figures. But what will Jaguar drop in the SVR model?

I guess it’s safe to assume that the gasoline four-pot could be pushed beyond the 300-horsepower mark with bigger turbos, but this may impact reliability. As a result, I think that Jagur will take a safer route and use the supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 from the F-Type and F-Pace. The least powerful unit is rated at 340 horsepower, which would be great for the E-Pace, but the gap between the range-topping non-SVR model would be a tad too small. Then there’s the 380-horsepower variant that seems just right for the job. Of course, fitting the V-6 under the hood might be tricky, but it’s definitely doable.

So what would this mean performance-wise? Well, with the 295-horsepower E-Pace capable of hitting 60 mph in 5.9 seconds, it’s safe to assume that the SVR would manage less than five seconds. It could even go below the 4.5-second mark, but don’t expect it to reach the benchmark in less than four clicks. I guess Jaguar’s goal here is to beat the Mercedes-AMG GLA45’s 4.3-second sprint.

Of course, the V-6 engine will be backed by a revised transmission with quicker shifts and an optimized chassis with race-bred suspension and larger brakes.

Prices

2019 Jaguar E-Pace SVR Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop Exterior
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Pricing information is obviously not available, but we do know that the base E-Pace retails from $38,600, while the range-topping model will come in at $53,100. As a result, it’s safe to assume that the SVR will cost at least $60,000. That’s a hefty premium of at least $10,000 over the Mercedes-AMG GLA45, but you need to keep in mind that the E-Pace SVR will be sold in limited numbers. As as we very well know, exclusivity comes at a cost.

Competition

Mercedes-AMG GLA45

2015 Mercedes GLA45 AMG High Resolution Exterior
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2015 Mercedes GLA45 AMG High Resolution Exterior
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Introduced for the 2015 model year, the AMG GLA45 is one of the two premium, performance vehicles available on the small SUV market as of 2017. Essentially a an AMG A45 on stilts, the GLA45 shares most of its styling features and technology with the high-performance hatchback. And while it might not be as stylish as the E-Pace, it has the performance to fight against an SVR model. The 2018-model-year update brought a more powerful engine under the hood, with the 2.0-liter four-cylinder now rated at 375 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. Charging from 0 to 60 mph takes only 4.3 seconds, a benchmark that will be tough to beat by Jaguar, even with a supercharged V-6 under the hood. Top speed is, as always, limited at 155 mph. Pricing for the AMG GLA45 starts from $50,600.

Read our full review of the Mercedes-AMG GLA45.

Audi RS Q3

2015 Audi RS Q3 High Resolution Exterior
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The Audi RS Q3 is the other big competitor
367 hp, 343 lb-ft, ~$65,000
2015 Audi RS Q3 High Resolution Exterior
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The RS Q3 actually older than the AMG GLE45, having been launched in 2013. The German crossover was updated in 2015, while 2017 brought a new model called RS Q3 Performance. The new badge brings new features inside and out, as well as a more powerful engine under the hood. While the 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine was initially rated at 310 horsepower, output increased to 340 horses in 2015. But Audi didn’t stop there. The newer RS Q3 Performance features an even more powerful version of the five-pot, rated at 367 horsepower and 343 pound-feet of twist. That’s nearly as much as the AMG GLA45, and the same can be said about the 0-to-60 mph sprint, which can be achieved in a scant 4.4 seconds. Unfortunately, the RS Q3 isn’t available in the U.S., so you’re pretty much stuck with the Mercedes-AMG until the E-Pace SVR arrives.

Read our full review of the Audi RS Q3.

BMW X1 M

2017 BMW X1 M Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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BMW is the only of the three German giants that has yet to offer a high performance version of its crossover, but word has it that an X1 M is underway. Much like all the other M cars out there, this one will sport a more aggressive exterior with menacing bumpers front and rear, honeycomb grilles, unique wheels, and a dash of carbon-fiber. It’s not yet clear what engine BMW will use under the hood, but it will be either a beefed-up version of the 2.0-liter four-cylinder or a detuned variant of the 3.0-liter six-cylinder in the M3. Output should be of at least 350 horsepower if BMW wants to stand a chance and a 0-to-60 mph sprint of under five seconds is mandatory too. The BMW X1 M should cost at least $50,000 before options.

Read our speculative review of the BMW X1 M.

Conclusion

2019 Jaguar E-Pace SVR Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop Exterior
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With the regular E-Pace not yet in showrooms as of July 2017, it’s definitely too early to draw a conclusion here, but an SVR model would enable Jaguar to go against BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi in yet another important niche. The E-Pace will most likely become an important part of Jaguar’s well being and an SVR variant would help enhance the nameplate’s appeal. Also, expanding the "SVR" badge across the entire lineup would re-establish Jaguar as a key player in the performance realm and the E-Pace would be a good start as far as SUVs go.

  • Leave it
    • * Significantly more expensive than the competition
    • * Might not be as quick as the GLA45

References

2018 Jaguar E-Pace High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Jaguar E-Pace.

2020 Jaguar I-Pace SVR Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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Read our speculative review on the 2020 Jaguar I-Pace SVR.

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