With its first-ever utility vehicle set to make its formal debut in Frankfurt next month, we’re getting a clear look at the new Jaguar F-Pace for the first time.
And the maker is trying to make clear that the new crossover-utility vehicle won’t be a brand misfit. Even while noting the functional attributes of the new Jaguar F-Pace, the British maker is emphasizing its more emotional side, dubbing it “the ultimate practical Jaguar sports car.”
“We haven’t made any compromises or exceptions,” said chief engineer Mike Cross, in a statement accompany this image. “The new F-PACE had to be a true Jaguar and had to deliver the dynamics DNA. We’ve tested ride and handling to the limit, 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.”
Jaguar is holding back most of the details of the F-Pace until its official debut at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show but it does hint that the development of the new ute was strongly influenced by the well-received Jaguar F-Type sports car. It also will have a lot in common with the all-new Jaguar XE compact luxury sedan.
Among other things, the F-Pace will use the new Jaguar Lightweight Aluminum Architecture, a modular platform expected to have wide application across the future Jaguar product line-up. The architecture is not only flexible but provides a lighter approach that should help improve both the performance and handling, as well as the fuel economy, of upcoming models like the XE and F-Pace.
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The F-Pace will feature a double wishbone front suspension and Integral Link rear suspension to improve on-road manners. It is expected to offer some off-road capabilities but is not intended to be a direct alternative to the more capable products that will come from sibling brand Land Rover.
For years, Jaguar executives limited the range of offerings they felt were suitable for the brand. That even meant no station wagons, a proscription lifted a few years back. The fact that Jaguar was paired with Land Rover under the former ownership of Ford Motor Co., and now under new owner Tata Motors. But with utility vehicles gaining ground in all global markets, especially in the luxury segment, the maker decided it was time to rethink its strategy.
In fact, Jaguar is already believed to be working on a second, larger crossover, this one to be dubbed the J-Pace. It will push up into the price spectrum, the “J” suggesting it will vie buyers who might otherwise opt for the likes of the flagship XJ sedan. And it will target upcoming competitors such as the Audi Q8 and BMW X7 models, as well as the up-market Mercedes GLS.
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The F-Pace will target more mainstream competition, such as the Mercedes-Benz GLE – the old ML model.
As to powertrains the new F-Pace is expected to share the same engine line-up as the XE sedan, very likely including a high-performance 340-horsepower 3.0-liter V-6, as well as two other versions of Jaguar’s new turbocharged Ingenium four-cylinder engines. A diesel is also anticipated.
Meanwhile, if the F-Pace mirrors the launch strategy of the XE, two gearboxes will be available, a 6-speed ZF stick and an 8-speed ZF automatic. With the sedan, the manual won’t be available immediately upon launch in the U.S., and whether it will be added to the F-Pace at all hasn’t been confirmed.
Jaguar’s news release notes that the crossover will use “the same torque vectoring by braking technology2 first developed for F-TYPE and incorporating a torque on-demand all-wheel drive system.
The decision to debut the F-Pace at the Frankfurt Motor Show is appropriate as the original Jaguar crossover concept, the C-X17, was unveiled there in 2013. But the U.S. is expected to be one of the key markets for the new Jaguar F-Pace crossover.
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