November 18, 2017

There was a certain inevitability to the Jaguar E-Pace. With its midsized F-Pace, Jaguar’s first ever SUV, powering an 80-plus percent increase in global sales for the storied British brand over the past year, and demand for the compact Range Rover Evoque blasting past 600,000 units worldwide since 2011, the decision to build a small Jaguar SUV was a no-brainer. Especially as the Evoque and the Land Rover Discovery Sport had provided Jaguar with a platform and a parts bin as a starting point.

 The E-Pace shares its basic body structure, powertrains, and sundry other pieces of hardware with the Evoque and the Discovery Sport. But JLR has worked hard to keep the two brands distinct, giving the E-Pace a unique character that’s more than skin-deep. Quicker and sportier, the E-Pace is more fun to drive than either of the Rovers. Which is as it should be. Eager to see it? It has just gone on sale in the U.S., priced between $39,000 and $55,000,

Critics will note that this is only the second-ever Jaguar built on a front-drive architecture, with a transverse-mounted engine under the hood. (The other? The unloved X-Type sedan, which was based on the Ford Mondeo.) Nevertheless, the E-Pace successfully morphs the studied emotion of Ian Callum’s design language onto a tall package with a short dash-to-axle ratio. The trapezoidal grille, power bulge on the hood, and slimline taillights are key Jaguar family visual triggers. A bold, crisply defined haunch over the rear wheels and a greenhouse that riffs on that of the F-Type sports car give the E-Pace its own personality.

Inside, the PRNDL shifter and the flying buttress that arcs down from the dash to the center console give the E-Pace cabin a dash of F-Type spice. And the TFT instrument panel and InControl Touch infotainment interface are straight from the JLR parts bin. But careful attention to materials—both in terms of quality and execution—has made the E-Pace cabin appear more discreetly upscale than that of the F-Pace. Impressive, given the price leap to the larger crossover. Significantly, there’s no wood trim available, not even as an option. The E-Pace truly is a modern Jaguar.

Dimensionally, the E-Pace is an inch longer than the Range Rover Evoque, a half-inch taller, and has a wheelbase nine-tenths of an inch longer. The difference in wheelbase is due to a different rear suspension. Whereas the Evoque has struts, the E-Pace rear axle has the same integral link design as the F-Pace and the Discovery Sport; the rear knuckles are the same as the F-Pace’s, and the subframe and control arms are shared with the Discovery Sport. The E-Pace therefore has a different rear floor to the Evoque, with more legroom for rear-seat passengers and more room for luggage—there are no strut towers intruding into the load space.

Early in the E-Pace development program insiders acknowledged the biggest problem with using the all-steel Evoque platform—which traces its ancestry back to Ford’s ownership of Jaguar and Land Rover—was its weight. Developing a new, lighter platform from scratch simply wasn’t an option, so the engineering team applied what weight-saving countermeasures it could. The E-Pace’s hood, front fenders, roof panel, and tailgate are aluminum, delivering weight savings of almost 75 pounds over comparable steel parts. The bodysides are also stamped from special, thinner steel that saves almost 8 pounds. Even so, a base E-Pace still weighs 155 pounds more than the entry-level version of the larger F-Pace, which is built on JLR’s aluminum-intensive D7a architecture.

The E-Pace is the first Jaguar in history available only with four-cylinders under the hood. No V-6. American-market buyers can choose between two different versions of JLR’s 2.0-liter turbocharged Ingenium gas engine, driving through a ZF nine-speed automatic transmission. The regular E-Pace, which is available in standard, S, and SE trim levels, gets a 246-hp variant that also develops 269 lb-ft of torque from 1,200 to 4,500 rpm. In E-Pace R-Dynamic form, available in S, SE, and HSE trim levels, the engine has been tweaked to deliver 296 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque from 1,500 to 4,500 rpm. Peak power in both arrives at a modest 5,500 rpm. Jaguar claims the R-Dynamic’s extra horsepower cuts the 0-60-mph acceleration time from 6.6 seconds to 5.9 seconds.

