Jaguar is planning a radical family of premium SUVs to run alongside the new Jaguar F-Pace, to be launched early next year - and the range could include a baby rival to the Mini Countryman and Audi Q1.
The F-Pace will be the first competitor Jaguar has had to the likes of BMW’s X models and Audi’s Q range, potentially opening up thousands of new sales as the SUV market continues to expand.Company insiders have all but confirmed additional models, saying: “Don’t think in terms of one more SUV - think a family of SUVs.”
The smallest, Q1-sized SUV would be little more than four metres in length. The company is believed to see more brand cachet in a small SUV than in a supermini and, crucially, it would be able to charge more for a jacked-up baby model than it would a rival for the Audi A1 or Mini hatchbacks.
A larger model than the F-Pace is not thought to be part of Jaguar’s plans. There had been speculation that a seven-seat, long-wheelbase SUV was in the pipeline, but company insiders have indicated the performance intentions of the Jaguar SUVs will make a model larger than the F-Pace unlikely.
This sporty intention means that coupé versions are also thought to be likely. These will rival similar cars from fellow premium manufacturers.
BMW and Mercedes-Benz already offer coupé-styled SUVs, with more to follow. BMW’s X6 and X4 will be joined by the X2 next year, while Mercedes will add a GLC Coupé to join its existing GLE Coupé in 2017. Audi also plans to release a Q6 and a Q8 in 2018 and 2019 respectively.
Like their rivals, any coupé offshoots of the F-Pace would have sweeping lines, although it is likely they would be available only with four passenger doors rather than two.
The sporty nature of the new family of SUVs will not be confined to their styling, as they look set to do justice to the ‘Pace’ suffix in their name.
It is expected that Jaguar will offer R and SVR versions of its SUVs, since the company plans to pitch the models as technical flagships.
Previously, Steven de Ploey, brand director of Jaguar, has said of the SUV family: “We’d only do it on two key attributes: if the car was dynamically the most capable, and it met our design standards.”
Meanwhile, an electric Jaguar has also been all but confirmed. Ian Callum, Jaguar’s design director, has said recently, “It’s coming”, when talking about a potential electric Jaguar, while JLR has applied for a series of patents for technology related to inductive charging.