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Cat on the prowl: Jaguar enters SUV space with F-Pace

By Pavan Lall
May 07, 2019 10:54 IST

The Jaguar has 11 different types of F-Paces in different engine and style combinations that start from a Rs 40-lakh petrol variant and go up to a V-8 engined convertible that can cost Rs 2.8 crore.

Image: The Jaguar F-Pace. All Photographs: Kind courtesy Jaguar

Not to be confused with the Range Rover's lineup of vehicles, the F-Pace is Jaguar's entry into the compact SUV genre -- something its brand sibling has tapped into with credibility in recent times.

So while the argument around why Jaguar needs an SUV, compact or not, might be valid, the truth is that every premium carmaker has one. Given this, it's a segment that Jaguar has ventured bravely into.

Weighing just over two tonnes and falling in a size category that is comparable with the Porsche Macan, the F-Pace cuts an impressive profile with its clean lines.

First launched in 2016, it now comes equipped with a respectable 25t powered petrol engine -- a version that is cheaper than the 2016 diesel variant.

And while on the subject of variants, it's worth mentioning that Jaguar has 11 different types of F-Paces in different engine and style combinations that start from a Rs 40-lakh petrol variant and go up to a V-8 engined convertible that can cost Rs 2.8 crore.

 

Low slung, the F-Pace shares its two-litre Ingenium engine with the Jaguar XE, Jaguar XF, Jaguar F-Type as well as the Range Rover vehicles that include the Velar, Discovery Sport and the Evoque.

Made locally, the car stands out from the clutter of SUVs that populate the roads with its minimal aesthetics and the less-is-more approach to styling.

Inside, espresso-grained leather seats offer a plush ambience as do the console controls and dashboard that are all typically Jaguar-class and leave little to be desired.

Form meets function in the broad, meaty front grill, which is akin to what you find in its non SUV-stablemates.

Mind you, that's no easy design feat to achieve given that a sedan and an SUV are as far apart as can be when it comes to design and form.

Punch the start button and the F-Pace's eight-speed gearbox comes into play. And while it's reasonably adept at higher RPMs, the early speed bands might disappoint some who are expecting shattering takeoff speeds.

That said, this is a very competent performer on the highways and for a compact sport utility vehicle the rear seat is particularly comfortable.

While most cars position their window and door lock controls on the side panel of the doors, Jaguar has put them on the plastic ledge where the window meets the door.

Here the vehicles' designers appear to have taken liberties to extend the breadth beyond what is evident in most, if not all, cars, thereby making it almost easy to rest one's arm on the side of the door in a most natural manner.

The steering wheel, which is clad in leather and studded with the chrome Jaguar logo, is reminiscent of the company's sedans.

In fact, the perch you're positioned into in the driver's seat has a sports coupe feel rather than that of an SUV.

That's a good thing for drivers looking for a sporty ride, especially if your other car is also a Jaguar.

The driving modes come in two versions: eco and dynamic. While most vehicles come with different drive modes, the shift in mode in many of them is only subtle.

That's not the case with the F-Pace when you get into the dynamic mode, which is activated by flicking the button that has a checkered racing flag on it.

The throttle undergoes a metamorphosis, the speedometer panel turns red and the car's drive becomes sharper and more cat-like.

Even so, this is not a Porsche competitor and you can't just push it on a race track or a highway beyond a certain speed, which is reasonable because this is an SUV and not a roadster.

Having said that, the design team could consider tuning up this engine for aficionados who like to know that they have a punchier horsepower under the hood.

And maybe the team can also tinker with the physics of the future Jaguar F-Pace to eliminate some minor body rolling that one feels around tight corners and bends.

As an urban vehicle, however, the F-Pace, which is rich in European build quality, delivers on comfort, quality, style and high-tech bells and whistles.

Pavan Lall
Source: source
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