It is kind of rare (or basically impossible) to get your hands on a prototype vehicle before its final production mule. This time we had the opportunity to test-drive a promising new vehicle from Jaguar: the F-Pace. Can we call it Jaguar's first SUV? Well I'd rather say crossover. The F-Pace (as you can see in the pictures) is in production-ready form, wearing a camouflage to protect its shyness. While many of you are wondering about its name, yes the name is slightly awkward, but the crossover is anything but. The F-Pace was originally inspired by the C-X17 concept's design that we saw at the Frankfurt Motor Show back in 2013 .
We landed in northern Sweden at Arvidsjaur airport and then drove for two hours to reach our destination in Arjeplog. I've personally been there three times. First time was with Volkswagen, second time with Lamborghini. Our first drive of the prototype took place on Revi testing facilities of Jaguar and Land Rover.
Revi Test Center
Revi Test Center is located in Arjeplog, northern Sweden, a mere 60 kilometers from the Arctic Circle where there is only three to four hours of daylight during the winter season. It also has 60 kilometers of exclusive test tracks on frozen lakes and has somehow been secured for a long-term contract by Jaguar Land Rover.
Well our first drive of the first prototype wasn't actually a ride and drive. We did some activities that were specialized to get most out it in terms of new features, technologies and high-tech gimmicks. Our first test activity was on a huge roundabout called "Large Circle" where we tested Jaguar's drive control including oversteer/understeer, low friction including the new AdSR on of the F-Pace. We have done this activity on board of the 3.0L supercharged V6 petrol engine.
Our second activity was so-called "Leaper handling track". It was all about testing the traction, capability and Torque Vectoring by braking. We tested as well the petrol engine.
Our third activity was on board of the 3.0L V6 diesel engine. The activity was called "Land dynamic platform". We tested on this activity some realistic roads situations that we might encounter on daily basis such as the interference with or without the driver assist systems.
The Jaguar F-Pace
The all-new Jaguar F-PACE is a performance crossover designed and engineered to offer the agility, responsiveness and refinement that all Jaguars are renowned for, together with unrivalled dynamics and everyday versatility.
Developed using Jaguar's Lightweight Aluminum Architecture, the all-new F-PACE combines purity of line, surface and proportion with F-TYPE-inspired features such as the powerful rear haunches, fender vents and distinctive taillight graphics.
The bold front grille and the muscular bonnet hint at the performance potential of engines like the 380 horsepower supercharged V6. Elements such as slender full-LED headlights, forged 22-inch wheels and short front overhang carry the design vision of the C-X17 concept through to production.
The all-new F-PACE seats five occupants in absolute comfort. The interior is a perfect blend of premium materials and finishes, exquisite detailing, luxuries such as heated, electrically reclining rear seats, and cutting-edge technologies including the InControl Touch Pro infotainment system and 12.3-inch HD virtual instrument cluster.
The Lightweight Aluminum Architecture gave the design and engineering teams the ideal starting point. It was created from the outset as a modular structure, so the wheels can be positioned exactly where they are needed to deliver the proportions, dynamics, and practicality essential for a performance crossover.
The wheelbase and track are not shared with any other Jaguar. At 4,731 mm long and with a 2,874 mm wheelbase, the all-new F-PACE offers the sleek profile and short front overhang (characteristic of Jaguar design), together with an exceptionally spacious interior.
Rear knee-room is class-leading and the luggage compartment volume is an astonishing 650 liters.
The light, stiff body structure comprises 80 percent aluminum, and is the only aluminum-intensive monocoque in the segment. Additional weight savings come from the composite tailgate and magnesium for parts such as the cross-car beam.
The body's high torsional stiffness enables the F-TYPE-derived double wishbone front suspension and sophisticated Integral Link rear suspension to perform even better. Together with Torque Vectoring as standard and an Electric Power Assisted Steering system tuned to give the best possible feel and response, the all-new F-PACE sets the benchmark for ride and handling.
Even the entry-level model benefits from monotube dampers as standard, but for even better ride and handling the electronically-controlled Adaptive Dynamics system measures body and wheel movement 100 and 500 times a second respectively, ensuring optimum damping forces in all conditions.
For the most enthusiastic drivers there's Configurable Dynamics: first used in the F-TYPE, this feature allows individual settings for the throttle, automatic transmission, steering, and, where fitted, the Adaptive Dynamics system.
Using state-of-the-art computational fluid dynamics simulations and applying lessons learnt from the XE and all-new XF, the all-new F-PACE has a drag coefficient of only 0.34, helping to reduce fuel consumption and improve refinement. The vehicle is also engineered for exceptionally low lift and excellent lift balance front-to-rear, resulting in better steering feel and stability at higher speeds.
The all-new F-PACE's torque on-demand all-wheel drive (AWD) system is Jaguar's most sophisticated yet, and has the highest torque capacity. It features the advanced, in-house control system first developed for F-TYPE AWD: Intelligent Driveline Dynamics (IDD). IDD preserves rear-wheel drive agility and handling character but can seamlessly transfer torque to the front wheels to exploit the performance benefits of extra traction, on all surfaces and in all weathers.
Adaptive Surface Response (ASR), developed from Land Rover's patented, award-winning Terrain Response technology, makes the AWD system even more effective in challenging conditions. Integrated into Jaguar Drive Control, ASR identifies the type of surface and optimizes the mapping of the powertrain and Dynamic Stability Control system. First launched in the all-new XF, ASR has been enhanced by a third mode designed for deep snow and gravel.
Another world-class technology developed for adverse conditions is All Surface Progress Control (ASPC). To make the most of the available grip, ASPC automatically controls the throttle and the brakes, enabling the vehicle to pull away smoothly: the driver just has to steer. ASPC functions between 3.6 km/h and 30 km/h, and the driver selects the desired speed using the cruise control switches. ASPC is compatible with rear- and all-wheel drive.
For drivers who want similar results but still want to use the accelerator pedal, there's Low-Friction Launch (LFL). This function uses a very progressive throttle map, making the vehicle easier to control – and the all-new F-PACE is the first Jaguar to offer it.
The all-new F-PACE has been engineered to satisfy the most stringent safety standards worldwide and provides exceptional levels of occupant and pedestrian protection. The standard of active safety is just as high, thanks to a suite of advanced driver assistance systems. The state-of-the-art stereo camera at the heart of the Autonomous Emergency Braking system now features a pedestrian detection function – a Jaguar-first. The stereo camera also enables Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keep Assist, Traffic Sign Recognition, an Intelligent Speed Limiter, and Driver Condition Monitor systems.
After our quick and short first drive, I can admit that I detected two characteristics in the F-Pace: the Land Rover capabilities and experience are predominant (with the second generation All-Terrain, called AdSR on Jaguar), as is the Jaguar F-Type sporty character (with the torque vectoring, understeer and oversteer). The F-Pace is the interpretation of a double-agent charisma vehicle! Stay tuned for our ride and drive feature to give you more insights.