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Jaguar F-Pace

Jaguar: ‘the F-Pace is our Evoque’

Jaguar F-PaceJaguar F-Pace programme director Andy Whyman believes the new SUV will be as transformational for the firm as the Range Rover Evoque has been for Land Rover.

“The ingredients are there,” he said at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show. “The vision has been clear from the start and it’s a logical new car for us in a fast-growing segment.”

The Evoque heralded the start of the current boom in Land Rover sales and even today, five years after launch, the factory is still operating around the clock to build more than 100,000 units a year.

Jaguar, which last year sold 81,570 cars, feels the F-Pace will deliver a proportionally similar lift – and will mean the entire brand should no longer outsold by the smash-hit Range Rover Evoque.

No crossover with Land Rover

Whyman says there was never any concern that the first-ever Jaguar SUV would step on the toes of Land Rover.

“Both brands are very different and are positioned separately: our research shows there’s likely to be little cross-shopping between the F-Pace and Land Rover models.

“It’s first and foremost a Jaguar: it handles like a Jaguar, has sports car proportions and, while it can tackle mixed-road conditions, is a road-biased vehicle.

“It’s obvious to customers that the Jaguar and Land Rover brands are different: we don’t expect Range Rover Sport customers to start looking at F-Pace.”

Whyman also said the firm is comfortable with its first SUV. “It is natural to us – we don’t think of it as an SUV: it ‘feels’ like a Jaguar.”

Jaguar F-Pace

Frankfurt Motor Show 2015 – Live!

Jaguar F-PaceWe’re reporting live from the gigantic 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show: where the biggest names from the car industry like to go BIG…

Jaguar F-Pace 2015

Frankfurt exclusive: Jaguar has ‘thrown away the pipe and slippers’ with F-Pace

Jaguar F-Pace 2015With the launch of the F-Pace SUV, Jaguar has “finally ditched its slippers and pipe image,” says the firm’s brand director Steven de Ploey.

While the firm is proud of its heritage, and will continue to draw upon it, the brand’s future is in attracting more younger, female and connected customers – and the F-Pace is a key part of that strategy.

9 in 10 buyers of Jaguar’s first-ever crossover SUV are going to be new to the brand, said de Ploey, and it’s going to draw customers from buyers of rivals including the Porsche Macan, Audi Q5 and BMW X3.

“The F-Pace is THE champion for the Jaguar brand with conquest customers,” he said: it is this car that the firm hopes will reinvigorate the Jaguar brand with people who previously have not even considered it.

A lot is riding on it: the medium SUV sector will grow from 850,000 sales in 2014/15 to over 1.2 million by 2020/21 – that’s 40% growth.

“This will take Jaguar’s accessible market from three million potential customers to four million” – a huge increase that shows that, of all the new cars Jaguar is launching at the moment, the F-Pace is the most important.

Watch it, Porsche Macan

Jaguar makes no secret of its desire to challenge the Porsche Macan. Jaguar engineers believe the Porsche is easily the best vehicle in the sector to drive, and admire its engineering – but believe they have a car its equal in the F-Pace.

Key engineering details have been compared with the Porsche: the F-Pace S is as fast as a Macan S to 60mph; front lateral suspension stiffness is 50% better than the Porsche; it’s also 35% more compliant over bumps than the Porsche.

Practicality of the five-seater F-Pace hasn’t been overlooked. With boot space the equal of a BMW X5 and 220 litres better than Bentley’s new Bentayga SUV, Jaguar reckons the F-Pace has all the fundamentals in place to succeed.

“It is a no compromise performance crossover,” said de Ploey, “or, as we prefer, the ultimate crossover sportscar.

“The F-Pace is a game-changing car for Jaguar: it will forever change the perception of the brand.”

Jaguar F-Pace 2015

Frankfurt exclusive: Jaguar has 'thrown away the pipe and slippers' with F-Pace

Jaguar F-Pace 2015With the launch of the F-Pace SUV, Jaguar has “finally ditched its slippers and pipe image,” says the firm’s brand director Steven de Ploey.

While the firm is proud of its heritage, and will continue to draw upon it, the brand’s future is in attracting more younger, female and connected customers – and the F-Pace is a key part of that strategy.

9 in 10 buyers of Jaguar’s first-ever crossover SUV are going to be new to the brand, said de Ploey, and it’s going to draw customers from buyers of rivals including the Porsche Macan, Audi Q5 and BMW X3.

“The F-Pace is THE champion for the Jaguar brand with conquest customers,” he said: it is this car that the firm hopes will reinvigorate the Jaguar brand with people who previously have not even considered it.

A lot is riding on it: the medium SUV sector will grow from 850,000 sales in 2014/15 to over 1.2 million by 2020/21 – that’s 40% growth.

