Jaguar F-Pace from Jaguar
The new Jaguar F-Pace Jaguar Cars

Iconic British automaker Jaguar Cars has taken a leap into the unknown with the reveal of its first SUV, the curiously named F-Pace, in time for the recent opening of the Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany.

The maker of the legendary “Jag” race cars said the F-Pace will be more car than SUV. As such, the new SUV will feature steering and suspension optimised for on-road driving. All models pack an eight-speed automatic transmission and a full-time all-wheel-drive system.

F-Pace will also feature new in-car technologies, disclosed CNN. The mass market version will have automatic emergency braking, the first in any Jaguar vehicle. The SUV will also come with an electronic system that recognises traffic signs and tells the driver about the speed limit in a specific location based on road signs.

The passenger car segment remains the fastest growing in the motor vehicle industry. Market research firm IHS Automotive was reported by Tech Times as saying that the F-Pace might become Jaguar’s bestselling model if consumer demand for SUVs continues at its present growth clip. Forecast peak sales of the F-Pace are placed at 44,914 units in 2017.

Jaguar will need the spike in sales. Sales of Jaguar Cars’ parent firm, Jaguar Land Rover, have slid one per cent so far this year on account of a 29 per cent sales slump in China. Despite this, CEO Ralf Speth expects Jaguar Land Rover sales to increase this year compared to 2014 when the company sold 462,678 models.

Analysts noted that Jaguar’s focus on sports cars and luxury sedans has excluded it from the fast growing passenger car market, of which families are the main buyers. They see the F-Pace as Jaguar’s belated recognition of this shortcoming. The F-Pace is also expected to appeal to younger buyers, an important market demographic.

It will also have some off-road capability and was tested at Land Rover's proving grounds in England, the desert and in winter conditions.

The F-Pace coming to the U.S. gives buyers a choice of either a supercharged 380 horsepower or 340 horsepower V6 engine. It also comes in a 180 horsepower four-cylinder diesel engine version. The most powerful version will be capable of going 60 miles per hour from zero in just over five seconds.

Jaguar Land Rover only produces SUVs. This company and Jaguar Cars are both owned by Tata Motors, Ltd., India’s largest motor vehicle company and the world’s 17th largest motor vehicle maker.

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