Concept becomes reality: The technology-packed Jaguar F-Pace

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The F-Pace is the production version of the C-X17 concept(Credit: CC Weiss/Gizmag)

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In 2013, Jaguar took the wraps of its C-X17 concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Now, at the same venue, the same design team has turned that concept into the Jaguar 2017 F-Pace. Combining the sportscar performance of a traditional Jaguar with more room and family-friendly features, the luxury five-seater SUV derived from the F-Type launched not only into the showrooms, but into the Guinness Book of Records.

Jaguar showed off its commitment to the new all-aluminum architecture featured in the F-Pace with an eye-catching stunt. The day before Monday's formal unveiling in Frankfurt, British stunt driver Terry Grant drove a first-edition F-Pace through a 19.08 m (62.59 ft) tall, 360-degree loop with a force of 6.5 Gs to set a new record for the largest ever "loop the loop."

It's the sort of stunt that one would expect from a supercar in a movie, but not from a 4x4 aimed at the urban family market – which the F-Pace is. The C-X17 was already something of a head-scratcher, with the marque that's best known for E-Types and bank manager luxury sedans trying its hand at an SUV. Now, with the production F-Pace it's almost like Jaguar Land Rover is competing with itself as both brands race to create a luxury, high-performance SUV that won't be mistaken for a hot hatchback.

The design team has toned down the styling of the C-X17 for the F-Pace. The lines are more harmonious and the front and rear have more balance. They even managed to keep the wheels a practical size, yet proportioned so they don't look like something about ready for a safari. That being said, Jaguar is going hard for a fast, rakish feel that exudes performance with its upright grille and power bulge in the bonnet, but, unfortunately, the overall result isn't something that necessarily stands out from the crowd.

Whatever the strengths and weakness of the basic styling, Jaguar has put a lot of effort into creating a five-door performance car. The chassis shares the heavy emphasis on the high torsional stiffness found in the XF, which is designed to improve handling and smooth the ride. In addition, the long wheelbase keeps the center of mass between the axles, and there are high-pressure diecast aluminum front suspension turrets, large front crossmembers, subframes, and subframe mounting points for greater stiffness without greater weight.

The body is an aluminum monocoque with a composite tailgate featuring power opening and closing functions, magnesium cross-car beam, and a front-end carrier. Aerodynamics are enhanced by providing a front/rear balance similar to that of a sedan.

For a touch of style there are also adaptive all-LED headlamps with daytime running lights and the signature Jaguar "J" Blade design.

Under the bonnet, the F-Pace comes with a choice of three engines. For the US launch in 2016, customers will have a choice of a three-liter twin-vortex supercharged, direct-injected 340 bhp V6 petrol engine with variable inlet and exhaust cam timing, or a 380 bhp version of the same engine. Next year, there will be the option of a turbocharged, two-liter, in-line four-cylinder diesel Ingenium engine making 180 bhp. According to Jaguar, this is one of the first diesel engines to feature variable valve timing and uses a split-cooling system to bring the engine temperature up quickly. Behind all of these is a ZF 8HP45 eight-speed flappy-paddle gearbox.

The three engine options, the 340 bhp V6 does 0 to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds or 0 to 100 km/h in 5.8 seconds, and has a top speed of 155 mph (250 km/h). The 380 bhp V6 beats this at 0 to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds or 0 to 100 km/h in 5.5 seconds, but the top speed remains the same. Meanwhile, the diesel brings up the rear with 0 to 60 mph in 8.2 seconds or 0 to 100 km/h in 8.7 seconds, and a top speed of 129 mph (208 km/h).

Performance is further enhanced by double-wishbone (front) and integral link (rear) suspension that uses aluminum wherever possible and separates lateral and longitudinal stiffness for sharper turn-in and quicker steering response. Lighter and more responsive monotube dampers are standard.

Backing up the suspension is Jaguar's Adaptive Dynamics, which monitors body movements 100 times a second and wheel movements 500 times a second to continuously provide variable damping to suit the conditions. Also, the inclusion of the Configurable Dynamics system first developed for the F-Type allows the driver to configure the car's performance to dynamic or normal modes through the touchscreen using throttle mapping, transmission shift strategy, steering feel, and adaptive damper settings.

The F-Type is an all-wheel drive car, but only as needed thanks to the torque-on-demand AWD system. Traction demand is automatically shifted by the Jaguar Intelligent Driveline Dynamics (IDD) from the rear axle to the front in a balanced fashion using a multi-plate wet clutch and chain drive operating inside of 165 milliseconds. This is designed to allow for AWD traction while maintaining a sportscar feel. It can also analyze data from the car's yaw rate, lateral acceleration, and steering wheel angle sensors to improve grip and stability by constantly rebalancing the axle torque ratio.

