FRANKFURT -- Jaguar says its F-Pace SUV will set a new benchmark for ride and handling compared to rivals.
The F-Pace is Jaguar’s first SUV and is a bid by the UK brand that became famous for building sports cars to benefit from the global sales boom of SUV/crossover styled vehicles.
The car will compete against SUVs such as the Porsche Macan, BMW X4 and Audi Q5.
In its European specification the F-Pace uses the same 180hp Ingenium four-cylinder diesel as the brand’s XE and XF sedans. The car will also offer a 3.0-liter V-6 diesel making 300hp and a 380hp supercharged V-6 gasoline, both sourced from Ford Motor. Either engine can be ordered in a performance model badged S that in gasoline form accelerates from 0 to 60mph (97km) in 5.1 seconds. It backs Jaguar’s claim that the F-Pace will appeal to keen drivers.
“The all-new F-Pace is an all-weather, all-surface Jaguar sports car,” the brand’s design chief, Ian Callum, said.
Jaguar unveiled the F-Pace on Monday at a press event ahead of the car’s public debut today at the Frankfurt auto show.
The F-Pace is key to Jaguar Land Rover’s global ambitions for the brand, which has long underperformed compared to Land Rover. Through August Jaguar sold 49,751 cars, down 9 percent on the year before. In the same period Land Rover sold 252,027 units, up 1 percent.
The F-Pace is set to become one of Jaguar’s two best-selling models alongside the XE midsize sedan after it goes on sale early next year. The U.S. and China are expected to be its biggest markets.
Jaguar has not disclosed sales forecasts for the F-Pace, which will be built alongside the XE midsize sedan in JLR’s Solihull plant in central England.
The F-Pace is the third car to use Jaguar’s new lightweight aluminum platform after the XE and XF. The car’s body is 80 percent aluminum compared to 75 percent for the XE and XF and the lightest all-wheel-drive F-Pace weighs 1767kg.
The F-Pace will be priced from 34,170 pounds ($53,800) for the entry two-wheel-drive diesel in its UK home market.
Jaguar said the F-Pace is also competent off-road, despite its on-road focus. The car has a ground clearance of 213mm, 1mm high than that of the Land Rover Discovery Sport, with which it competes on price. The more off-road Discovery Sport has a higher wading depth through water at 700mm against 520mm for the F-Pace’s 520mm but the Jaguar beats the Audi Q5 at 500mm.
In a first for any car, the F-Pace can be ordered with a waterproof wristband that doubles as key to allow owners to lock the original key in the car when pursuing outdoor activities such as kayaking. The F-Pace will be the second JLR model after the XF to be made available with the company’s new infotainment technology based on the new Genivi operating system created in partnership with chipmakers Intel. The InControl Touch Pro remains an option and includes 10.2-inch touchscreen on the dash boasting features more associated with tablets such as a pinch-zoom function. It also has a 12.3-inch screen behind the steering wheel in place of the dials.
Other technology available includes a camera-activated automatic braking function with pedestrian detection that’s standard across the range.
Jaguar claims the 4700mm F-Pace has class-leading trunk space and rear legroom. Trunk capacity is 650 liters.