JLR’s 2.0-liter Ingenium engine isn’t the smoothest in class. There’s almost a diesellike graininess at idle and under light throttle at low speed, especially when cold. But it delivers good performance and drivability on the road. The nine-speed automatic transmission has been recalibrated to deliver smoother and faster shifts, especially in Dynamic mode, and R-Dynamic models also benefit from having paddle shifters on the steering wheel for drivers who like DIY driving in the twisty bits.

Although the platform is front-drive-based, all-wheel drive is standard across the E-Pace range. There are, however, two systems available. The regular E-Pace lineup gets a conventional setup that simply varies torque between the front and rear axles, depending on load. The R-Dynamic models come equipped with Jaguar’s electronically controlled Active Driveline, which is capable of rapidly shifting 100 percent of the torque to either the front or rear axles and between the rear wheels. In steady state cruising, the Active Driveline switches to front-drive only, decoupling the prop-shaft to the rear axle to help save fuel. But it can funnel needed power back to the rear wheels in just three milliseconds. Two electronically controlled wet plate clutches on the rear axle also send precise measures of torque to each rear wheel to help control understeer and oversteer.

Subtle chassis and suspension tweaks have given the E-Pace a more alert and agile rear-drive feel than the Evoque. On the rear axle, positive camber has been increased to help initial turn-in response, particularly at low to medium speeds, and brake-induced torque vectoring is standard. Up front, there’s more negative camber to help get the nose of the car into corners, and the two rear-mounting points of the front subframe have been bolted directly to the body to deliver a more rigid platform. The E-Pace is 20 percent stiffer than an Evoque and 25 percent stiffer than a Discovery Sport, says lead engineer Matt Eyes. In turn, that stiffness improves steering feel and response.

What’s more impressive is that this fun-to-drive character happens with smoothness and silence, too. Our tester, a loaded R-Dynamic HSE riding on 20-inch alloys and 245/45 R20 Pirelli P Zero summer tires, felt calmer, quieter, and more relaxed on jittery British back roads than Evoques we’ve driven on 20s. Impact harshness is better suppressed, and there’s much less tire noise from the rear axle.

In terms of off-road capability, the little Jaguar doesn’t give much away to the baby Range Rover. All E-Pace models can be switched between four drive modes—Normal, Dynamic, Eco, and Rain, Ice, and Snow. The latter setting allows drivers to activate the standard All Surface Progress Control (ASPC), the low-speed, off-road “cruise control” system developed by the off-road specialists at Land Rover. ASPC is masterful at exploiting every last vestige of available traction, especially when working with the Active Driveline system.

Worldwide sales of compact SUVs last year totaled 9.8 million vehicles, according to JLR, and are forecasted to grow substantially in the near future. As it gives Jaguar the opportunity to play this white-hot segment for the very first time, the E-Pace is arguably one of the most important new Jaguars in history.

Although comparisons with the Range Rover Evoque are inevitable, the E-Pace’s real targets are BMW’s X1, Audi’s Q3, and the Mercedes-Benz GLA, along with buyers moving up from mainstream U.S. and Asian brands. Its mission is one of conquest, and early indications show that’s exactly what’s happening—more than 90 percent of customers who’ve placed an order for an E-Pace in the U.S. are newcomers to the brand. A lot of buyers are looking for a stylish, accomplished, competitively priced premium compact SUV, and they are likely going to see that Jaguar has a definite place in this segment.


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November 17, 2017

Jaguar Land Rover Classic enjoyed a double victory at the 2017 Octane Awards, held in London this week. The ‘Legends Continued’ Jaguar XK-SS continuation was crowned 2017 Car of the Year and Jaguar Land Rover Classic also received the Manufacturer Heritage Collection of the Year accolade.

Dubbed the ‘original supercar’, the XK-SS was introduced by Jaguar in 1957 as a road-going conversion of the Le Mans-winning D-type racing car. Nine original XKSSs were earmarked for export to North America in 1957, but were sadly lost in a fire at Jaguar’s Browns Lane factory in Coventry that same year; meaning only 16 of the planned 25 examples were completed – until this year, when Jaguar Classic set about completing the missing nine cars.