Adaptive Surface Response (AdSR) technology maps the throttle, gearbox, and DSC system to match the road surface for best traction in one of three automatic modes: low traction, medium traction, and high drag

There's further performance-oriented gadgetry in the form of an Electric Power Assisted Steering (EPAS) system that uses algorithms to calculate road forces and adds assistance as needed for more intuitive steering through variable steering ratios using variable pitch gears on the rack bar and fixed pitch gears on the pinion. In addition, Torque Vectoring by Braking uses selective braking on the inner wheels to reduce oversteer on corners.

Jaguar offers a variety of wheels for the F-Pace. These range from 18-in (46 cm) tailored for aerodynamic performance to 22-in (56 cm) forged aluminum wheels for better on-road dynamics and traction.

Technology on tap

Inside the F-Pace is a spacious cabin with optional 10-color ambient lighting and a 33.5-cu ft (948.6 l) luggage compartment. The instrument panel reflects the XE and XF model configuration with either two large, deeply-hooded analogue dials and a central TFT display or a 12.3-in (31 cm) virtual instrument cluster.

This being a luxury SUV, the 113-inch (2,874mm) wheelbase is put to use in making getting into and out of the electrically reclining rear seats.

Jaguar offers a suite of driver assistance features in the F-Pace beginning with the introduction of its Activity Key, which is a batteryless wristband that takes the place of all keys and fobs. These can be left in the car, where they are automatically deactivated while the driver enjoys watersports and other activities where carrying keys is impractical. Getting back in simply involves holding the band near the "J" in the Jaguar lettering on the tailgate.

Other driver assistance programs include the All Surface Progress Control (ASPC), which controls the throttles and brakes at low speeds between 2.2 mph (3.6 km/h) and 19 mph (30 km/h) while the driver concentrates on steering. Another is Low Traction Launch that redraws the throttle map so the car pulls away smoothly.

Stereo cameras installed in the F-Pace also control part of the driver-assistance suite. For the Autonomous Emergency Braking system, the cameras act to detect pedestrians and other collision hazards, then apply the car's brakes if an impact is imminent. They're also used for the Lane Departure Warning and Lane Keep Assist systems, which serve to warn F-Pace drivers if they're wandering out of their lane and can even slightly override the steering. The Driver Condition Monitoring system can detect if a driver is becoming fatigued and provide a reminder to pull over and rest.

The cameras also enable the Traffic Sign Recognition system to read permanent and temporary speed limit signs and warn drivers if they're going over or under the limit. The Intelligent Speed Limiter can take control of the throttle and keep the car within the speed limit even if it changes.

The F-Pace is also available with a laser Head-Up Display (HUD) that can project navigation instructions and other data on the windscreen without distracting the driver. In addition, there's Adaptive Cruise Control with Queue Assist, which can keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front even in heavy start-and-stop traffic. Then there's Blind Spot Monitor and Reverse Traffic Detection that uses the cameras and optional radar to warn of approaching vehicles, and the Parking Assist that uses the cameras and radar to detect parking spots and aids the driver in negotiating them.

Infotainment-wise, the InControl Touch Pro system includes a high-speed 60 GB SSD and an Ethernet network via a 10.2-in (26 cm) touch-screen with mobile-like graphics and controls. This allows the driver and passengers to control the GPS navigation system, which is capable of dead reckoning if no signal is available. It can also calculate remaining fuel range and flag petrol stations along the route when the gauge runs low.

The navigation system also boasts a Commute Mode that learns from previous driving behavior and recommends alternative routes in the event of traffic delays, as well as switching to an interactive mode on approaching the destination, which aids in finding parking and a final foot route.

Jaguar's InControl app allows compatible smartphones to be connected to the infotainment system via a USB cable. The F-Pace can also act as a local hotspot for up to eight devices with a paid data plan. In addition, a collision that triggers the airbags causes InControl to notify emergency services. The emergency alert can also be triggered manually.

For the launch in 2016, Jaguar is offering a limited First Edition of the F-Pace with the 380 bhp V6 engine and bespoke interior and exterior enhancements based on the C-X17 concept. These include a Rhodium Silver livery, 22-in (56 cm) Double Helix 15-spoke wheels with Grey finish and contrast inserts, red brake calipers, full-LED headlights with LED "J" blade running lights, sliding panoramic roof, Windsor soft-grain leather seats featuring twin-needle stitching, and 10-color ambient lighting.

F-Pace pricing starts at US$40,9907 and runs to US$56,7007.

The video below shows the F-Pace setting the driving loop record.

Source: Jaguar

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