“A Jaguar looks like it’s going fast even when it’s standing still. An SUV looks like it’s standing still, even when it’s moving”. These are the words of Ian Callum Jaguar’s famed Director of Design who dismissed the idea of Jaguar moving into the SUV market. At the 2015 North American Auto Show he now says “The F-Pace is our family sports car.”
OK so the banner headlines are deliberately over the top, apologies for that but at least we’re not in the fantasy realms of Fox News which should be seen as a comedy channel. But the new F-Pace is no laughing matter.
The F-Pace will be Jaguars first ever SUV, the all-wheel-drive model is expected to face down the Audi Q5 and BMW X3 and will effectively be “going to war” with its brothers and sisters from Land Rover sharing many 4×4 components.
However Jaguar has developed All-Surface Progress Control Technology, sensors are able to maintain traction on slippery surfaces by selecting the appropriate amount of power and the correct gear. In other words its a fancy piece of traction control software.
The F-Pace will be based on the new light-weight platform used for the XE saloon and will be built in the UK at Jaguars factory in Solihul, Birmingham. The F-Pace will create 1,300 new jobs.
Jaguar have yet to reveal the look of the F-Pace releasing a teaser shot to build anticipation though it is likely to resemble the 2013 C-X17 concept. The company has plans for aggressive expansion and is aiming for global annual sales of around 200,000 units per year by 2018.
Andy Goss, Jaguar Land Rover Global Sales Director said: “In 2015 we will celebrate Jaguar’s 80th year. We have started it by announcing our first performance crossover which we consider to be the ultimate practical sports car – a car that builds on the marque’s founding ideals of Grace, Pace and Space to become one of the most innovative Jaguars we’ve ever developed. The F-PACE has now begun its engineering and development testing programme ahead of the new model going on sale in 2016.”
Last year Jaguar sold just over 81k units globally, a as yet unannounced mid sized SUV is in the works and is expected to arrive in 2017.
Jaguar is enjoying renewed strength at the moment, its product line up is finally matching the potential the brand is capable of delivering. The JLR group is investing heavily, £3.5 billion GBP will be spent on R&D in order to further bolster a slew of new products across both brands.