The Jaguar Classic team’s meticulous attention to detail, for a fiendishly complicated project, saw the XKSS secure the most votes from Octane’s magazine readers and website visitors.

Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations Managing Director, John Edwards, said:
“It is a huge honour to receive such a prestigious award for the XK-SS, 12 months to the day since the continuation Car Zero made its global debut in Los Angeles.

“Since then we have launched Range Rover and Jaguar Reborn restoration programmes and shown the inventive fully-electric Jaguar E-type Zero too. All of these projects, and more, come to life at our brand-new home – Jaguar Land Rover Classic Works – so we’re delighted that our team’s enthusiasm, expertise and support for the heritage of Jaguar and Land Rover has also been recognised.”

Each of the XK-SSs are assembled at the newly-opened Jaguar Land Rover Classic Works facility near Coventry, which houses Jaguar Land Rover’s collection of more than 500 vehicles – a living assembly of British motoring history. Collection vehicles are also available for loan to car clubs and museums, and for Jaguar Land Rover and its partners to showcase at events in addition to providing an invaluable reference for its authentic restorations.

This year’s Octane Awards were judged by 22 renowned members of the classic motoring world, including five times Le Mans winner Derek Bell MBE, Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason and TV personality Jay Leno.


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November 16, 2017

Jaguar Land Rover is taking part in the UK’s first road tests for autonomous and connected vehicles. Real-world testing takes Jaguar Land Rover another step closer to bringing an intelligent vehicle to reality.

As part of the £20m UK Autodrive project, Jaguar Land Rover is testing a range of research technologies that will allow cars to talk to each other as well as roadside infrastructure, such as traffic lights on the roads of Coventry. The trials will explore how future connected and autonomous vehicles can replicate human behaviour and reactions when driving.

Jaguar Land Rover is developing both fully and semi-autonomous vehicle technologies to offer customers a choice of an engaged or autonomous drive, while maintaining an enjoyable and safe driving experience. The company’s vision is to make the self-driving car viable in the widest range of real-life, on- and off-road driving environments and weather.

Nick Rogers, Executive Director  – Product Engineering,  Jaguar Land Rover commented, “Testing this self-driving project on public roads is so exciting, as the complexity of the environment allows us to find robust ways to increase road safety in the future. By using inputs from multiple sensors, and finding intelligent ways to process this data, we are gaining accurate technical insight to pioneer the automotive application of these technologies.

Jaguar Land Rover is proud to be a leader in collaborative research projects for autonomous and connected cars. We are supporting innovative research that will be integral to the infrastructure, technology and legal landscape needed to make intelligent, self-driving vehicles a reality within the next decade.”

With the launch of the trials, Coventry joins just 12 other cities in conducting tests on public roads globally.

UK Autodrive is the largest of three consortia launched to support the introduction of self-driving vehicles into the UK. It is helping to establish the UK as a global hub for research, development and integration of automated and connected vehicles into society. The consortium has already proven these research technologies in a closed track environment and the start of real-world testing is the next step to turning the research into reality. The trials will continue into 2018.


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November 15, 2017

North America gets a first look at the Jaguar E-PACE compact performance SUV, the powerful Jaguar XJR575 flagship sedan and the stylish, spacious Jaguar XF Sportbrake.

The new plug-in hybrid models demonstrate Jaguar Land Rover’s commitment to electrification. Dr Ralf Speth, Chief Executive Officer, said: “From 2020 every new Jaguar Land Rover model line will be electrified, giving our customers even more choice. We will introduce a portfolio of electrified products across our model range, embracing fully electric, plug-in hybrid and mild hybrid vehicles. Our first fully electric performance SUV, the Jaguar I-PACE, goes on sale next year.”

The Jaguar I-PACE eTrophy prototype is further proof of the company’s electric intent. It previews the world’s first single-make electric racing series that starts in 2018.

