Jaguar F-Pace: C’mon, Bremont, Let’s See What You Can Do With This
by Martin Green
A small disclaimer before I continue with this article: I consider myself a “Jag man.”
Arguments that the Teutonic competition holds its value better; that the headroom in the back of an XJ can only accommodate infants; and, especially, that certain vintage models could be more reliable are all lost on me.
Blame my love for Cartier that I like big cats so much (see Why Is The Panther Cartier’s Pet Animal? Thank Jeanne Toussaint), but the moment I hear a Jaguar’s straight six, V8, or V12 start to rumble, or I snuggle into its leather seats, surrounded by more wood than the local pub, I am sold again.
That being said, there is another disclaimer to make: I don’t like SUVs. I like all-terrain vehicles – the kind that don’t mind getting dirty and go by names like Defender, Landcruiser, and Wrangler – and I prefer to find that dirt in the most remote areas of our planet.
So when Jaguar announced that it was working on an SUV, I was not a happy camper. Of course, it made perfect sense for the brand to do so, because when Porsche started to make SUVs its sales went through the roof. So Jaguar followed suit.
However, the Maserati Levante and the Bentley Bentayga I recently reviewed were truly impressive, and with the Jaguar joining this club, I think that I have even lost to right to say that I don’t like SUVs . . .
Christened F-Pace, Jaguar made a very conscious decision to focus its SUV on road performance and not off-road performance. This makes perfect sense, since Jaguar is part of the Tata Group, alongside Land Rover – and the latter kind of owns the off-road performance sector.
That being said, I am sure that the technicians working at both Jaguar and Land Rover exchanged knowledge, enabling Jaguar to build the best F-Pace possible. Jaguar, by the way, calls the F-Pace a “crossover.”
To me, that is automotive lingo for “transgender”: you are what you feel you are. And the F-Pace feels like an SUV.
My biggest concern was actually with the styling of the car: Jaguars have always been elegant creatures – and next to a pickup, an SUV must be one of the least elegant cars there is.
And then there’s the capable hands of Ian Callum, Jaguar’s design director, who, as it turns out, hates SUVs as much as I do. The result is a car that fits beautifully in Jaguar’s current lineup while maintaining a certain feline elegance.
Of course, you can ruin this in no time by ordering it in white with black rims, but that holds true for any car these days. The F-Pace is well proportioned, looking much like an automotive version of Jason Statham dressed by Kilgour Savile Row.
The F-Pace is currently available with two engines: a 380 hp 3.0-liter supercharged V6 and a 2.0-liter turbocharged diesel from Jaguar’s all-new Ingenium range. Although both are formidable engines in their own right, I have a bit of a problem with the Ingenium engine: while it is perhaps a perfectly acceptable choice for a customer who is less of a Jaguar enthusiast, four cylinders and a diesel are two things that don’t belong in my Jag individually, let alone together.
That makes the V6 the obvious choice.
Jaguar obviously spent a lot of time on the suspension and road behavior of the F-Pace. It feels agile and Jag-like, aided by the aluminum that makes up the most of the F-Pace body.
Jaguar wastes very little time telling you that the F-Pace is also a great choice to drive cross-country through Australia, and quite frankly I think that it will only perform slightly better than the XJ in accomplishing this, but only thanks to its additional ground clearance.
No, the F-Pace’s target is to outpace Porsche’s newest SUV, the Macan, which was made for the Autobahn and not off-road adventures through the Black Forest.
It does this convincingly, perhaps mostly because the Jaguar is not based on a less expensive car as was more often than not the case when Ford still owned the marque. This means that you get a thoroughbred premium car and finally have a decent set of wheels to go fly fishing in – as long as your preferred fishing spot is not too far off the beaten path.
I also would love to see Bremont take on this car to turn into a horological creation. I always thought that it was clever of Jaguar to team up with Bremont as its horological partner since the watch brand is not only British, but it also appears that Bremont founders Nick and Giles English also really “get” the car brand. Proof is the stunning series of watches that they created in honor of the E-Type, which really captured the sense of the legendary automobile well (see The Jaguar Lightweight E-Type: Iconic Automobile History Reborn and Bremont Jaguar Lightweight E-Type Wristwatch Launches Together With Ultra-Rare Automobile Re-Creation).
In its regular collection, Bremont has shown it can handle classically styled watches as well as modern ones, so paying homage to the F-Pace should be right up the brothers’ alley. Maybe with one of their bolder case designs (perhaps like the ALT1-ZT/51 or MBII-WH), but including a chronograph because despite the large ground clearance for a Jaguar, the F-Pace will prefer being taken through its paces on paved roads.
For more information, please visit www.jaguar.com/jaguar-range/f-pace.
Engine: 3.0 liter Supercharged V6
Power: 380 hp at 6500 rpm
Torque: 332 lb-ft at 4,500 rpm
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Acceleration: 0-60 mph in 5.1 seconds
Top speed: 155 mph
Base price: $56,700