Jaguar out to set performance SUV pricing pace

New Zealand market pricing for the Jaguar F-Pace is finally out – and it’s a declaration of war.


HAVING previously promised their F-Pace would have the performance and dynamics to sort out the Macan, Jaguar here has wasted no time getting its claws into Porsche’s compact prestige sector high-flier on pricing as well.

The Motorcorp Distributors-run brand has today revealed pricing for Jaguar’s fist sports utility, arriving in about two months, will start at $95,000 and top out at $165,000 – a clear challenge to Macan, which sits in the $121k to $160k zone.

Jaguar Land Rover NZ has also identified that it will offer F-Pace in four versions, all all-wheel-drive, to Porsche’s three: An entry Prestige format – the only sub $100,000 car - an R-Sport (from $100k to $115k, depending on engine), an S at $125k in diesel and $130k in petrol and then the First Edition, the most expensive format at $35,000 above that.

However, the latter could well be a fleeting flagship, being a special edition created simply for the launch period. Powered by the 280kW supercharged V6 petrol engine that also goes into the S, it is most readily distinguished by its unique metallic paint colour, called Caesium Blue (as per the car here, pictured by the author at the Melbourne F1 Grand Prix).

Of the 1700 built by Jaguar, just five are coming to New Zealand, JLRNZ general manager Steve Kenchington said.

“Kiwis will have the opportunity to purchase five of the 1700 limited edition cars and will be able to pre order them.”

Regardless of any rush specific to the First Edition, Jaguar is also signaling that high-performance F-Pace cars are under development. A 400kW-plus edition using the brand’s well-considered 5.0-litre supercharged petrol is an obvious start.

For now, it is anticipating a big general interest in the type regardless of engine or specification format simply because the sports utility and crossover sector is booming and premium vehicles of this nature are among the hottest sellers.

Also, the F-Pace has been garnering positive reviews overseas, notably – if not unexpectedly – in the United Kingdom. That feedback suggests that Jaguar fans are prepared to readily accept a sports utility wagon within a family that has previously been restricted to road-bound sedans, sports cars and the occasional station wagon.

“This is an exciting opportunity not just for Jaguar enthusiasts throughout the country, but anyone that is looking for sports car performance combined with SUV practicality,” Kenchington said.

“The F-PACE is one of the most highly anticipated models the brand has seen and we anticipate the First Edition models will sell quickly”.

Engine choice reflects changing tastes in this market. Though the sector has historically been diesel-intensive, in the past year there has been a surprisingly swing back toward petrol. Attractive pump prices are doubtless a trigger but so too is the perception that modern petrol engines, in some formats at least, are now almost as thrifty as diesels and are less hassle – those road user charges are always a bugbear.

For F-Pace the Prestige powertrain is the same 132kW/430Nm Ingenium four-cylinder turbo-diesel found in the XE sedan with which the F-Pace shares much of its mechanicals. The oiler F-Pace can dash from 0-100kmh in 8.7 seconds and consumes 5.3 litres of fuel per 100km on the combined cycle. 

This engine also avails in the R-Sport, but that derivative has the widest span of choice as it also can be ordered with a more powerful 3.0-litre six-cylinder oil-burner delivering 220kW/700Nm and 250kW/450Nm 3.0-litre six-cylinder supercharged petrol unit. Both 23.0-litre alternates retail for $115,000.

The 3.0-litre diesel can complete the 0-100km/h sprint in 6.2s and consumes 6.0L/100km. The petrol, from the base F-Type, does 0-100km/h in 5.8s and consumes 8.9L/100km.

The F-Pace S use the same 280kW/450Nm 3.0-litre supercharged six-pot from the F-Type S and offers up a 5.5 second 0-100kmh time and fuel use of 8.9L/100km.

In Prestige guise, the F-Pace standard features list is expected to include a powered tail-gate, bi-xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights and auto levelling, leather seats, 10x10 -way electric front seats with memory, 40/20/40 split-fold rear seats, analogue dials with 5.0-inch full colour TFT display, 11-speaker Meridian sound system, InControl Touch navigation with 8.0-inch touchscreen, keyless start and 19-inch silver alloy wheels. 

At this level, standard safety gear includes a reversing camera, front and rear parking aids, tyre pressure monitoring, lane-departure warning, autonomous emergency braking, torque vectoring by braking and the All Surface Progress Control system that acts as a low-speed cruise control helping drivers pull away on slippery surfaces. 

The R-Sport has all that and gains different 19-inch wheels, a wrapped instrument panel with stitching, perforated leather seats with contrasting stitching, gloss black window surrounds, special R-Sport-themes front and rear bumpers, metal tread plate, door claddings and multi-function steering wheel, as well as side power vents and the Configurable Dynamics system that adjusts throttle and steering response and gear shifts. 

The S adds 20-inch alloy wheels, Adaptive Dynamics, red brake callipers, unique leather and suede-cloth seats, satin chrome gearshift paddles, suede-cloth headliner and S exterior styling flourishes. 

First Edition buyers get 22-inch alloys, panoramic roof, roof rails, electrically reclining seats, special carpet mats, illuminated tread plates storage rails in the cargo area, InControl Touch Pro with a 10-inch capacitive touchscreen and 60GB solid state hard drive and a 12.3-inch high-definition virtual instrument display.

In terms of dimensions, the F-Pace sits as a mid-size offering in the same ballpark as the Macan, Audi Q5, BMW X3/X4 and Mercedes-Benz GLC.

Jaguar is working to impress that its SUV is not just an ordinary high-riding wagon, but a vehicle with the essence of a sports car. That’s why it offers a torque vectoring  system to apportion power between the left and right wheels, along with an advanced all-wheel drive system that will siphon power to where it's needed most.

The electric power steering system is promised to deliver 'unmatched driver engagement' says Jaguar, and the double wishbone front suspension and integral link rear suspension are fettled primarily for sharp handling.