Snapped near Jaguar Land Rover’s Gaydon R&D headquarters in Warwickshire, the prototype combines Jaguar’s new compact aluminium platform with a one-off body that gives some early clues to the final form of the car.
Autocar sources have said that the crossover is due “in 2016”, but this mule looks little more than 18 months from production, suggesting that it could arrive in spring 2015.
The Jaguar SUV is based on the same new ‘compact’ Premium Lightweight Architecture as its saloon sister model. Under the skin of this prototype is Jaguar’s new turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine. There’s expected to be a choice of rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive on the final model.
Autocar understands that this mule is an early engineering car, which is testing both the SUV’s version of the compact Jaguar running gear (which has wider tracks and raised-height suspension) and the engine’s cooling and calibration.
The one-off hatchback bodywork, which uses XF rear lights, is far from the final styling, but it does give clues to the final shape because of the aerodynamic need to simulate the correct roofline and shaping of the rear end.
This scoop shot shows just how compact the production saloon and crossover models will be. It’s thought that Jaguar has consciously decided to exploit the advantages of the company’s unique bonded and riveted aluminium structure by building a small car family that doesn’t suffer the middle-age spread of other ‘compact’ premium cars.
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