Jaguar Working Up Second SUV, the J-Pace

New ute would be larger than upcoming F-Pace crossover.

by on Jun.03, 2015

Jaguar's F-Pace is the first in an expanding line-up of crossovers for the luxury maker.

Mercedes-Benz and BMW helped redefine the concept of a luxury car with the launch of their M-Class and X5 models, and despite initial controversy, Porsche’s Cayenne is now its top-selling model. But for years, Jaguar insisted it didn’t need a utility vehicle in its line-up, leaving that part of the market to its partner brand Land Rover.

Now, even before its first utility vehicle, the F-Pace crossover comes to market, the British maker is reportedly getting ready to add a second ute to the line-up, one expected to be called the Jaguar J-Pace.

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The move, initially reported by Britain’s Car magazine, makes perfect sense, according to several sources who spoke to Utility vehicles are becoming as dominant a factor in the luxury market as they are in the mainstream. Even ultra-lux players like Lamborghini, Rolls-Royce, Maserati and Bentley are entering the fray, so Jaguar has stood as the odd man out until now.

In the nomenclature of the Jaguar brand, the F-Pace name reveals that the compact CUV will share its aluminum architecture with the XF sedan that the maker launched in Europe this past year and will bring to the U.S. in 2016. The genesis of the J-Pace is a little more complex.

The new J-Pace will likely share its platform and dimensions with the Range Rover Sport, but get a very different look.

The “J” would suggest that it will sit in the Jaguar hierarchy alongside the brand’s current flagship, the XJ. But rather than trying to transform that platform into a utility vehicle, Jaguar will tap its sibling, Land Rover for help. That means the J-Pace will share the same all-aluminum architecture of the updated Range Rover.

The overall dimensions are expected to be closer to that of the smaller Range Rover Sport, in keeping with the image of performance and agility that Jaguar covets. But the Car magazine report would suggest that Jaguar is working on two different wheelbase options.

(Jaguar set to launch its first crossover model. For more, Click Here.)

The challenge, according to sources, will be to develop a truly distinctive visual look and feel to avoid the sense of “badge engineering,” or just putting a Jaguar nameplate on what is clearly a Land Rover product.

That has been one of the many reasons why Jaguar long stayed out of the SUV and CUV market. There was also concern that it might wind up stealing sales from Land Rover which is currently generating record worldwide demand. But there’s a growing recognition that the two brands wouldn’t cannibalize on one another. With proper differentiation, goes the revised thinking, Jaguar and Land Rover utes will pull from very different buyer segments.

(Click Here for a first look at the new BMW X1.)

Expect the basic face of the J-Pace to share some of the design cues of the F-Pace, borrowing from what Jaguar has shown on recent concepts like the C-X17.

Targeting the likes of the Audi Q8 and BMW X7 models, as well as the up-market Mercedes GLS, the J-Pace would be offered with a mix of powertrains, including V-6 and V-8 options, high-performance RS and SVR editions, and even a plug-in hybrid. PHEV options are becoming a must for luxury makers struggling to meet increasingly stringent fuel economy and emissions standards around the world, and even Bentley will soon offer one for its upcoming Bentayga SUV.

(Ford launching new Sync 3 this summer. Click Here for details.)

Don’t expect to see the Jaguar J-Pace reach showrooms until around 2019.

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One Response to “Jaguar Working Up Second SUV, the J-Pace”

  1. Jorge says:

    It’s a real pity that sportscar builders must sell barges to fund production of sportscars…


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