Jaguar F Pace Sport R Review – First Drive
Priced from INR 1.02 crore, ex-showroom, Jaguar F-Pace Sport R is the sportiest luxury SUV you can buy.
The Jaguar F Pace roots back to the C-X17, Jaguar’s concept crossover SUV, unveiled in 2013. This mid size luxury crossover SUV from the British car manufacturer draws design cues from the gorgeous F Type. One glance and it asserts itself as the F Type on stilts, but is it that alone? A striking SUV aside, bagging a double whammy of 2017 World Car of the Year and 2017 World Car design of the Year is no ordinary feat. While the Leaper revels in glory of global accolades, we put it through its paces. Here is the report.
Fresh on the platform with no lineage to live up to, F Pace broke cover as Jaguar’s performance SUV coupled with dramatic beauty and uncompromising on everyday practicality. Form and function seldom go hand in hand but F Pace proves the common notion wrong. Built on a stunning and gorgeous design as base, F Pace takes the SUV game to a different level. Sure it does not exude ruggedness, and neither is it brute-ish to look at. Drool-worthy lines for eyes, practicality to satiate the brain, and handling to that goes hand in hand with youthful driving intent inside all of us, F Pace delivers all of it.
From the word go, F Pace is a head turner. While the front bears resemblance to the sedan family, accentuated lines and creases make its case clear. Signature Jaguar elements perfect visuals, creating a powerful yet beautiful package. Large chrome mesh grille with brushed aluminium surround is flanked by the LED headlight cluster featuring Jaguar’s J blade DRL. A power bulge on the bonnet adds to its appeal. Satin chrome side vents on the front fenders keep things interesting. The swept up shoulder line merges with a steeply raked C pillar alongwith burgeoning haunches at the rear.
The rear has a more hatchback design with LED F type inspired wrap around tail lamps. Rear bumper houses fog lamps and twin exhaust tips with a black surround, which looks relatively staid compared to the rest of the car.
Interiors of F Pace score high on space and practicality. The R Sport spec that we reviewed comes loaded with features and a snappy Jet and Red Taurus interior trim. Interior is typically Jaguar and identical to those of XE/XF sedans owing to high percentage of parts sharing. The light oyster morzine headliner lifts up the otherwise dark cabin, which has classy touches like red stitching and gloss black inserts in the interior trim. Jaguar’s signature “Riva loop”, which essentially is a design element extending from the door pads all the way on to the dashboard is included. Speaking of door pads, we aren’t big fans of the placement of the window control switches at the top of the doorpads as they aren’t smooth to access. Few hard plastics apart, F Pace’ interiors boast quality material use and build.
Driver and passenger seats are 10 way electrically adjustable. They offer great support and aren’t taxing even after extended stints in it. Jaguar claims, rear seats can seat 3 adults. Surely, this is to be taken with a grain of salt. The transmission tunnel does protrude into the cabin robbing it of valuable leg room for the middle passenger, but yes there is ample shoulder as well as head room at the rear. What’s more – the rear bench can be reclined for added comfort. The panoramic sunroof and rear passenger HVAC vents mean F Pace is not only a fun car to drive, but also a luxurious SUV to be driven in!
The R sport branded leather wrapped steering wheel is chunky and great to hold, and houses far too many buttons for the 12.3″ all digital instrument cluster. The instrument cluster itself is customizable and has presets depending on drive mode selected. To further customize the interior, Jaguar also offers mood lighting with 10 different colours to alter ambiance as desired. InControl Touch pro is Jaguar’s proprietary infotainment system, and F Pace comes loaded with the 10.2″ touch screen that allows a host of connectivity options. The Meridian surround sound system sounds fantastic. Jaguar’s impressive road noise insulation ensures that the audiophile in you remains satiated.
The F Pace’s cabin houses an abundance of utility features making the interiors high on comfort, and practicality. The car comes equipped with useful parking assists, as well as, parallel parking departure assist adding to the long list of convenience features. Though F Pace is not positioned as a hardcore off-roader, the AWD badge could encourage slight adventures and the 360 degree camera comes handy. A full size spare wheel, which is a rarity on premium SUVs is part of the purchase.
Engine and Driving Dynamics
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F Pace R Sport is powered by a turbocharged 3.0 litre V6 diesel engine punching out 304PS at 4000rpm. If that doesn’t impress, torque figures certainly will at 700Nm at 2000rpm! This 2.5 ton behemoth gets help from a ZF 8speed automatic to make sensible use of all those ponies under the hood. Despite being an oil-burner, a rather potent one at that, the valve clatter and other noises are well contained making it impressively refined, even at idle. The 8 speed automatic does a good job of hauling the F Pace around in a brisk manner with calculated cog swaps. Only when its hustled around in a hurry does one miss the spring in step resulting due to dual clutch gear boxes on SUVs in this segment. What the F Pace loses out on, is made up for by the sheer engine performance. F Pace does a 0-100 dash in under 6.5 seconds,which is mighty quick, more so, without any drama.
Equipped with the Jaguar Drive Control, the system offers sportier kick-downs in Dynamic Mode. It up-shifts early in Eco Mode to improve efficiency while the Rain Ice Snow Mode switches to more gentle progress in low grip conditions. Choosing between t modes on the fly, alters engine response from outright fast to docile and fuel efficient.
F Pace is built on Jaguar’s new Lightweight Aluminium Architecture aiding weight saving, which in turn enhances handling and braking, and improved fuel economy as an added benefit. The new architecture also contributes to its near 50:50 weight balance lending the F Pace impeccable road manners. Power steering with electronic assists is near spot on, offering excellent feedback albeit being on the weightier side. The range topping First Edition gets adaptive dampers, which aren’t an option on the R Sport we reviewed. Judging by R Sport’s dynamic demeanor, we can only imagine the First Edition’s handling prowess.
Apart from the 50:50 weight distribution, another key ingredient which lends to its magnificent handling is Intelligent Driveline Dynamics (IDD). In layman’s terms, it essentially drives like a rear wheel drive car sending 90% of torque to rear axles aimed at intensifying drive experience in all weather conditions, and doesn’t stop at that. Torque Vectoring gives the F Pace sports car like agility negating any understeer. Finely tuned suspension works well on our roads, and keeps body roll to a minimum while maneuvering around curvy sections and bends.
F Pace revels in being driven around in Dynamic mode when it feels at its sprightly best without compromising on the ride quality. AWD is aimed at improving on road dynamics and less towards lending it any off -roading credentials . That said, AWD with its drive modes comes in handy and F Pace can easily accommodate a bit of soft-roading as we found out. F Pace drives on 19″ Bionic 5 twin-spoke with Grey and Diamond Turned finish, which not only look good, but with the 255 section rubber, deliver outstanding traction and cornering ability.
Summing it up
F Pace is offered in a choice of engines and packages and in our view, the R Sport priced at Rs 1.02 crore is one to go for. The First Edition is even pricier at Rs 1.12 crore. The Pure edition is priced at Rs 67.37 lakh and Prestige variant at Rs 73.25 lakh. Both packages get a 2.0litre diesel engine. The Porsche Macan remains the F Pace’ closest competition since both cars deliver on driving dynamics and performance over German rivals. Stonking performance, rewarding drive experience, handsome looks and a long features list (read spare tyre) work in favour of F pace. With no major shortcomings in the F Pace, it has simply bowled us over.