A little late to the luxury-crossover segment, Jaguar has expedited details on its upcoming F-Pace crossover ahead of its official reveal at the Frankfurt Motorshow next month. It will be the British firm’s first SUV in its 80-year history.
The name F-Pace is said to have come from both the influence of the F-Type and Jaguar’s ‘Grace, Pace, Space’ slogan.
Clad in cosmic rays, the images released show a SUV that looks very similar to the earlier C-X17 concept, while borrowing styling cues, technology and chassis development from the F-Type. If the F-Pace does share the C-X17 body, we can expect overall dimensions near 4.72m long and 1.65m tall – around the size of a Range Rover Evoque.
Underpinning F-Pace is Jaguar’s Lightweight Aluminium Architecture, a taut, light sports-car derived chassis which exhibits immediacy and precision to driver input. While Jaguar is touting the car’s agility and composure as a performance crossover, it will also tour comfortably thanks to well-tuned and most probably electronically-adjustable double-wishbone front suspension and Integral Link rear suspension, developed through Jaguar’s computer-aided engineering design program.
The Integral Link rear suspension differs slightly from a multi-link configuration, separating lateral and longitudinal forces from the vertical and also allowing for softer suspension bushes.
“We haven’t made any compromises or exceptions: the new F-PACE had to be a true Jaguar and had to deliver the dynamics DNA,” said Chief Engineer Mike Cross.
“We’ve tested ride and handling to the limit in all environments and in all conditions, and the result is that the new F-PACE is as engaging and rewarding to drive as it is comfortable and quiet. As soon as you get into the vehicle you know immediately that it’s a good place to be.”
F-Pace’s grip in the corners is further improved thanks to torque vectoring and the torque-on-demand all-wheel drive system, as seen in the AWD F-Type. Essentially the system controls how power is given to any wheel at one time, limiting wheel spin and understeer, and improving grip on loose surfaces.
Electric power-assisted steering has also been borrowed from the F-Type, with Jaguar claiming its superiority in response and feel as market leading.
While no information has been provided on the interior fit-out, some spy pics suggest the cabin might feature a completely new look from Jaguar, with the F-Pace potentially featuring the C-X17 and Evoque’s low driving seat position.
F-Pace will be built in Jaguar’s new Solihull plant, and is due to go on sale here in 2016. While it’s not known yet what pricing and specifications are, we predict base versions of F-Pace will feature Jaguar Land Rover’s newly-developed four-cylinder Ingenium petrol and diesel engines (as seen in Jaguar XE and Land Rover Discovery Sport), while high-performance models will probably feature the supercharged 3.0-litre V6 found in F-Type. If we’re lucky, perhaps Jag might find another spot to put their supercharged 5.0-litre V8.
Straddling the line between SUV practicality and sports car performance for the first time, we hope Jaguar’s foray into the segment launches with as much success as the updated F-Type, although they face stiff competition in a market of strong competitors such as the Audi SQ5, Porsche Macan, BMW X4 and Mercedes-Benz GLA 45 AMG.