Jaguar announced the imminent arrival of the first crossover SUV in company history this week at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. The SUV — christened the “F-PACE” — will be based on Jaguar’s well received C-X17 concept car.
Founded in 1922 as the Swallow Sidecar Company, Jaguar has built a fine reputation for building stylish, luxurious, and sporty vehicles. However, it has never ventured into the booming luxury crossover SUV market.
“The Jaguar F-PACE, inspired by the F-TYPE, represents a perfectly judged balance of style, performance, and practicality,” Jaguar design director Ian Callum said.
“It offers a unique combination of Jaguar sports car inspired exterior design, fused beautifully with a thoroughly practical and spacious luxury interior. The F-PACE is our family sports car.”
Since 2008, both Jaguar and its stablemate Land Rover/Range Rover have been under the direction of India’s Tata Group. Many questioned whether the launch of a Jaguar off-roader would cannibalise sales from Land Rover — especially with presence of smaller models such as the Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Discovery Sport.
However, company executives told Business Insider that not only will the crossover not steal sales from its corporate siblings, the research shows that 90% of future F-PACE sales will involve stealing customers from its competitors.
This assessment makes sense. Although a Jaguar SUV and Land Rover/Range Rover may seem like direct competitors based on price and available features, the brands are actually going after different customers.
While LR/RR possesses a more rugged go-anywhere-in-luxury feel, Jaguar is more urbane and suave. It’s difficult to picture the family hunting hound in the back seat of a Jag.
As for the somewhat goofy name, Callum told AutoExpress that the goal was to convey a sense of sportiness. Although a few other names, such as the “X-Type” were considered — the company eventually settled on the F-PACE designation. Besides, there was already a Jaguar X-Type, a compact luxury sedan from the early 2000s
The legendary designer believes that “after time, people will get used to [the name].”
Jaguar has not yet released any official pricing or engine information. However, we fully believe the company’s terrific 3.0-liter supercharged V6 engine will be included.
I had the opportunity to spend a few days behind the wheel of Jag’s flagship XJL sedan equipped with a 340 horsepower version of the engine. It was fantastic. The supercharged 6-cylinder handled the 4,000-plus-lb., 17-ft.-long luxury limo with remarkable ease.
However, Jaguar could also join corporate stablemates Evoque and Discovery Sport and offer the same Ford EcoBoost-derived 240-horsepower 4-cylinder engine.
The Jaguar F-PACE crossover is expected to go on sale in 2016. We will follow up as soon as more information is available.
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