“This will take Jaguar’s accessible market from three million potential customers to four million” – a huge increase that shows that, of all the new cars Jaguar is launching at the moment, the F-Pace is the most important.

Watch it, Porsche Macan

Jaguar makes no secret of its desire to challenge the Porsche Macan. Jaguar engineers believe the Porsche is easily the best vehicle in the sector to drive, and admire its engineering – but believe they have a car its equal in the F-Pace.

Key engineering details have been compared with the Porsche: the F-Pace S is as fast as a Macan S to 60mph; front lateral suspension stiffness is 50% better than the Porsche; it’s also 35% more compliant over bumps than the Porsche.

Practicality of the five-seater F-Pace hasn’t been overlooked. With boot space the equal of a BMW X5 and 220 litres better than Bentley’s new Bentayga SUV, Jaguar reckons the F-Pace has all the fundamentals in place to succeed.

“It is a no compromise performance crossover,” said de Ploey, “or, as we prefer, the ultimate crossover sportscar.

“The F-Pace is a game-changing car for Jaguar: it will forever change the perception of the brand.”

Jaguar F-Pace

Jaguar F-Pace SUV revealed: Jaguar has made a 4×4!

Jaguar F-PaceJaguar has revealed the new F-Pace SUV on the eve of the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show. Its first 4×4, the sporty-looking new ‘performance crossover’ goes on sale in 2016 priced from £34,170.

Jaguar F-Pace SUV revealed in World Record stunt

The new Jaguar F-Pace is a sporty five-seat crossover that has one car in its sights – the Porsche Macan. Jaguar says the standard-setting Porsche is the best car in this sector for driving dynamics – and is the one it’s focused on beating…

Jaguar F-Pace

Built in Britain at Jaguar’s Solihull plant, the F-Pace is targeted with bringing a whole new sector of customer to the Jaguar brand. 4 in 5 buyers will be new to the brand and, of all the firm’s new cars, it’s the F-Pace that will “forever change perceptions of the brand”.

The idea of designing an SUV, admits Jaguar design director Ian Callum, was something “I never dreamt of doing”. Jaguar, after all, owns Land Rover, which only makes… SUVs. However, the market now demands SUVs in all shapes and guises – so Jaguar had to respond.

The Jaguar F-Pace is thus designed as a performance crossover SUV, one that takes direct influences from the Jaguar F-Pace (hence the name).

Unlike Land Rovers, you’ll rarely see F-Pace off-road; but you will, hopes the brand, see them in high streets across the world – the medium-sized SUV sector the F-Pace competes in is set to grow 50% between now and 2020…

F-Pace: concept car to production

Jaguar F-Pace

The Jaguar F-Pace is the production version of Jaguar’s stunning C-X17 concept car, revealed two years ago at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. This was the first clear signal that the brand wanted to make an SUV…

Jaguar F-Pace

Since C-X17, Jaguar’s been working hard to productionise it, says Callum. “Every millimetre has changed since the concept – but not so you’d notice.” Can you tell the difference?

“The F-Pace is true to the spirit of Jaguar,” says designer Callum. “It has elegance, a sense of speed and motion that most SUVs don’t have.” Size-wise, it’s similar to the Porsche Macan, and will also compete with the Audi Q5 and BMW X3.

Callum uses descriptions such as strong proportions, sweeping rooflines and strong haunches to describe the F-Pace. “I could be talking about the F-Type, and this is no coincidence – there’s a lot of that car in the F-Pace.”

The tail lights are similar to the Jaguar F-Pace – which, said Callum, are influenced by the E-Type. Most won’t realise this but “I know where it came from,” he said…

It’s a five-seat SUV – you wouldn’t be able to get that sweeping roofline if it was a seven-seater. Jaguar has no plans to make a seven-seat version: it’ll leave that market to Land Rover.

Callum’s given the F-Pace a simple look inside, in contrast to the ‘fussy’ interiors of some rivals. Once cool feature is the illuminated smartphone holders on the centre console – after all, says Callum, who wants to store smartphones in cupholders…

Jaguar says the F-Pace has the world’s most advanced infotainment system, with more computer processing power than a Boeing 777. It’s called InControl Touch Pro and uses a 100GB SSD, Ethernet networking and a quad core processor.

The F-Pace even debuts a new piece of wearable Jaguar technology – the Activity Key. This is a waterproof band you can wear when swimming, that unlocks the car instead of a key. It’s a Jaguar first.

It’s built on Jaguar’s aluminium-intensive architecture also used by the new XE and XF. It has double wishbone front suspension and Integral Link rear suspension that are sold in three grades – two of them the same as on the sporty F-Type.

Most F-Pace will likely be sold with the 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine, offered in rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive guise. It also offers a V6 turbo diesel and the two V6 engines taken straight from the F-Pace – it currently thus produces up to 380hp, for 0-60mph in 5.1 seconds. Watch out, Macan…

The Jaguar F-Pace will cost from £34,170: that will buy you a 180hp 2.0-litre Ingenium turbodiesel with a manual gearbox and rear-wheel drive.

