[THE INVESTOR] Sparking competition in the imported compact sport utility vehicle market, Jaguar Land Rover Korea, the local importer and distributor of the UK-based carmaker, released its first compact SUV E-Pace here on April 16.
Jaguar highlighted that the five-seater four-wheel SUV preserves the dynamic design and driving performance of its flagship sports car F-Type.
The leaders in the imported compact SUV market in Korea are the Mercedes-Benz GLA, Land Rover Evoque and BMW Mini Countryman. Volvo Korea is also slated to roll out its small SUV XC40 this summer after reaping notable sales of the XC60 large SUV last year.
“E-Pace is an attractive model that delivers driving performance unique to Jaguar. It has lowered the entry barrier for drivers,” said Baek Jung-hyun, the managing director of Jaguar Land Rover Korea, during a launch event held in central Seoul.
The vehicle was designed to cater to drivers who seek a spacious interior and practicality while maintaining driving performance, he added.
Jaguar’s signature J-blade light-emitting diode daytime running light has been applied to the E-Pace to emphasize its Jaguar identity.
Powered by the carmaker’s self-developed Ingenium petrol engine, the compact SUV has maximum 249 horsepower and 37.2 kilogram-force meter of torque.
Along with the I-Pace electric vehicle unveiled here last week and the flagship SUV F-Pace, Jaguar Land Rover Korea has completed the full Pace-series lineup.
The government has not yet approved the I-Pace EV for subsidies, which have a crucial impact on sales.
Jaguar’s top-selling F-Pace SUV saw sales of 1,084 units here last year, accounting for 26.3 percent of its sales.
Baek said the E-Pace would rival the Mercedes-Benz GLA, the best-selling compact SUV here, which posted 639 units in sales in the first quarter of this year.
Land Rover sold 635 units of the Evoque, followed by the Mini Countryman Cooper with 535 units in the cited period, according to data from the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association.
Deliveries for the E-Pace are expected to begin in mid-May.
The compact SUV is priced between 55.3 million won (US$51,465) and 69.6 million won.
By Kim Bo-gyung/The Korea Herald (firstname.lastname@example.org)