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Driving Corsica: Testing Jaguar's E-Pace on the Mediterranean island

Driving Corsica: Testing Jaguar's E-Pace on the Mediterranean island

By Swansway Motor Group 23-10-2018

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We headed to the island recently to test Jaguar’s new E-Pace – the British manufacturer’s latest compact SUV that sits underneath the hugely popular F-Pace.

Jaguar E-Pace Review in Corsica

Tourists flock to the picturesque Mediterranean island of Corsica each year – and little wonder with its mountains, sandy beaches and vast forests.

However, it’s also home to some hugely exciting roads. In fact, back in 1956 the first of many rallies took place there. Called the Tour de Corse, it initially took in the entire island, but now it only uses the roads around the main city of Ajaccio.

Thanks to the sheer number of twists and turns in the asphalt, though, it soon became known as the “Ten Thousand Turns Rally”.

We headed to the island recently to test Jaguar’s new E-Pace – the British manufacturer’s latest compact SUV that sits underneath the hugely popular F-Pace.

rear view of Jaguar E-pace looking over the sea

Landing at Figari-Sud Corse Airport, we were met with a mercifully dry and sunny day. Thanks to the island’s mountainous layout, the weather in Corsica – particularly during the winter months – can be extremely changeable.

We’d been lucky, though, and avoided much of the rain that had beaten the island two nights previously.

Blue Jaguar E-pace driving on a road in between mountains

Our first route took us in a loop northward before backtracking round and heading to Domaine de Murtoli – a selection of former shepherds’ huts that have been transformed into villas for visitors in the summer. After a quick lunch here, we carried on with the route.

It’s during this section where it starts to get truly staggering. With the mountains rising higher and higher, the Corsican landscape looks more like Colorado than anywhere else.

We stopped off as soon as we noticed a river flowing to the side of the road and clambered down some boulders to look at possibly the clearest water we’ve ever seen.

A diving platform carved into the rockside denotes it as a popular swimming spot – though with the temperature hovering around the 10-degree mark, taking a dip was the last thing on our minds.

stream running through a rocky mountainClambering back in the Jag, we set off once more. It’s a nimble thing the E-Pace and, despite its relatively high ride height, drives keenly enough to deal with the Corsican corners being hurried towards it.

The P300 model we were testing, fitted with a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine pushing out 295bhp and 400Nm of torque, felt peppy enough to keep a good pace through the twisties – and had more than enough punch for the straights, occasional as they were.

Blue Jaguar E-pace driving through a rocky mountain

As we climbed higher, heading towards Auberge A Pignata – a hilltop coffee stop – the route became more winding and complex, testing the E-Pace’s dynamics and pushing its ability to deal with tighter corners at speed.

Thankfully, its drive – though not quite as entertaining as the larger F-Pace’s – allows you to have plenty of fun in the bends.

After a quick coffee, our route took us towards our final destination – Hotel Casadelmar, just over the water from Porto-Vecchio. This involved going through a deeply wooded section – so heavily populated with tall trees that it cast the road into near-darkness – and we quickly found ourselves on what you could imagine as an ideal mountain rally stage.

Sharp corners were met with sweeping bends and the roads were – thankfully – quiet, allowing us to properly find out what the E-Pace could do.

rear view of blue  Jaguar E-pace driving through a forest

As the roads straightened out and we descended towards the hotel, we could understand why the Tour de Corse got its nickname – if there’s one thing Corsica isn’t short of, it’s bends – making it the ideal motoring destination, and not just one for sun worshippers in the summertime.

 

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