Deliveries of the Jaguar F-Pace will begin in 2016, although the firm says customers can head over to its website right now to start configurating the car.

The F-Pace will be sold in familiar Jaguar trim lines: Prestige (from £34,170), R-Sport (from £36,670), Portfolio (from £39,170) and the sporty S (from £51,450).

Jaguar has an extra range-topping model for the launch of the F-Pace, called First Edition. This has extras such as mighty 22-inch alloys, Windsor leather seats, LED headlights and a panoramic roof. It costs from £65,275.

Keep coming back more images and keep coming back for more news of the new Jaguar F-Pace SUV as the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show gets underway.

2015 Ford Edge

European Ford Edge set to make Frankfurt debut

2015 Ford Edge

The European version of the Ford Edge will make its debut at next week’s 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, as the UK launch… ahem, edges closer. Production kicks off later this year.

The Mondeo-based SUV will sit at the top of a three-branch SUV and crossover tree, above the Kuga and EcoSport. Ford is promising to introduce five new models in the SUV and crossover segments within the next three years, as the public’s insatiable appetite for such vehicles shows little sign of cooling off.

The Edge – which is already available in the US – is part of the company’s ‘One Ford’ strategy, which sees vehicles built for a global market. Ford has previously promised to refine the Edge for European tastes.

Two powertrains will be available, a 180hp 2.0-litre TDCi diesel with a six-speed manual gearbox and a 210hp twin-turbo diesel with Ford’s six-speed PowerShift automatic transmission. Ford is claiming CO2 of as little as 149g/km for its flagship SUV.

All-wheel drive as standard

Cementing its position as an authentic SUV, the Edge will be all-wheel drive as standard, with up to 100% of the torque available to either the front or rear wheels. In theory, this should minimise the impact on fuel efficiency and make the Edge cheaper to run.

The Edge will also offer a host of safety devices as Ford pushes for a full five-star Euro NCAP rating. These include pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection, front split view camera and adaptive steering.

Premium SUV at Ford prices

Ford is also promising best-in-class levels of refinement, helped by the introduction of active noise control (available on all models except Zetec) which cancels out unwanted cabin noise using opposing sound waves.

Indeed, the Edge is targeted at the premium SUVs, rather than the more mainstream models. Think Land Rover Discovery Sport rather than Hyundai Santa Fe.

Roelant de Waard, Ford of Europe’s vice president of sales, marketing and service, said: “All-new Edge will deliver more room for passengers than larger competitor SUVs that cost considerably more. The styling and suite of comfort, convenience and safety technologies in Edge rival the premium offerings in Europe.”

How much will the Ford Edge cost?

The Edge is expected to go on sale in the UK next year and although prices have yet to be announced, we’d envisage a starting price around £30,000.

We’ll bring you more news from the Frankfurt Motor Show.

2016 Bentley Bentayga

New 2016 Bentley Bentayga SUV revealed

2016 Bentley BentaygaThe new Bentley Bentayga SUV has been revealed ahead of its public debut at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show next week.

And you can come out from behind the sofa now, because the Bentley Bentayga isn’t as scary as the EXP 9 F concept led us to believe. Still has a silly name, mind.

Bentley Bentayga

Bentley isn’t afraid to roll out a number of superlatives and Top Trump style claims to support the launch of the new Bentayga. Are you sitting down?

OK, well according to Bentley, the Bentayga is ‘the fastest, most powerful, most luxurious and most exclusive SUV in the world’, making it the SUV to beat all SUVs, right?

Bentley ventured across five continents during the development of the Bentayga, claiming to have undertaken the most exhaustive programme in the brand’s history. Dirt and gravel in South Africa, the dunes in Dubai, mud in Crewe and the freezing temperatures of the North Cape, the Bentayga has been there, done that. Not to mention 400 laps of the Nürburgring.

From EXP 9 F to Bentayga

Bentley EXP 9F

Bentley’s first SUV has come a long way since its debut as the EXP 9 F concept of 2012. It’s fair to say the concept didn’t receive unanimous support at the Geneva Motor Show.

Back then, Bentley spoke of positioning the SUV above the likes of the Range Rover, Porsche Cayenne Turbo S and Audi Q7, charting new territory for a car of this ilk.

At the time, the idea of a Bentley SUV hadn’t been granted full board approval, but given the popularity of SUVs, it’s no surprise to see the EXP 9 F becoming a reality.

Bentley Bentayga

The Bentley Bentayga is powered by an all-new 6.0-litre twin-turbocharged W12 engine developing an almost ridiculous 599hp at 5,250-6,000rpm.

