Jaguar finally bowed to market trends back in 2016 with the introduction of the F-Pace, the brand’s first-ever SUV. Despite being their first foray into the highly competitive market, Jaguar arguably produces the finest vehicles in the segment, combining good looks and excellent performance characteristics. Yet, circumstances have left the F-Pace always playing catch-up with the competition, resulting in sales that fell far short of expectations.
In the hopes of revitalising the F-Pace, Jaguar has updated its SUV, giving it an enhanced exterior design, an all-new interior, advanced connectivity and efficient electrified powertrain capability for the first time.
The design of the new F-Pace is more evolutionary, rather than revolutionary, and that is no bad thing. The new bonnet design features a more pronounced power dome and cleaner lines that flow seamlessly from the vast, diamond-detailed grille. Slimmer, redesigned all-LED headlights with ‘Double J’ signature DRLs flank the prominent grille, enhancing the already aggressive front fascia.
The rear fascia features a redesigned bumper, as well as a new ‘double chicane’ rear taillight design that seems to have been inspired by Jaguar’s own I-Pace EV. Customers can opt for the R-Dynamic pack that adds more performance-looking bits. At the same time, the Black Pack finishes exterior elements in Gloss Black. Jaguar has left the F-Pace’s sides relatively untouched.
The interior of the F-Pace has been reworked to present a finer cockpit design. The new steering wheel is now much sportier with much more functionality. At the same time, the driver’s dash area and centre console has been completely redesigned with an all-new 12.3-inch drivers display and an 11.4-inch curved central touchscreen. Finished in exquisite open-pore wood, brushed aluminium and soft leather, the interior of the F-Pace is a beautiful place to be in.
The opulent interior hides some pretty impressive technology, namely Jaguar’s advanced Electronic Vehicle Architecture (EVA 2.0). The all-new Pivi Pro infotainment system offers a significant improvement in usability and convenience over the In-Control Touch Pro system found in the previous F-Pace. With enhanced graphics and a fully customisable layout, the new digital display can provide drivers with full navigation mapping, digital dials and infotainment settings with the least amount of distraction. The Pivi Pro system is equipped with dual-sim and LTE modems that allow the system to have over-the-air software updates while ensuring minimal coverage interruptions. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay come as standard; wireless mobile phone charging is available as an optional extra.
The F-Pace also benefits from all-new driving aids from Jaguar, including a reworked Adaptive Cruise Control that now comes as standard on HSE trim levels. Jaguar’s Clear Exit Monitor, working in tandem with its 3D Surround Camera system alerts both front and rear occupants to the presence of an approaching car or cyclist when exiting the vehicle. Junction View, 3D Perspective View, and ClearSight Plan View form part of the F-Pace surround view system that aids in real-time manoeuvring of the SUV.
Being a luxury SUV, the F-Pace has a whole suite of creature comforts to wrap passengers in serenity, most notable of all being the first Active Road Noise Cancellation system in its segment. This system monitors the ambient sound intruding into the cabin, and simultaneously plays the opposite sound waves to cancel out the ambient sound, ensuring a relaxing and fatigue-free journey for the occupants. The F-Pace now also features the updated wearable Active Key that now comes with a watch and a seven-day battery life.
Of course, none of the above matters if the F-Pace lacks power. Engines, in the form of the latest four-cylinder and six-cylinders, in petrol and diesel configurations, now find a company with PHEV and mild-hybrid (or MHEV) options.
MHEV system uses a Belt integrated Starter Generator (BiSG) to harvest energy during coasting and braking. The harvested energy is stored in a 48V lithium-ion battery. All four- and six-cylinder diesel variants will be equipped with this MHEV system. As for petrol engines, the MHEV is only available with the P400 variant. The P400 runs with a turbocharged 3.0-litre inline-six is supported by an electric supercharger, producing 400hp and 550Nm of torque. This results in a 0-100kph sprint in just 5.1 seconds.
The star of the F-Pace range is the P400e Plug-In Hybrid powertrain. Powered by a 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder and a 105kW electric motor, the P400e produces 404hp and an impressive 640Nm, propelling it to 100kph in just five seconds flat. With 50km of fully electric range available from a full charge, in-town travel and grocery runs can be done without firing up the engine at all. Charging times are decent with a 32kW DC Fast Charger achieving 80 per cent charge in just 30 minutes, while a standard 7kW domestic wall box does the job in about an hour 40 minutes. An eight-speed automatic gearbox and all-wheel drive will be the only transmission available in the new F-Pace.
Jaguar’s have always been an enigma. Many admires them; nobody buys them. As desirable as the F-Pace was initially, customers have seemed to shy away, preferring more conventional rivals. However, with the new F-Pace showcasing all-new technology bringing it on par, and even surpassing some of its rivals, there has never been a better time for Jaguar to capitalise on the SUV market.