Here’s the good news: the new Jaguar F-Pace’s spectacular loop-the-loop birth on the eve of the Frankfurt motor show is not the only thing about the car that is likely to make you go 'wow'.
A clamber around F-Pace at the Frankfurt motor show today confirmed beyond all doubt that this is a car that stands out for all the right reasons. What’s more, while I’ll admit I’m a soft touch when it comes to barrier-breaking new products, it strikes me as every bit a Jaguar in its stance, proportions and all-round execution.
Designer Ian Callum says his favourite angle of the F-Pace is the rear three-quarters, and it’s easy to understand why. The haunches have an appealing air of Jaguar F-Type about them, and the car’s size gives it a real presence. From that line, the F-Pace shouts that it is the sports crossover that its maker says it is.
Inside, anyone familiar with the latest Jaguar layout will feel right at home. The large infotainment screen is closer to the class best than ever, while the rotary controller and digital dash are present and correct. The seat is firm and supportive and the pedal alignment just so. You might think the 'command' driving position would take some getting used to in a Jag, but the view down the bonnet seems just-so for the brand.
What’s really surprising is that the space up front is echoed in the back. It’s from the rear passenger seats that you really start to understand why Jaguar is keen to emphasise that the car sits between a BMW X3 and BMW X5 in size. I’m six foot three and could sit behind the driver's seat set to my driving position with relative ease and enough head room. First impressions suggest it’ll be a nice place to be.
Finally, it’s worth emphasising that this is a car that boasts all-round practicality - something it might be argued Jaguar compromised on the Jaguar XE in order to get the looks it wanted. Here in the F-Pace, boot space also appears generous; certainly the school run mums and dads are unlikely to be fazed.
With the order books for the F-Pace open now, I suspect Jaguar is busy counting the deposits as I write this. A Jaguar crossover may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I can find no evidence to suggest the predictions of it becoming Jaguar’s best-selling car by this time next year won’t come to fruition.