Jaguar E-Pace plug-in hybrid on the way

Small SUV will be reinvented with a series of mild-hybrid powertrains, as well as a plug-in version for the first time.

The Jaguar E-Pace will follow the lead of the recently updated Land Rover Discovery Sport and Range Rover Evoque by switching to the Jaguar Land Rover group’s modern PTA platform. The move will allow Jaguar’s smallest SUV to incorporate mild-hybrid (MHEV) and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) powertrains for the first time.

The 48-volt mild-hybrid setup will comprise a small belt-driven starter motor designed to reduce emissions by lessening stress on the engine. This will likely be fitted to the company’s existing petrol and diesel engines – much like they are in the Evoque. Performance may improve slightly, but not significantly; the nine-speed gearbox will be standard on all MHEVs.

The plug-in hybrid powertrain is expected to be lifted completely unchanged from the Discovery Sport and Evoque. If that’s the case, the Jaguar E-Pace P300e will feature a 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine paired with an electric motor and 15kWh battery. Total system output should stand at around 225kW.

Again, if the E-Pace uses the Land Rover/Range Rover setup without any changes, the small SUV will get a four-wheel-drive system. whereby the petrol engine powers the front wheels and the electric motor the rears. Performance should be brisk; 0-100km/h will take less than seven seconds.

Of course, the appeal of cars like this often comes down to the prospect of dramatically reduced running costs. The E-Pace plug-in hybrid should manage almost 65 kilometres on electric power, at speeds up to 135km/h.

Along with the platform change, the Jaguar E-Pace will also undergo a mild mid-life nip and tuck, seen here in this most recent set of spy photos. As well as new bumpers and lights front and rear, Jaguar will fit a variety of interior tweaks, including new dials and an updated infotainment system.

Prices and specifications will be announced closer to the car’s launch, which is likely to take place towards the second half of 2020, with first deliveries expected in early 2021.

Richard Ingram

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