Also on display will be the Jaguar FUTURE-TYPE, a vision for the car of 2040 and beyond. The fully autonomous virtual concept explores mobility for the connected world of tomorrow, where vehicles could be shared not owned.

The Range Rover SVAutobiography will take luxury to a new level on its global premiere at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

The new petrol-electric plug-in hybrid Range Rover and Range Rover Sport also appear in the US for the first time. Both offer sustainable luxury and performance, with up to 50 kilometres of zero-emission driving. They are part of the new Range Rover and Range Rover Sport ranges that make their US debuts with the latest consumer technology and enhanced exterior design.

These premium vehicles with next-generation technology and the best of British design are on display at the LA Convention Center from 1-10 December.

It’s all in edition #190:


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November 13, 2017

It is always fun to find out what is coming up in a magazine, and our pre-Christmas edition is no exception.

A yearly subscription is also on special discount to help make it an affordable present to anyone – anywhere in the world.

Here are some of the main features in edition #190:

XJ40 – we look for the first launch cars from Scotland with input from Jaguar’s original Design Department members – and review the model’s reception.
XJ13 – we investigate closely if it could have beaten the Ford GT40 at Le Mans.
XJ-S Manual – the owner of a rare Facelift V12 Convertible instals a factory-quality five speed manual transmission.
V12 E-Types – we find the Series 2 converted prototypes – some of which had six cylinder engines
Larry Perkins – the famous Aussie who finished 4th for Jaguar at Le Mans in 1988.
Jaguar Experience – the new way Jaguar gets potential buyers into their cars.
E-Type – best buying advice.
Dr Boorman – the eccentric 1955 C-Type owner who loved photography – we find his hidden transparencies and publish them.
.. and loads more
I do hope that if you are a current or new reader you will enjoy it.  I am sure you will learn a lot you didn’t know about our favourite marque.

It’s all in edition #190:


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November 12, 2017

Congratulations to Mike Roddy, owner and racer of the Spa 24 Hour and Bathurst 1000 race winning TWR XJ-S.

Mike has owned this priceless piece of Jaguar history for many years, having found and bought it in Scotland without knowing which of the team cars it was.  He has maintained it carefully in pristine original, and undamaged condition.

On Sunday, and in front of former TWR Jaguar engineer Ian ‘Blue’ Dorward (over from New Zealand for the occasion) who helped built it new, crewed it at Spa and managed the winning team at Bathurst in 1985, Mike took second place outright for the weekend.

That was a mighty feat considering the competition he was racing against, and the fact his is a genuine historic machine which he treats with caution.

To top it off, the prizes were awarded by great Australian actor, and Jaguar owner (his ‘MkIV’ was seen in the Dr Blake Mysteries on the same night), John Woods.  Mike is seen on the second right with John in the hat.

Between that triumph at Sandown, and the effort of the Kirby and Waldock F-Type to win at Mt Buller, also in Victoria – it was a brilliant few days for Jaguar in competition in Australia.



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November 10, 2017

Thanks to the enthusiasm and sheer hard work of Clive Beecham, owner of ex-works and Ecurie Ecosse Long Nose D-Type XKD603, the car which finished second at Le Mans in 1957, Aussie engineer Ron Gaudion who prepared all of the three Le Mans winning D-Types, built the first 10 production D-Types and most of the works Long Nose racers – starred for Jaguar at the 2017 Goodwood Revival.


Ron and his Scottish-born wife May were in the UK for almost three weeks and did major Jaguar-orientated things they could not have dreamed of.  They were in huge demand by the world’s motoring press and media who were amazed that Ron had stories they had never heard because is the man who was on the spot making Jaguar history happen.

Today we met up for the first time since Ron and May returned home, and he remains gobsmacked at the fuss made and the attention given to him during the whole time.

He and May remain the same lovely humble people though, and his whole story in the UK in 2017 is a 10 page feature in our current edition.

