The Jaguar marque is back and has an updated product line to show for it. Two all new models arrive in 2016, including the brand’s very first SUV. Long partnered with Land Rover, Jaguar will soon be better positioned to battle Europe’s finest luxury brands, including BMW and Mercedes-Benz, giving consumers a solid British offering in a highly competitive segment.
Jaguar’s renaissance follows billions of dollars in funds invested in research and development, including new product growth with monies supplied by Tata Motors. Tata, based in Mumbai, India, purchased Jaguar Land Rover from the Ford Motor Company in 2008 and has allowed these quintessential British brands to maintain relative autonomy while supplying the financial backing necessary to advance the two marques.
Out With the Old, In With the New
That renaissance was already underway when Tata took over. Notably, the midsize XF arrived in 2007 and the full-size Jaguar XJ followed in 2009. Both models reflect a new styling direction with chief designer Ian Callum’s handiwork clearly evident everywhere. In 2014, the F-Type sports car was released and considered by many as the spiritual successor to the iconic Jaguar E-Type.
The 2016 model year is one of transition for Jaguar as it cancels the XK and prepares two new models for the 2017 model year. Both vehicles will become available in Jaguar’s U.S. showrooms beginning in spring 2016.
2017 Jaguar XE
The 2017 Jaguar XE had its global debut last spring at back-to-back media events held in London and New York. The compact luxury sedan enters a segment dominated by the BMW 3 Series and will also battle the Cadillac ATS, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Lincoln MKZ, Audi A4, Lexus IS, Infiniti Q50 and Acura TLX. The XE is the first small sedan from Jaguar since the X-Type.
The aluminum-bodied Jaguar XE is priced from $34,900 and will be available in 25t, 20d and 35t trim levels. Rear-wheel drive is standard and the XE 20d and XE 35t will offer all-wheel drive as an option.
A turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder making 240 horsepower and 251 pound-feet of torque powers the Jaguar XE 25t. A turbodiesel 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 180 horsepower and 351 pound-feet of torque comes with the XE 20d. The Jaguar XE 35t will get the familiar supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine making 340 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. All three engines are paired with a ZF-supplied, eight-speed automatic transmission.
Additional highlights of this model include your choice of two Meridian audio systems, as well as options like an InControl infotainment system, a head-up display and numerous safety features, including adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring and forward collision warning.
2017 Jaguar F-Pace
If Jaguar offers a luxury SUV, does that mean we’ll see a rebadged Land Rover model? That wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing, but Jaguar insists that the aluminum-bodied F-Pace is unique to the brand. For example, the seating position in the SUV is lower and the center console is placed higher for a more swaddling experience. On the other hand, the similarly sized Land Rover Range Rover Sport offers a more commanding view of the road. Both models are designed for off-road duty.
Like the Jaguar XE, the F-Pace will also face stiff competition, counting the Cadillac XT5, Audi Q5, Lincoln MKX, Lexus RX 350, Infiniti QX70, Acura RDX and Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class among its direct competitors.
Introduced at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, the F-Pace model line is composed of a First Edition trim, as well as base, Premium, Prestige, R-Sport and S models.
At launch, U.S. shoppers will get a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine making 340 horsepower or 380 horsepower. Later in the year, a turbodiesel 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine making 180 horsepower becomes available. All Jaguar F-Pace models are outfitted with an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. The midsize F-Pace is priced from $40,900 for the turbodiesel model and $42,390 for the supercharged V6 edition.
The Jaguar F-Pace will feature an optional InControl Touch Pro infotainment system, which is offered in conjunction with a 17-speaker Meridian audio system for optimum sound reproduction and minimal distortion. Shoppers will find available features like a new navigation system, a head-up display, a Wi-Fi hot spot and numerous safety features, including lane departure warning and lane keeping assist.
Jaguar has yet to confirm rumors that a second SUV model is in the works. Although building any SUV may seem odd for a traditional car manufacturer, Jaguar is responding to the market in much the same way that sports car maker Porsche did by building the Panamera sedan, as well as the Cayenne and Macan SUVs.
The follow-up model to the F-Pace is the Jaguar J-Pace, at least according to the reputable British-based Car Magazine, which ran with the story in its June 2015 issue. The publication reports that the new Jaguar model will rival the Land Rover Range Rover with standard and extended wheelbase versions and a plug-in hybrid variant. Jaguar Land Rover has not confirmed the model.
With two new products confirmed and another one possible, Jaguar should begin moving away from its niche status as it presents a more comprehensive product line. Currently, Land Rover sells nearly five times the number of vehicles as does Jaguar worldwide, a gap that its junior partner seems destined to narrow.