Even though it is entering a very crowded segment—and one where its sister company Land Rover has carved out a commanding position with the Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Discovery Sport—Jaguar is confident the new car will draw attention and deliver something that is currently missing in the marketplace.
(Related: Get In Gear For The Most Flashy Jaguar Yet)
What this means is that the car will be focused on driving dynamics, with features such as stability control and all-wheel-drive tuned for keeping it flat and neutral in the bends as much as for coping with uneven road surfaces.
Jaguar waited 80 years before building its first SUV and when it did, the resulting car, the F-Pace, became the fastest-selling model in the company's history and was declared 2017 World Car of the Year.
(Related: Jaguar F-Pace Launch Party)
Despite only going on sale in April 2016, it had sold 45,965 models by December. And there's no slowdown in demand a year later. For some perspective, as recently as 2014, Jaguar was only selling 81,000 cars in total in a calendar year across its entire model range.
But Jaguar believes that the smaller E-Pace will be an even bigger hit with drivers around the world and could be its most popular model within the next six months.
What's more, following the E-Pace will be the company's first plug-in electric car, the i-Pace, which again will be in SUV form. It will be unveiled in production form before the end of 2017 and will go on sale in 2018.
It promises a range of 500km between charges, a 0-100km/h time of roughly 4 seconds, and electric motors powering both axles for intelligent all-wheel drive and a combined 400hp output.