We have known him for decades and he has been part of the magazine since our foundation in 1984 – but now the whole international Jaguar scene knows him.

You will be amazed when you read his story in our feature.

Well done to Clive Beecham – he is the man who made it happen.

There is only Ron and Norman Dewis left from the factory racing perspective, and Ron and former Ecurie Ecosse apprentice Pat Meehan from the Scottish team era.  Ron is THAT important.

It’s all in edition #189:


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November 8, 2017

The I-PACE, Jaguar’s first all-electric vehicle, has been short listed for the What Car? Reader Award, where the public choose the car they are most excited about seeing in 2018.

It is competing against 12 other new vehicles with the winner being crowned at the What Car? Awards in January.

The Jaguar I-PACE is an electric car that combines a super car silhouette with sports car performance, five-seater SUV versatility and zero emissions.

Jeremy Hicks, Jaguar Land Rover UK MD, said: “We are extremely excited about the arrival of Jaguar’s first-ever electric vehicle and cannot wait to see the reaction of UK buyers. We believe the I-PACE’s groundbreaking design, true Jaguar performance and competitive range and charging times will make it the first real electric alternative to a traditional premium SUV.”

The motoring public can vote on the car they most look forward to seeing at until the closing date on 4 December at 17:00 (GMT).

When the production version is revealed it will become the latest member of Jaguar’s successful PACE family of SUVs.


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November 7, 2017

Jaguar has delivered a fleet of 30 all-new XF Sportbrake models to Portfolio Cars, a subsidiary of the We Know Group. They will be used by Portfolio as a superior transport service for its VIP customers around Heathrow Airport.

With a 1700-litre load space, self-levelling suspension and a host of other features, Portfolio’s decided on the Jaguars for important clients and their baggage.

Portfolio Cars also took delivery of 18 Jaguar XF saloons in late 2015 alongside two Jaguar XJ LWB models, replacing their fleet of Mercedes-Benz models. In late 2016, they also took delivery of eight additional XJ LWB and 38 XF models, followed by a further 10 XF models in April 2017.

Jaguar Land Rover UK MD, Jeremy Hicks, said: “We’re thrilled that our longstanding relationship with Portfolio Cars has continued with this order of 30 XF Sportbrake models. With low running costs and a spacious, luxurious cabin – not to mention the sports car-inspired styling – our line-up of cars is ticking every box for business customers.”

Peter Buchanan, Portfolio Cars Chairman, said: “The XF Sportbrake is the epitome of understated luxury and style, packed full of innovative features and a really flexible and spacious cabin. Our highly valued clients expect a quiet and comfortable journey, and XF Sportbrake was an irresistible proposition for us. This is the next step in our excellent partnership with Jaguar Land Rover, and we look forward to building our fleet further with them in the future.”

The Jaguar XF was recently the highest ranked ‘Large and Luxury Car’ in the JD Power Survey. Focusing on reliability and customer experience, the Jaguar XF’s position was secured by feedback from genuine customers who have owned their cars for 12-36 months.


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November 7, 2017

It is just a little sad and tragic to say, but it seems likely that only one of the 24 historic XJ40s used in the Scottish XJ40 Press Launch – which gleaned headlines and cover stories throughout the world for Jaguar – survives today!

We had a close association with several of them at the time, including the survivor, D38 BRW (seen here in 1987 with Austin Swallows), and in our next edition we show as many of those first cars as we can find.

We also get the inside stories from Design Department members in 1996 Stuart Spencer and George Thompson, and get the story from George how took one of the prototypes to Sir William Lyons’ home to get last minutes design tips from the great man.

Stuart explains and shows us how he and his small team secretly took another prototype to London, put it onto a special rotisserie, had it on its side – and squeezed it into a building in London for the very first reveal of all!

The XJ40 fathered the legendary X300 and V8 engined X308 which continued through until 2003 – so we also reappraise the very affordable XJ40 in light of its 31 years of history.

It’s not to be missed if you like modern historic Jaguar saloons in particular.

It’s all in edition #190:


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