The Jaguar F-Pace — the company’s first SUV — has been confirmed to make its long-awaited premiere at the 2015 Frankfurt motor show in December.
And befitting the company's sporting image, this production version will be aimed firmly at the dynamic Porsche Macan, with the company confident it can take it right up to the German powerhouse.
Furthermore, while it would make a logical alternative to the Jaguar XF Sportbrake station wagon - it is expected to be about the same size, share a similar range of engines, and be built off the same aluminium underpinnings - the new F-Pace will sit as a separate vehicle in the line-up.
Speaking about the new F-Pace at the launch of the XF sedan ahead of the 2015 New York auto show, Jaguar global brand director Steven De Ploey said the new model has the Porsche Macan firmly in its sights.
"From a competitive set point of view, [the Porsche] Macan is very much, if you want, the dynamic reference, the product reference to which we have developed the car," De Ploey said.
"And we’re confident that we can meet, if not beat, that proposition and actually exceed it in many territories. The other competitors would be [Audi] Q5, [BMW] X3, and X4, probably because it’s a slightly more performance-oriented vehicle. The Q5, and Q6 when it comes to market," he said of Audi's anticipated sportier SUV.
"The F-Pace is a performance crossover which exists in it’s own right," De Ploey said. "That’s the territory in which it is playing. But it is not intended to be the wagon version of the XF."
There is strong potential for the F-Pace to usurp sales from the future XF Sportbrake wagon, which in its current-generation guise was supposed to be sold in Australia - but those plans were quashed due to the business case for such a car not stacking up locally.
However, there is global demand for a new XF Sportbrake, according to De Ploey - even though the F-Pace will likely offer plenty of appeal and possibly cannibalise some potential sales.
"We have currently a Sportbrake in the pipeline," he said, before suggesting "I’m going to get a kicking in a moment for talking about future product".
"Clearly we want to have continuity in the model offering," he said. "In terms of replacement of the wagon version, we would stick to a Sportbrake. So this is an addition to the range, not a replacement of what is coming in terms of other derivatives of this car."
CarAdvice understands the chances for such a wagon variant being offered in Australia remain slim, with all hopes being pinned to the F-Pace SUV which will hit some global showrooms mid-2016 before a potential arrival late next year.