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2017 Jaguar F-PACE: F-TYPE meets SUV

By Benjamin Yong, 23 Mar, 2017
     

    To the British automaker’s credit, rather than releasing another shapeless SUV, this brand new model oozes inspiration from the other go-fast vehicles in the lineup.

     
     
    With a rich heritage making uber-luxurious executive sedans and gorgeous sports cars, Jaguar has stepped a little out of its comfort zone by releasing the brand’s first ever crossover: the F-PACE.
     
    To the British automaker’s credit, rather than releasing another shapeless SUV, this brand new model oozes inspiration from the other go-fast vehicles in the lineup.
     
    “We designed the all-new F-PACE to be first and foremost a Jaguar. That’s why it has exciting proportions, a dynamic stance, pure surfaces and a beautiful sensuality about it. Its progressive, purposeful appearance has clearly been influenced by the F-TYPE. Every Jaguar car should draw your eye from 200 metres away and I believe the presence of the all-new F-PACE on the road is second to none in this class. The lightweight aluminum architecture gave us the design freedom to create a car with latent poise – a svelte car with attitude,” said director of design Ian Callum.
     
     
    “It looks assertive yet not aggressive. But it’s also versatile and equipped with real-world answers to everyday questions. The all-new F-PACE is an all-weather Jaguar sports car, life-proofed for five people and their belongings.”
     
    Usually when you take the idea of a coupe and stretch out the proportions – think Porsche Panamera – the results leave something to be desired. But here, everything has been balanced wonderfully. Attributes such as the sleek headlights, thin taillights lifted almost directly from the F-TYPE and a long 2,874-millimetre-long wheelbase gives the vehicle an athletic air without being overly bulky.
     
     
    Equally as important as the exterior is the cabin, particularly the driving position. All too often in a utility vehicle, the driver is hoisted up too high making it seem as though he or she is in a bus. The F-PACE, however, features “Sports Command” seating where great visibility meets a racy feel. To achieve this, the top of the front doors wrap around onto the dashboard forming a cockpit-like space, and the available leather sports seat provide comfortable and supportive bolstering.
     
    Due to a lightweight aluminum body and suspension system, intelligent all-wheel drive, and torque vectoring technology, the F-PACE is one of the best handling crossovers I’ve ever driven. I had the unique chance to autocross one briefly where it genuinely held its own twisting and turning around the cones. Did I mention the engine note is also amazing? Taking yet another page out from the company’s roadster playbook, a serious growl can be heard anytime you put your foot down. It’s certainly not as loud as the F-TYPE, but darned impressive for an SUV.
     
     
    Speaking of the engine, power is generated in three ways, depending on the trim. The turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel makes 180 horsepower, while two versions of a supercharged 3.0 L V6 (yes, the same one as found in the F-TYPE) produce 340 and 380 horsepower, respectively. DARPAN tested the highest output model, which never left me wanting more. 
     
    Jaguar didn’t simply dip its toe into the populated crossover segment water – it kicked up a huge splash, accomplishing the rare feat of splicing sports car DNA into an SUV. If this is what the company’s attempt looks like, I can’t wait to see what’s next.
     

    Highlights:

    MSRP (base): $67,900  
    Motor: 3.0-litre supercharged V6  
    Horsepower: 380 @ 6,500 rpm  
    Torque (lb-ft): 332 @ 4,500 rpm   
    Gearbox: Eight-speed automatic   
    Layout: Front engine, all-wheel drive   
    Fuel economy: 15.8 L/100 km mixed city/highway (observed) 

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