Deep Dive: Jaguar Setting the Pace for Future SUVs

Jaguar E Pace

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What would a Range Rover look like if Ian Callum, not Gerry McGovern, designed it? Chances are we’ll find out in the not-too-distant future. Atop Whitley’s wish list is a pair of crossovers to bookend the recently revealed F-Pace, which is to the Jaguar XF what the smaller E-Pace (above) would be to the XE and what the larger J-Pace would be to the XJ.
The three-row J-Pace, aimed at the forthcoming Audi Q8, BMW X7, and Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class, is expected to debut in 2019, one year after an all-new XJ is unveiled. The Jaguar J-Pace will likely be based on the face-lifted Range Rover and share its all-aluminum architecture, dubbed D7. Aimed at rich country bumpkins and wealthy city slickers alike, the J-Pace will get a bespoke interior and exterior, with proportions said to be more Range Rover Sport than Sir Range, and the crossover will be available in both short- and long-wheelbase configurations. In addition to the requisite V-6 and V-8 engines, the J-Pace portfolio would also include a plug-in hybrid as well as high-performance RS and SVR variants.
Jaguar J Pace

Jaguar J-Pace rendering

The J-Pace would be a niche model, even by Jaguar standards, but the E-Pace would generate enough volume to make a serious impact on the bottom line. The E-Pace, still in its infancy, would target the BMW X3, Mercedes GLC-Class, and the future Audi TTQ. As using the Range Rover’s architecture or building atop the modular platform underneath the F-Pace and XE would be too expensive, it’s likely the E-Pace would be built on the aging but low-cost, simple-to-tweak, very flexible, and relatively cheap D8 platform used for the new Discovery Sport and the Evoque. That said, the D8 in its current form could yield a car too close to the Evoque for comfort. If market research confirms this suspicion, Jag might rethink the E-Pace to reposition it against the Audi Q3, BMW X1, and Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class. In any case, it’s highly unlikely we’ll see the real thing at dealerships before the decade runs out.

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