Jaguar Land Rover has finally entered the booming crossover segment with a cracker of a car that doesn’t look anything like its closest competitors. The Jaguar F-Pace is Jaguar’s new flagship car and is likely intended to set the stage for an entire fleet of crossover vehicles. Jaguar-Land Rover CEO Joe Eberhardt believes the F-Pace could wind up being the company’s top seller. The company expects around 90 percent of the luxury crossover buyers to be first-timers trying out the venerable British brand.
What’s under the hood of the Jaguar F-Pace? It starts with a powertrain with two variants – 340 and 380 hp variants of a 3.0 liter supercharged V-6 gasoline engine, which is available now. Later this fall, the company will launch another option – a 80-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel.
The car rides on all-wheel drive, an eight-speed automatic transmission, and lightweight aluminum architecture. Add in Torque Vectoring by Braking and Adaptive Surface Response Traction System and the car manages to improve upon the standard Jaguar Land Rover handling. Autonomous features are abundant, including All Surface Progress Control low-speed off-road system, plus parking assist.
Fun stuff from the interior include 10.2 inch interior touch screen with full infotainment options and numerous vehicle settings and a fun and convenient wearable waterproof wristband key.
The F-Pace has stereo camera autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection. It also comes with lane departure and lane-keep assist systems. Those who enjoy autonomous driving features will like the traffic sign recognition, laser head-up display, and adaptive cruise control.
The key question for many analysts and buyers is whether the Jaguar F-Pace could really work it in off road conditions. Tests by media reviewers as well as buyers revealed that the car handles easily in tough conditions, climbing mountain passes and having no trouble navigating tough terrain in the African desert. The car sits lower than the other luxury crossover entries, which means it handles much smoother in tight and bumpy turns. The results put it a notch above the Mercedes-Benz GLC, which rides a bit softer in tough areas.
Jaguar Land Rover wants the F-Pace to account for 40 percent of Jaguar’s 2016 U.S. sales. Its main competitors in the space include the Lexus NX, Audi Q5, BMW X4, BMW X3 and the Porsche Macan. Although Jaguar did not name the Mercedes-Benz GLC in its consideration of competitors, the F-Pace is closest to that Benz model.
The Jaguar F-Pace manages to retain its ability to look and feel like a Jag, not a sport SUV. This sets it apart from its rivals, which went with more utilitarian design. Instead, Jaguar Land Rover decided to emphasize the Jag rather than the Land Rover. The result is an SUV body that resembles a sports car rather than a tank. Inside, the F-Pace is plenty roomy enough for at least five people. It also retains the luxury feel of Jaguar’s greatest hits.
Jaguar already sold half a million cars in 2016, making it the best half-year the company has ever had in terms of purely number of cars sold.