As the brand celebrates its’ 80th anniversary, the launch of the F-Pace signals a major shift in thinking chez Jaguar with the company venturing into the SUV segment for the very first time, but Callum and his team appear to have hit the jackpot which a most alluring design which was inspired by the dramatic C-X17 concept which we first saw back in 2013.
According to Jaguar, the new machine is a performance crossover designed and engineered to offer the agility, responsiveness and refinement that all Jaguars are renowned for, together with unrivalled dynamics and everyday usability.
That’s quite a mouthful to digest, but the bottom line here is that, along with the wonderful new compact executive contender the XE, the F-Pace is set to lift Jaguar’s performance globally.
Last year Jaguar sold just 81,000 units, but the addition of the XE and the F-Pace to its’ model line-up is expected to push sales beyond the 200,000 mark, with the SUV being the bigger seller of the two.
So what of the car itself? Well, we are told it was developed using Jaguar’s lightweight aluminium architecture, the F-Pace delivers on the visual promises of the C-X17 concept, combining as it does a purity of line, surface and proportion, while F-Type features such as the powerful rear haunches, fender vents and distinctive tail light graphics are found here too.
The largely aluminium chassis gave the Jaguar design and engineering teams an ideal starting point. It was created from the outset as a modular structure, so the wheels can be positioned exactly where they are needed to deliver the proportions, dynamics, and practicality essential for a performance crossover.
Wheelbase and track are not shared with any other Jaguar and at 4,731mm long and with a 2,874mm wheelbase, the F-Pace is said to offer the sleek profile and short front overhang characteristic of Jaguar design together with an exceptionally spacious interior.
The rear-wheel drive 180PS diesel manual transmission model weighs 1,665kg and achieves CO2 emissions of just 129g/km.
With the 380 bhp supercharged V6 petrol engine from the F-Type under its aluminium bonnet, the F-Pace will accelerate from 0-100 kph in just 5.1 seconds before reaching an electronically-limited top speed of 250 kph.
With its’ sights set on everything from the BMW X3, through the Audi Q5 through to the Porsche Macan, the F-Pace is certainly an ambitious project, but jaguar is very confident it will see off most of its rivals, based on price, performance and quality.
Touches of genius crop up everywhere on this car and while even the entry-level model benefits from monotube dampers as standard, even better ride and handling is achieved in those models where the electronically-controlled Adaptive Dynamics system measures body and wheel movement 100 and 500 times a second respectively, ensuring optimum damping forces in all conditions.
Elsewhere, the car will also utilise the Configurable Dynamics system first seen in the F-Type. This feature allows individual settings for the throttle, automatic transmission, steering, and, where fitted, the Adaptive Dynamics system.
Jaguar insists that their SUV will seat five adult occupants in comfort thanks to generous head and knee room. Its’ practical side is further underlined by a luggage compartment with a volume of 650-litres.
The manufacturer also promises that infotainment and connectivity technology will be industry leading and tells us the premium InControl Touch Pro system is based around a 10.2-inch touchscreen, with a powerful quad-core processor and solid-state drive which runs on ultra-fast Ethernet.
The result is a user interface which is instinctive and extremely quick with sharp and incredibly responsive graphics. Up to eight devices can be connected to the vehicle’s super-fast wifi hotspot at one time.
The navigation system can also save you time by learning your commute, offers true door-to-door guidance and can even advise others of your arrival time. Navigation can also be shown full-screen – in 3D – in the 12.3-inch HD virtual instrument cluster.
According to Kevin Stride, Vehicle Line Director, Jaguar F-Pace, the new car is a Jaguar that customers around the world demanded the company make.
The F-Pace range will consist of Pure, Prestige, Portfolio, R-Sport, S and First Edition models. The powertrain range will consist of: 180 bhp 2.0-litre diesel manual RWD/AWD and automatic AWD; 240 bhp 2.0-litre petrol automatic RWD; 300 bhp 3.0-litre diesel automatic AWD; 340 bhp and 380 bhp 3.0-litre petrol automatic AWD.
The car will be manufactured at Jaguar Land Rover’s Solihull Plant alongside the Jaguar XE sports saloon.
We have not details as yet on price, but reports indicate that the entry model will sell for around £34,000 Stg., which means that the Irish price will be sub-50k. We will let you know when we have more details.