The cat continues to strike back.
Apparently this has become a thing among premium automakers, SUVs and crossovers. Jaguar officially joined this club earlier in the year when it revealed its all-new F-Pace at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show. Why is the F-Pace so important for the UK carmaker? Because it’s projected to make up a significant chunk of the company’s future sales. Like we said, SUVs are hot right now, especially luxury ones. But Jaguar knew that in order to convince any naysayers, the F-Pace also required something so essential to every Jag: performance.
The 2016 F-Pace, according to Jaguar, “combines purity of line surface and proportion with F-Type-inspired features such as the powerful rear haunches, fender vents and distinctive tail light graphics.” Because Jaguar considers this a performance crossover, the F-Pace is the first aluminum-intensive model in its class.
Thanks to the use of advanced high-strength steels in its architecture, the F-Pace’s torsional stiffness matches that of the also all-new XF. The goal, obviously, is to reduce weight wherever possible in order for that sports car-like drive. With its double-wishbone front and Integral Link rear suspension and an advanced Electric Power Assisted Steering system, the F-Pace is, essentially, the closest thing to a sports car in crossover form. It also comes with the largest wheels and tires in its segment, ranging from the standard 18-inch units up to a massive 22-inches. Initially, two V6 engines will be on offer: a 3.0-liter that’ll be good for 340 hp and a supercharged version with a total of 380 ponies. The sole gearbox, at least for now, is an eight-speed automatic.
Performance-minded buyers, obviously, will want the supercharged V6. Why? Because 0 to 60 mph will happen in only 5.1 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph. For those who are more eco-conscious, a 180 hp diesel-four will arrive later in 2016. Rear-wheel-drive comes standard, but a majority of buyers are expected to opt for the new torque on-demand all-wheel-drive system. Featuring the in-house control system first developed for the F-Type, this AWD tech preserves rear-wheel-drive agility and handling character but is capable of seamlessly transferring torque (a 50:50 split in only 165 milliseconds) to the front wheels to exploit the performance benefits of extra traction.
Translation: the AWD F-Pace can handle all surfaces in any season. With safety not only being a customer demand but also the law, Jaguar gave the F-Pace several systems, including a state-of-the-art stereo camera that’s part of the Autonomous Emergency Braking system. This camera incorporates everything from lane departure warning, lane keep assist, and driver condition monitor systems. Step inside and it’s hard to mistake this from anything other than a Jag. With seating for up to five with class-leading rear knee-room, it’s really the dash design that’s most significant. It’s a blend of premium materials and finishes and features an infotainment system encased in a 10.2-inch touchscreen.
Another cool feature is the Activity Key, a waterproof and shockproof wristband with an integrated transponder that allows the keyfob to be securely locked inside the vehicle, something that’ll come in handy for those enjoying outdoor activities. It can also be used to lock and unlock the vehicle by holding it in close proximity to the J or Jaguar lettering on the tailgate. Oh, and the Activity Key doesn’t require a battery. Sales are set to begin this spring with a base price of $41,985 for the diesel. The base V6 begins at $43,385 while the supercharged V6 will cost you at least $56,695. Is the 2016 Jaguar F-Pace the best luxury crossover on the market? Can it effectively take on the likes of the Porsche Macan or even the Cayenne? We can’t wait to see that showdown.