Development work is well underway on British firm's first crossover, which retains the look of the C-X17 concept and hints at a new cabin
29 January 2015

The new Jaguar F-Pace has started testing on the road with close-to-production bodywork in preparation for its launch in 2016.

Our spies photographed the still-disguised SUV undergoing winter testing in Scandinavia and on the roads of the UK.

The images confirm that, as expected, Jaguar's first production SUV – which the manufacturer is referring to as a 'sports crossover' – will share its overall design and shape with the C-X17 concept car unveiled at the Frankfurt motor show in 2013. We've previously spied test mules on the Nürburgring, but this is the first time the F-Pace has been seen on the public road.

The size and dimensions are said to be near identical to the C-X17, which is 4.72m long – 400mm longer than a Range Rover Evoque – and 1.65m tall.

The F-Pace has a more upright stance than Jaguar's typically rakish car designs, although the plunging roof at the rear means it retains a sleek profile. The bluff front end treatment suggests the SUV will follow the C-X17's lead in as much that the driver will look over the bonnet, rather than down it.

The concept had what Jaguar called “an assured driving position” set at “a low height”, similar to that of an Evoque, and this is likely to be a staple part of the F-type driving experience.      The C-X17 concept also featured an muscular ridged bonnet. This hallmark of other Jaguar models appears to have been retained under the camouflage of the F-Pace prototype.

There's no word on what engine is under the bonnet of the F-Pace test mule. Jaguar isn’t yet saying what engines the car will use, but the range seems certain to start with models powered by the soon-to-land Ingenium four-cylinder line-up and is likely to include engines up to the 3.0-litre supercharged petrol V6 used in the F-type, with power potential beyond 250bhp.

The spy pictures also offer a glimpse at the cabin and dashboard of the Jaguar F-Pace. Aside from the data-collecting apparatus, it bears little resemblance to any current JLR production model, suggesting the Jaguar F-Pace will reach production with a fresh interior look.

The launch of the new F-Pace marks the first time the 80-year-old manufacturer has entered the SUV market. The F-Pace name is understood to have been chosen to emphasise both its relationship in style and character with the F-type sports car and to recall Jaguar’s famous 'Grace, Pace, Space' slogan of the 1950s and 1960s.

The new SUV squarely targets Porsche’s Macan and BMW’s X4 models. It should command a starting price of about £35,000, reaching upwards as far as £50,000.

The new car is expected to become one of Jaguar’s two best-selling models, performing strongly in major markets such as China and the US and rivalling the volume of the forthcoming XE compact saloon.

Once established in the market, the two debutantes should push total Jaguar volume beyond 200,000 units a year, up from last year’s figure of about 80,000.

JLR’s global operations director, Andy Goss, says the emergence of the F-Pace is a direct result of the company’s plan to spend more than £3.5 billion a year on product development over the next few years.

The F-Pace’s styling was created in-house by design boss Ian Callum and his team at the beginning of 2013. It is a relatively long car for its compact billing, nearly 40cm longer than a Range Rover Evoque and about the same height.

These generous dimensions allow the car its curvaceous exterior (“If you want form,” says Callum, “you need space”), which includes muscular haunches, classic Jaguar bonnet lines and strongly raked front and rear windscreens.

Callum admits it took time to shape a convincing SUV in the image of the F-type. “This was our first crossover design,” he says, “and, yes, it was hard. We found the initial results quite difficult and disappointing. The profile, the 200-metre view, was the hardest bit, and that’s what sells cars. But I reckon we cracked it in the end.”

The F-Pace will be built in Jaguar’s new Solihull plant and should be on dealers’ forecourts early in 2016.

“We’ve been talking about a product onslaught for a quite while,” says Goss, “and now it’s beginning.”

Jaguar has also produced a short film for the launch of the F-Pace.

Q&A with Andy Goss, Jaguar Land Rover global operations director

F-Pace is an unusual name. Why did you choose it?

"There was plenty of discussion about it. We wanted to emphasise the car’s relationship with F-type, which we view as our emotional fulcrum. And 'pace' implies performance, which the car certainly has. Besides that, it’s a word we own; we started using it in the famous 'Grace, Pace, Space' slogan many years ago."

How important is the F-Pace to your range?

"It could be the biggest seller we’re going to have, similar in size to the XE. The sector volume has tripled in five years, and all predictions say it’ll expand by another 30 per cent in the next five. These cars sell well in all the big markets: China, the US and Europe. It’s really important for us."  

Are you worried about a clash with Land Rover?

"Not at all. The F-Pace’s exterior design and its obvious reference to the F-type is one huge point of differentiation. And whereas Land Rovers are focused on off-road performance, this car is very definitely aimed at highway use. Frankly, the real surprise is that we haven’t done it before."

Even without the F-Pace or XE, you’ve had a good year at JLR, right?

"Yes. Total sales were up nine per cent to 462,678 units and Jaguar had its best year for a decade. We have 12 new product actions planned this year and anticipate retailing 500,000 cars for the first time in the company’s history."

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Comments
18

28 April 2014
'Jaguar SUV starts Nurburgring testing'... Strike anyone else that this wouldn't even have made a convincing April Fool headline 5 years ago? Just me?

12 January 2015
A bit of an odd name for a Jag though I'm sure we'll get used to it. It looks so much better than the new Merc GLE.

12 January 2015
You could maintain the F-type reference for the whole range F-Quick or F-Expensive for the F-type F-Tall for the SUV F-Long for the XJ F-Medium for the XF F-Small for the XE With the whole range being F-All. Am i onto something here? Sorry to say that it's fantastic looking for an SUV though.

 

 

You're not stuck in traffic - you are traffic!!

28 April 2014
How do we know that it is the Jaguar suv ? it could be the Grand Evoque being tested.

jer

28 April 2014
Will I be able to afford one? XFs are affordable the 3.0 diesel can be a bargain but the F and Evoque are expensive with in the evoque case engines that are a bit hum drum.

29 April 2014
jer wrote:
Will I be able to afford one? XFs are affordable the 3.0 diesel can be a bargain but the F and Evoque are expensive with in the evoque case engines that are a bit hum drum.
Remember this wont be hampered by the old sideways mounted engine from the old Freelander (that the Evoque is based on) It will have a longitudinally mounted engine so the I4, V6 and V8 will all fit (in theory) with the presses favorite 8 spd ZF (also shared with Porsche, BMW, etc etc) So it will go Macan baiting, the Evoque is just a fashion statement, though a nive drive still.

11 January 2015
Why have the negative comments been deleted? Autocar really is becoming a joke. Anyway, to repeat what I (and many others) posted earlier, the name's rubbish and the panel gap in the main photo is a bad sign.

12 January 2015
The main picture relates to a concept car, not even a running prototype. Stupid comment (from I suspect a rather miserable person)to assume this "gap" will somehow be representative of the cars that will eventually go on sale in a years time.

12 January 2015
Wouldn't the name XF-Type have been better? It could be connected to the XF in terms of size positioning and pricing, yet still connected the F-Type that they seem to want as well. I'm looking forward to seeing what they do with this, and I genuinely hope it is a belter. I just think that the name is stupid

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What is going on with the forum? Nothing is in order anymore, and you can't see anything other than the first 10 comments. 

12 January 2015
Ha ha ha....oh, wait. You're serious, you actually called it 'F-PACE'..?! Awkward


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