ONE of the worst-kept secrets of the Detroit Show – Jaguar’s F-PACE crossover – is the logical development of the C-X17 concept that did the rounds at the Frankfurt, Dubai, LA and Guangzhou shows in 2013.
Based on the aluminium-intensive chassis of the XE saloon, the low-riding F-PACE has already contributed all-wheel-drive tech to the F-TYPE range and is slated for a 2016 on-sale date.
Clearly eyeing the Cayenne and Macan’s contributions to Porsche’s bottom line, Jaguar needs the F-PACE to bolster US sales, which were down seven percent in 2014, in spite of an overall six percent growth in the US luxury car market.
The name delivers a subtle nod to Sir William Lyons’ definition of Jaguars delivering “grace, space and pace” and, rather refreshingly, Jaguar has resisted the urge to call the car a coupe, sticking with a ‘performance crossover’ title.
Production capacity for the spacious five-seater has been allocated at the Solihull plant, and there ought to be room in the market for both the F-PACE and sister company Land Rover’s similarly sized Discovery Sport.
“We received such an overwhelmingly positive response to the C-X17 concept car last year that we just had to make it a reality,” said Ian Callum, director of design for Jaguar, in a statement announcing the F-PACE.
Engine options are expected to include the 250kW supercharged 3.0-litre V6 from the XE-S, and a 3.0-litre 202kW V6 diesel, with the 5.0-litre supercharged V8 possibly slated for an F-Pace R performance variant. Pricing has yet to be announced, but expect a close match for the Macan here in Australia.
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