Jaguar has come up with a novel idea for physically active owners of its new F-Pace SUV – a waterproof wristband that houses an electronic key to the car.
It comes standard in New Zealand and allows you to go hiking, jogging, surfing, cycling, skiing, canoeing, for example, without having to find a place in your kit or clothes for the car’s regular key fob.
That stays locked inside the F-Pace along with other valuables, like your wallet and cellphone. The wristband takes over the key’s role.
It works thus: touch the wristband against the ‘J’ of the Jaguar logo on the boot and an RFID (radio-frequency identification) sensor in the band – which requires no power to operate – takes over the car’s locking system and disables the key fob inside.
That means that if someone broke into the car, they would not be able to drive off using the fob. The wristband is waterproof down to 20 metres and is suitable for all temperatures and activities, says Jaguar.
But what if it goes wrong? It’s an electronic gizmo and such gizmos can take on a life of their own. You might even lose it, torn off your wrist by the tumbling force of a wave, or spill from a mountain bike. How do you unlock the F-Pace then?
That’s when the third key to the SUV comes in, the good old spare key. Of course that will be in a safe place at home. No problem, phone … Oops! Your cellphone is inside the impenetrable F-Pace.
Whatever, it’s all part of a bigger focus on technology for Jaguar Land Rover. The F-Pace also has the usual accompanying Apple Watch app that enables you to remotely sound the horn, unlock the car and turn on climate control.
Leon Hurst, head of product marketing for Jaguar, says the F-Pace has much in the way of connected technology.
“The car is absolutely jam-packed with sensors, it’s the ultimate wearable,” he said. “There are 20 cameras, radar and ultrasonics, and that’s just the vision sensors alone.
The F-Pace will even look for minute changes in your driving style that point to you being tired, before prompting you to pay attention or take a break.
“The computing systems in the car will continue to evolve,” says Hurst. “Then there’s IoT connectivity, which is broken in two parts.
“One part is the customer using a wearable to open the car or remotely control elements like the temperature, but there’s data analytics and useful information for diagnostics. These cars are an investment that you maintain. So the servicing is a big part.”
The F-Pace goes on sale in New Zealand in July. There are three models, not including the F-Pace First Edition, limited to a production run of 1700 and built to celebrate Jaguar’s first SUV. New Zealand gets five, each priced at $165,000.
The entry-level Prestige gets a four-cylinder 2.0-litre diesel and is priced from $95,000. The R-Sport starts at $100,000 and gets three engine choices: 2.0-litre diesel, 3.0-litre V6 diesel, or a 3.0-litre supercharged petrol V6 delivering 250kW.
The premium model is the $125,000 F-Pace S. It gets either the 3.0-litre diesel or the supercharged petrol V6 tweaked to generate 280kW, or 30kW of extra oomph.