Jaguar’s F-Pace SUV hits showrooms in April with prices starting from £34,170. The iconic British company have described the F-Pace as “a practical sports car.” But can, and should, a sports car be practical?
Henry McIntosh explores whether the F-Pace neglects fun for pragmatism.
The short answer to that question is a resounding no. After reading Jaguar’s description of their first ever SUV as “a practical sports car” I couldn’t help but think thinking “where’s the fun in that?” Yet since Jaguar unveiled the F-Pace, at the Frankfurt Motor Show this week, I’ve eaten my words.
With a sporty aesthetic, the F-Pace borrows its sporty design sensibilities and commendable performance from the highly sought after Jaguar F-Type. From the F-Type style bonnet bulge and distinctive rear haunches to the top spec model’s inclusion of the F-Type’s 375bhp V6, you could be forgiven for thinking that there can’t have been much budget left for internal embellishments.
But no such sacrifices have been made and the F-Pace boasts extensive luxuries within its spacious interior. The sort of luxuries that you would never associate with a sports car, but that form an integral part of the F-Pace’s innovative identity as a practical sports car.
I’m referring to the space within the F-Pace, its efficiency, safety conscience and high-tech luxury interior. Some of these ‘additions’ would not make it into your typical ‘bare necessities’ sports car yet provide a crucial and welcome dimension to the F-Pace.
Full of surprises, the first thing you will appreciate about the F-Pace is the cavernous 650-litre capacity boot, which is further complemented by the rear folding seat configuration.
Such things aren’t what you dream of as a child when picturing your first sports car, but the thoughtful nature of the internal design is entirely complementary of a sporty exterior aesthetic and the sports car performance of the F-Pace.
The fact is, you wouldn’t want an SUV which lacked space and domestic amenities; you might as well step up to an F-Type if you do. The difference is, with the F-Pace you’re not sacrificing those head-turning Jaguar looks as you might do with a more standard SUV.
When the F-Pace hits showrooms in April 2016, there will be a range of options available to choose from. Such choices include rear and four wheel drive, two diesel and one petrol engine and five levels of trim, with the engines ranging from the more economical 2 litre 4 cylinder 180PS Turbocharged Diesel Ingenium to the top spec 375bhp V6.
So when Jaguar say that the F-Pace delivers the “maximum driving exhilaration” I’m inclined to believe them.
For me, the beauty of this car is that it doesn’t represent a compromise. It merely reflects a best of both worlds amalgamation between sports car and practical SUV. If the F-Pace points to the future of SUVs, then buckle up.
Jaguar F-Pace Range Summary:
The all-new F-PACE range in the UK will consist of: F-PACE Prestige, R-Sport, Portfolio, S, and First Edition. The powertrain range will consist of: 180PS 2.0-litre diesel manual RWD/ AWD and automatic AWD; 300PS 3.0-litre diesel automatic AWD; and 380PS 3.0-litre petrol automatic AWD. The all-new F-PACE is manufactured at Jaguar Land Rover’s Solihull Plant alongside the Jaguar XE sports saloon.