Jaguar F-Pace SUV launched in style on the Sunshine Coast
PICTURE the scene.
James Bond has found the love of his life, settled down in a nice country estate paid for by the British government and Mrs Bond has popped out a couple of mini secret agents.
And guess what, she's insisted he gets rid of that cramped, noisy and terribly thirsty Aston Martin.
What's a retired playboy to do while still remaining patriotic? Buy a Jaguar F-Pace of course. Space for the kids, high riding to see over the hedges, and off-road capable to tackle the driveway when it gets all waterlogged during a dismal British winter.
Jaguar's first SUV effort has arrived Down Under, entering the premium mid-size AWD segment which is enjoying an unprecedented boom.
And while Jag aficionados may still be reeling at the luxury/sports car maker bringing its high-riding F-Pace to market, the business case for an SUV has made its introduction inevitable.
Collaring designer Ian Callum (he of Aston Martin DB7, DB9 and Jaguar F-Type fame) to pen his first SUV was a masterstroke, as the F-Pace is truly a dazzling design in this image conscious segment.
Sunshine Coasters had a first proper look at the SUV recently, with Pacific Jaguar hosting an event at Sunshine Coast Airport for 130 Jaguar owners and potential customers.
Cocktail attire was required as attendees enjoyed a James Bond theme with roulette and card tables in the shadow of luxury private jets. Jaguar's sporting and luxury heritage was also a major draw card, with a display featuring a Jaguar E-Type, MkII 3.8, XJ-S and F-Type.
The five-seater SUV was the star however, and once wraps were off spectators could enjoy the F-Pace up close, get acquainted with its dimensions and sit in and feel the luxury cabin.
While you can pay over $120,000 before on-roads for a new Jaguar F-Pace (the First Edition S 35t with 250kW supercharged six-cylinder able to hit 100kmh in 5.5 seconds), those seeking the style without breathtaking performance can get in one for $74,340 before on roads.
This 2.0-litre diesel entry level Prestige 20d is sure to get buyers into the showroom as it is a lot of style for the money, and a tempting alternative to the premium Germans.
The F-Pace's pricing places it in the ball park of Porsche's Macan, BMW's X4, Audi's Q5 and Mercedes-Benz's GLE Wagon, giving well-heeled school run mums even greater choice in this burgeoning segment.
We've not had the opportunity to test drive the F-Pace as yet so can't comment on whether it can match these accomplished rivals dynamically, but first impressions were generally very positive.
Yes it looks delicious, and sinking into the front seats of the $80,000 R-Sport version suggested it would be a superb long distance cruiser. Rear space will be fine for the kids, but being a mid-size SUV it won't haul three adults in the back as comfortably as larger SUVs, nor are seven seats an option.
Pacific Jaguar general manager Leunis Kruger said the launch event and inquiries about the F-Pace so far had been excellent.
"We're extremely excited about such a spectacular product," he said. "It's designed for lifestyle rather than as a hardcore 4x4 so is ideal for the Coast. We've already delivered our first F-Paces, taken forward orders on special builds, but we also have some in stock if people want to come and have a look.
"The F-Pace will be a very strong contender in the SUV segment, and I think it will be Jaguar's best selling vehicle in Australia."
Mr Kruger said sales and inquiries had been about the mid-range F-Pace models so far, but was pleased the entry level cars were priced so sharply to draw people into the showrooms.
Model: Jaguar F-Pace.
Details: Petrol and diesel five-seat all-wheel drive mid-size premium SUVs.
Engines: 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel with 132kW and 430Nm; 3.0 six-cylinder turbo-diesel with 221kW and 700Nm; 3.0-litre six-cylinder supercharged petrol with 250kW and 450Nm; 3.0-litre six-cylinder supercharged petrol with 280kW and 450Nm.
Transmission: 8-speed automatic.
Towing capacity: 2400kg (braked).
Performance 0-100kmh: From 8.7-seconds (2.0-litre diesels) to 5.5 seconds (280kW 3.0-litre petrols).
Consumption: From 5.3L/100km (2.0-litre diesels) to 8.9L/100km (all 3.0-litre petrols).
Price: Diesels from $74,340 (Prestige 20d 132kW) to $117,164 (First Edition S 30d 221kW). Petrols from $83,745 (Prestige 35t 250kW) to $120,415 (First Edition S 35t 280kW). All prices before on-road costs.