Choose an SUV from a German car maker and there’s a good chance it’ll be underpinned by a platform or architecture shared with another SUV from a related German car maker.

Jaguar has resisted that temptation; JLR makes plenty of 4x4s, but to stick a leaping cat on one might have undermined a Land Rover or Range Rover and not given Jaguar the dynamism it craved.

Matt Saunders Autocar

Matt Saunders

Road test editor
Jaguar’s C-X17 concept was created by the same design team that finished the F-Pace

So the F-Pace is based on the same architecture as the XE and XF, which means it’s largely aluminium – 80 percent of the body.

There’s magnesium in there, too; the cross chassis rail is made of it and, where mounted high, magnesium’s lesser weight helps to lower the centre of gravity compared with what it would be if steel or aluminium were used.

A steel boot floor helps there, too, and shifts the weight distribution towards the back, because Jaguar’s dynamicists wanted that to be as near as possible to 50/50.

The F-Pace has double wishbones at the front and an integral link rear suspension system. Engines are mounted longitudinally at the front and drive through either a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission, depending on the specification.

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There’s a choice of six engines to choose from - three diesel and three petrol: a trio of 2.0-litre four-cylinder oilburners producing 161bhp, 178bhp and 238bhp, as tested here, repsectively, and completed by a twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 diesel the same as the XF S. The petrol range starts with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder Ingenium unit punching out 248bhp, and topped by a supercharged 3.0-litre V6 producing 375bhp and 331lb ft of peak twist.

Four-wheel drive will be a mainstay of the range, but the 161bhp 2.0-litre diesel can also be had with rear-wheel drive only. In RWD guise, it drives exclusively through a six-speed manual gearbox, while only the AWD 178bhp version can be had as a manual too.

The four-wheel drive system fitted here is related to the one that made its debut in the F-Type, which means it’s mostly rear biased.

In normal driving, in fact, it’s entirely rear driven, but as soon as there’s slip, it starts to divert up to 50 percent of the power towards the front. Which, all in, makes the F-Pace sound like it’s an SUV with a lot of S.

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