Jaguar F-Pace First EditionThe Jaguar F-Pace will become the firm’s best-selling vehicle ever, with 9 in 10 buyers coming from brands other than Jaguar and 1 in 3 of them being female.

With F-Pace buyers also being, on average, a decade younger than the Jaguar norm, the significant of the new Jaguar SUV is thus not to be underestimated.

2016 Jaguar F-Pace: first drive review

And this is why, admits chief designer Ian Callum, the firm hasn’t radically altered its design language for the F-Pace, instead keeping the family face already seen on the XE and XF. “This is the wrong point to change our design,” he said. “This will be the Jaguar people will relate to – people will start to recognise Jaguar because of this car.”

Brits are familiar with what a Jaguar looks like, he says, but global buyers may not be. A family face should be maintained to help improve brand recognition worldwide.

F-Pace to up the pace

Bosses are predicting a big uplift in global sales thanks to the F-Pace, which will be built alongside the XE in Jaguar’s new £500 million Solihull car plant. An extra £120 million was invested in the plant to build the F-Pace, which is on sale now with prices starting from £34,170.

The plant has an annual capacity of almost 170,000 vehicles, spread between XE, F-Pace and the Range Rover Sport also built on the same line: Jaguar chiefs admit production capacity could be an issue but vehicle line director Kevin Stride told us “it would be a nice problem to have”.

Early pre-orders bear out Jaguar boss’s confidence in the new F-Pace: they are already ahead of the smash-hit Range Rover Evoque at the same point ahead of launch, with more than 2,500 orders in the bag.

The Evoque has, of course, gone on to regularly sell more than 100,000 units a year. Could the F-Pace achieve the same highs for Jaguar? Now the first reviews are in, we’re betting the firm is now quietly confident it’s got a hit on its hands.

Where will Jaguar F-Pace buyers come from?

  • 9 in 10: from other brands
  • 50%: from SUVs
  • 15%: from saloons
  • 15%: from hatchbacks
  • 15%: from MPVs
  • 5%: from coupes and convertibles