gif: Jaguar/YouTube (screengrabs)

Jaguar literally launched its 2018 E-Pace compact crossover earlier this month in London, conducting the Guinness Book of World Records’ farthest production vehicle barrel roll. Lest you think the whole thing was somehow faked, here’s a video showing the lengths Jaguar went to pull it off. And yes, there’s a roofless bouncy castle involved.

Jaguar really put some engineering effort into getting its new compact crossover to, you know, not crash in front of hundreds of spectators—because introducing a new compact crossover as it lies upside down with glass shattered and roof caved-in would probably be awkward.


One of the first steps to pulling this whole thing off, according to Jag’s “behind-the-scenes” video, involved running a bunch of exciting physics and math through computer-based simulations:

gif: Jaguar/YouTube (screengrabs)

From there, Jaguar went to Santa Pod Raceway in England, and had an E-Pace wearing what looks like Land Rover Evoque sheetmetal beat the crap out of itself as it autonomously launched over and over into a huge airbag.

Once computer simulations and robot-driven test runs were completed, stunt driver Terry Grant got behind the wheel. Here’s a look at how it all went down:

Sure, this launch is the very definition of a publicity “stunt,” but figuring out how to land a 3,500 pound SUV after a 270-degree barrel roll is the kind of nerdiness that’s hard not to love.


Plus, just look at that gigantic bouncy castle. That’s even harder not to love.

Sr. Technical Editor, Jalopnik. Always interested in hearing from auto engineers—email me. Cars: Willys CJ-2A ('48), Jeep J10 ('85), Jeep Cherokee ('79, '91, '92, '00), Jeep Grand Cherokee 5spd ('94).

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