Jaguar E-Pace unveiled in style: does 270-degree barrel roll

A Guinness World Record was set during the launch of a new car, perhaps for the first time, as moments after the new Jaguar E-Pace was unveiled in London last Thursday, it leapt into the Guinness book by making a 15.3m-long jump, complete with a 270 degree ''barrel roll''.

Behind the wheel was stunt driver Terry Grant, who has completed stunts on many film sets and holds an impressive 21 world records.

It was far from the usual car launch, where  journalists walk around cars showcased in sedentary fashion at five-star hotels, delivering pseudo-passionate comments about what's new and what's not.

''As far as I am aware no production car has ever cleanly completed a bona-fide barrel roll and therefore it has always been an ambition of mine to perform one ever since I was a boy,'' said Grant, who also drove the Jaguar F-Pace in a record-breaking loop-the-loop in 2015.

The barrel roll is not a stunt to be tried at home - Grant did months of testing and analysis to fine-tune the stunt, including getting the correct speed and ramps. ''If it was an easy stunt, many other people before me would have done it,'' he said.

To put it in perspective, Terry Grant experienced an intense 5.5Gs of gravitational pull during the stunt. Astronauts experience about 3Gs while exiting the lower layer of the atmosphere, and they are trained to withstand just 4 Gs.

The Jaguar E-Pace, from the Tata Motors-owned Jaguar Land Rover stable, is a five-seat, compact SUV that the automaker said ''packs the design and performance of a Jaguar sports car into a spacious, practical and connected all-wheel-drive vehicle''.

The exterior design is inspired by the Jaguar F-Type sports car, with the distinctive Jaguar grille, as well as the fast sweep of the roofline and the distinctive side window graphic.

Ian Callum, director of Design at Jaguar, called the E-Pace ''the sports car of its class''.

''Our new compact SUV combines the interior space, connectivity and security that families expect with the kind of proportions, purity of design and performance not usually associated with such a practical vehicle,'' he said in a statement.

The E-Pace comes packed with tech, with digital displays, a waterproof wearable Activity Key that allows you to connect to your smart watch, 4G Wi-Fi hotspots, and several USB points; as well as the kind of space SUVs afford - in this case 1,234 litres of luggage space (with rear seats folded), plus other compartments throughout the cabin for you to keep whatever you want.