Meeting the beautiful F-Pace in the flesh will melt the hardest of hearts.
By RUBIN VAN NIEKERK
Any sceptic that believes Jaguar should not have ventured into SUV territory needs an intimate encounter with the stylish cockpit. The commanding feeling of power and control from here is stunning and the spacious cabin cocoons five occupants in absolute luxury. A perfect blend of premium materials, exquisite detailing, and luxuries such as heated electrically reclining rear seats ensure total comfort.
Lightweight aluminium architecture was created from the outset as a modular structure, so the wheels can be positioned exactly where they are needed to deliver the proportions, dynamics, and practicality essential for a performance SUV.
A stiff body structure comprises 80 percent aluminium and is the only aluminium-intensive monocoque in the segment. Consequently, our test unit only weighed 1884kg, which is about 200kg less than other similar vehicles in this class. High torsional stiffness enables the F-Type-derived double wishbone front suspension and sophisticated Integral Link rear suspension to perform even better. Standard Torque Vectoring and electric steering give the best possible feel which makes the car easy to operate. Enthusiastic drivers will love the Configurable Dynamics that allows individual settings for the throttle, automatic transmission and steering. A torque on-demand all-wheel drive system is Jaguar’s most sophisticated yet, preserving rear-wheel drive agility, while smoothly transferring torque to the front wheels for grip under all conditions.
Adaptive Surface Response, developed from Land Rover’s award-winning Terrain Response technology, makes the AWD system even more effective in challenging conditions. Another world-class technology developed for adverse conditi
ons is All Surface Progress Control that automatically controls the throttle and the brakes, enabling a smooth pull away between 3,6km/h and 30km/h.
Key information such as vehicle speed and cruise control settings is projected directly into the driver’s line of sight by the laser head-up display. These colour images also show turn-by-turn navigation instructions and remain clear in bright sunlight.
Advanced infotainment and connectivity technology is based around a 10,2-inch touchscreen, with a powerful quad-core processor and solid-state drive, running on ultra-fast Ethernet. The navigation system learns your routes and can inform others of your arrival time.
I love Jaguar’s Activity Key, a waterproof, shockproof wristband with an integrated transponder that allows the key fob to be locked inside the car. It disables any keyfobs left inside and works on the same RF frequencies as the other keys. You lock and unlock the car by holding it in close proximity to the J of the Jaguar lettering on the tailgate. Handy for the athletic types, when going surfing, swimming or kayaking. Being a diesel fan, I found it hard to fault the perfect power delivery via the unobtrusive eight-speed transmission that never struggles to paint a grin on your face.