Jaguar F-Pace Leaps into Crossover Segment
15 September 2015 - Autoblog
It's been two years since Jaguar showed off the C-X17 concept crossover at the Frankfurt Motor Show, giving us a deep metallic blue taste of what the world would look like with a leaping-cat in it.
Here we have the production result, the 2017 F-Pace, coming to dealerships in Spring 2016. It will be offered in four trims - Premium, Prestige, R-Sport, and S - with three engines. Two supercharged V6 engines come at launch, one with 340 horsepower, the second with 380 hp, both shifting through the same ZF eight-speed transmission from the sedan range. Some time after that a 2.0-liter Ingenium diesel will join the lineup, offering 180 hp and 317 lb-ft. To get in, the price for that eventual diesel is will be $40,9907, while the V6s start at $42,390 and $56,700.
If you liked the look of the C-X17 then there's nothing to put you off the F-Pace. The illuminated intakes from the concept are gone and the fender vents have a slightly different graphic, but otherwise you'll find Waldo before you'll find significant exterior changes. The body is one third aluminum, tweaked with high-strength steel, magnesium, and composites creating torsional stiffness numbers that match the new XF. Wheels go from 18 inches to 22 inches, hung at the ends of a double-wishbone setup in front, an integral link suspension in back, and monotube dampers all around, over a wheelbase that's 113 inches. Short overhangs front and back that mean a maximal approach angle of 25.5 degrees, a max departure angle of 25.7-degrees.
The standard instrument binnacle is two analogue dials flanking a TFT display, the upgraded unit is a 12.3-inch virtual instrument cluster. It sounds like the interior trim will go as high up as you want it - something has to justify the $14,310 price difference between the V6 models - with "available leather" on the low end, aluminum mesh and satin grey ash at the other end. The InControl Touch infotainment system comes in two flavors, base with an eight-inch screen and available SD card navigation, or Pro with a 10.2-inch touchscreen, quad-core processor and Ethernet, high-speed hard drive navigation, and an 825-watt Meridian 17-speaker stereo.
Jaguar stresses the fact that the F-Pace is built for five people - the rear bench was designed to make the most room for a center seater by getting the other two passenger further outboard. The rear bench splits 40/20/40, allowing for 23 cubic feet of space when upright, 61.4 cubic feet when fully laid down. That flat floor has carpet on one side and rubber on the other, for those times when you need to haul sloppy items. It is accessed via a composite tailgate that can be opened with gestures.
The brand makes a point of stressing the F-Pace's functionality and the lessons it has learned from sister brand Land Rover. It has a smooth underfloor and 8.4 inches of ground clearance, a max wading depth of 20.7 inches, and traction assistants like three-mode Adaptive Surface Response, All Surface Progress Control, and Low Traction Launch. Because all that ability means some drivers will actually take it off road, the F-Pace comes with the new Activity Key, a wearable, waterproof, shockproof wristband that can substitute for the keyfob.
On-road dynamics are all Jaguar, though, with default rear-wheel drive that can switch to 50-50 front-to-rear, brake-based torque vectoring, an available adaptive suspension with driver-configured settings. Go for the 380-hp version, and you'll get a 0-60-mile-per-hour time of 5.1 seconds. Extra-early adopters can get the First Edition model, which comes in 380-hp S trim, Rhodium Silver outside with gloss black fender vents and 22-inch Double Helix 15-spoke wheels, red calipers, LED headlights, houndstooth-patterned Windsor leather seats, and a sliding panoramic roof.