Jaguar used the Tour de France cycling classic to show off its new F-Pace – but it has been testing the SUV in extreme conditions to show that it can cope with pretty much everything Mother Nature wants to throw at it.
While the all-wheel-drive F-Pace served as a team support car during the Tour de France, Jaguar was testing other examples in minus-40C temperatures near the Arctic Circle in Scandanavia, and searing 50C heat in the desert near Dubai.
The test regime pushed the car’s heating and air-conditioning systems to the limit and was described by the company as one of the most demanding it had ever devised. Testers in Dubai left the F-Pace parked in direct sunlight where the cabin temperature reached 70C.
The F-Pace will officially be unveiled at the Frankfurt motor show in about six weeks before going on sale in New Zealand around the middle of next year, when it will bring with it renewed focus on the brand. No word on prices yet but it is expected to start at under $NZ100,000.
Details about the car are still under wraps, although its five-seat layout has been confirmed. It is almost certain to be a tad longer than the Audi Q5 and BMW X3, supporting Jaguar’s claim that it will have class-leading interior space.
The F-Pace shares its aluminium platform with the XE sedan, which has just landed in NZ. It also shares the XE’s suspension geometry, engine line-up, interior switchgear, and infotainment system. The all-wheel-drive is governed by what Jaguar calls its ‘All-Surface Progress Control’.
The first F-Pace models to land in NZ will come with turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol and diesel engines from Jaguar Land Rover’s new Ingenium family. A supercharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol unit from the F-Type will be the premium offering until a supercharged V8 appears in the go-faster F-Pace R later in the life cycle.
Jaguar settled on the name F-Pace after much debate. Design chief Ian Callum told reporters at the Detroit motor show last January: “Creatively speaking, I had little role in the choice of the F-Pace name, but I was clear on saying it needed to have a reference to sportiness.
“Both Ralf (Speth, the Jaguar Land Rover CEO) and I agreed it needed character. Alphanumeric was not an option and we toyed with many names. We played with the letter X a lot – XQ was one option but we felt Q is too much of an Audi thing, and of course Aston Martin uses Q.”
Callum said eight names were in the running before being dwindled down to three. “I picked F-Pace,” he said. “I like it because I think it’s got a bit of texture and character to it and I think after time people will get used to it.”