Jaguar has taken the wraps off the 2016 Jaguar F-Pace at a spectacular launch event in Germany ahead of the car's public unveiling at the Frankfurt motor show this week.
The Jaguar F-Pace is the first SUV in Jaguar's 80-year history, marking a huge change for the brand previously only focussed on luxury- and performance-derived passenger cars.
The F-Pace range will launch with six variants, the F-Pace Pure, F-Pace Prestige, F-Pace Portfolio, F-Pace R-Sport, F-Pace S and the F-Pace First Edition. There will be the option of four engines and three gearboxes.
The five-seat SUV takes direct aim at the likes of the Porsche Macan, Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC. Sitting on a 2874mm wheelbase, the F-Pace measures in at 4731mm long, 2175mm wide and features an impressive 213mm ground clearance.
Headlining the engine range is a 3.0-litre supercharged V6 petrol engine that produces 280kW of power and 450Nm of torque. It's mated exclusively to both an all-wheel drive drivetrain and an eight-speed ZF Sachs 8HP70 gearbox. It uses 8.9L/100km on the combined cycle and dashes from 0-100km/h in just 5.5 seconds.
The 3.0-litre supercharged V6 petrol engine is also available in a less powerful version that produces 250kW of power and 450Nm of torque. It too is mated only to all-wheel drive and an eight-speed ZF Sachs 8HP70 gearbox and uses the same 8.9L/100km on the combined cycle, but it is slower from 0-100km/h, clocking in at 5.8 seconds.
The last petrol engine option is a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine that produces 177kW of power and 340Nm of torque, mated to an eight-speed ZF Sachs 8HP45 gearbox. It consumes 7.9L/100km and will sprint from 0-100km/h in 7.5 seconds.
Arguably the most surprising proposition is the 3.0-litre six-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine that produces 221kW of power and a mammoth 700Nm of torque. Available with an eight-speed ZF Sachs 8HP70 gearbox, it uses just 6.0L/100km and moves from 0-100km/h in 6.2 seconds.
The final engine available is a 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel engine that produces 132kW of power and 430Nm of torque. It comes in both rear-wheel and all-wheel drive variants. The all-wheel drive model can be had with either a ZF Sachs six-speed manual or a ZF Sachs 8HP45 eight-speed automatic, while the rear-wheel drive variant only comes with the six-speed manual.
A suite of all-new technology features has given the F-Pace a modern tech boost. The driver's focus is planted on a large 12.3-inch colour TFT screen that displays the car's critical functions and can also be customised with three themes.
Additionally, a laser driven colour heads-up display projects vehicle speed and navigation data on to the bonnet in front of the driver.
A central 10.2-inch colour touchscreen in the centre of the cabin features the brand's InControl Touch Pro (a smaller 8-inch colour touchscreen with InControl Touch is also available) that houses infotainment components that include USB/HDMI/MHL/Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity. It also includes the latest pinch to zoom satellite navigation with street maps and traffic.
The heart of the system is an Intel quad-core processor that utilises a high-speed 1.0Gb/s data network within the car to stream video and interact with connected devices. The system can even be programmed to send SMS updates to a contact within the phone book to update them of your trip — sending updates when there is heavy traffic or delays.
But, the best feature of all is the Activity Key. The rubber band device uses RFID and is used in unison with the vehicle's key to provide outside access to the car. For example, if you head to the beach and plan on going for a swim, you can place the key in the car and using the Activity Key, lock the car by touching it on the boot's Jaguar logo.
Further to this, Jaguar now provides full remote connectivity with the car allowing owners to precondition the car, lock and unlock it and also interact with it using their smartwatch.
Jaguar says the electrically-assisted steering gives the car poise and purpose on the road. The British company also says suspension system provides 33/35 per cent greater compliance front/rear in comparison to the Porsche Macan, with new bonded anti-roll bar bushes designed to prevent corrosion thanks to dirt and sand.
The F-Pace comes with the option of adaptive suspension that uses mono tube dampers that come with four drive settings and use 18 vehicle systems simultaneously to measure (500 times per second) and assess suspension inputs.
While the F-Pace was built with a sporting focus in mind, the company has built a number of impressive four-wheel drive controls into the car.
The 525mm wading depth and 25/26-degree approach/departure angles team with a Land Rover-esque terrain command system that can utilise three drive modes for off-road driving, in addition to a mode specifically designed to free the car from challenging situations like mud paths where the car could otherwise get stuck.
Torque vectoring teams with a chain-driven transfer case that works with a front differential to shuffle torque between the front and rear axles. Predominantly a rear-wheel drive vehicle, the Intelligent Driveline Dynamics (IDD) system can can respond within 165ms to torque requirements and send almost 100 per cent of torque to the front axle or rear axle if required.
Active vanes in the vehicle's cooling system have helped reduce the vehicle's coefficient of drag to just .34cd, making it one of the slickest SUVs on the market.
Australian timing and pricing is yet to be announced, but the car will launch in England from GBP£34,170 ($73,780 AUD). The car is expected to land locally mid-2016.
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