And we haven’t even mentioned the 664lb ft of torque between 1,250 and 4,500rpm. The Bentayga has just upped the ante in the powerful SUV stakes.

All of which means the Bentley Bentayga has a top speed of 187mph and a 0-62mph time of 4.1 seconds. You may not like the idea of a super SUV, but these figures are astonishing.

Amazingly, the Bentayga emits ‘just’ 292g/km CO2, in part thanks to Bentley’s Variable Displacement system, allowing the engine to run as a six-cylinder.

Release the throttle in gears 5th to 8th and the Bentayga will open the torque convertor, dropping the engine to idle and allowing the SUV to coast, thus saving fuel.

At launch, the W12 is the only engine available, but Bentley will offer diesel and hybrid variants in the future. It’s unlikely that these will offer the same jaw dropping performance figures.

Bentley claims the Bentayga offers the widest range of on- and off-road drive settings of any vehicle. It’s all thanks to the Drive Dynamic Mode and optional Responsive Off-Road Setting.

Eight driving modes are available, with the Driver Information Panel displaying information on pitch, roll, wheel articulation, steering angle, compass bearing and altitude.

As you’d expect, the Bentley Bentayga is loaded with the latest array of safety and support mechanisms, including adaptive cruise control, park assist, traffic sign recognition and night vision.

None of this will shield you from the attention you’ll almost certainly receive when driving the Bentayga. It’s certainly better looking than the concept, but it’s hardly subtle.

At the front you’ll find swathes of in-your-face mesh and what Bentley calls ‘floating’ all-LED headlamps. Beauty, they say, is in the eye of the beholder. You can make up your own mind.

The rear end is far less offensive with lights that feature B-shaped illumination graphics. The large Bentley badge is a helpful reminder of what has just overtaken you.

But if the exterior styling is up for debate, there can be no doubts about the interior. According to Bentley, it’s ‘the world’s finest cabin’, so read on to find out why.

The dashboard has been inspired by Bentley’s ‘wing’ design and can be finished in one of seven different veneers. Oh, and did we mention the 15 different interior hides?

Highlights include the Bentley knurling on the drive mode selector, gear knob, bullseye vents and organ pulls. One can also select from 15 different carpets.

The front seats offer 22-way adjustment, enhanced with six-programme massage function, seat heating and ventilation. Cliche alert: this looks a fine place to be.

Almost as good as the rear seats, which can be ordered in either two- or three-seat configuration. Opt for the former and you’ll be treated to 18 different adjustments, massage, ventilation and footrests.

Open the hands-free tailgate to reveal 430 litres of boot space (590 with the load cover retracted) and a fixed back, dividing the cabin from the boot.

Should sir or madam wish, the boot can be ordered with a folding event seat, presenting a viewing platform for use at the polo or cross country eventing.

At launch, the Bentley Bentayga is available with an integrated Mulliner hamper set, complete with fridge, fine china cutlery, crockery and crystal glass. You can also order a Mulliner Tourbillon by Breitling clock.

Deliveries will commence in early 2016, by which time Bentley will have released prices for the Bentayga. Don’t expect much change from £150,000.

2016 Toyota Prius

New 2016 Toyota Prius revealed

2016 Toyota PriusToyota has revealed the all-new Prius hybrid ahead of its public debut at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show next week. The new Toyota Prius will establish new benchmarks for fuel economy and emissions, says the firm.

The first Toyota based on the firm’s New Generation Architecture – TNGA for short – it has a lower centre of gravity for better handling, and a more space-efficient (and expensive) double wishbone rear suspension.

2016 Toyota Prius

The full hybrid powertrain is new and Toyota says it’s smoother, quieter, more responsive and, significantly, “has a more linear feel that is better aligned to engine speed”.

No more ‘slipping clutch’ sound effects?

The firm isn’t disclosing any economy details just yet, but does say the engine has more than 40 per cent thermal efficiency, setting a new world record for a petrol engine.

There’s a new, smaller and more energy-dense, nickel-metal hybrid battery (lithium ion has been eschewed by the firm).

New Toyota Prius styling

2016 Toyota Prius

Visually, the new Prius marks a big evolution over its two predecessors. It now sports more of a saloon look, despite retaining the rear hatch: this closely aligns it with Toyota’s new hydrogen fuel cell Mirai which recently begun deliveries in the UK.

The rear has an extended deck and a sharply cut off tail, an extreme example of aerodynamic efficiency, and the rear C-pillars are now dark-finish to extend the roofline by creating a floating-roof effect.

2016 Toyota Prius

Inside, it’s a modernised version of the current car’s look, with a central touchscreen, centrally-mounted instruments and an open-plan feel.

 

2016 Renault Megane revealed ahead of Frankfurt debut

2016 Renault Megane revealed ahead of Frankfurt debut

2016 Renault Megane revealed ahead of Frankfurt debut

Renault has released these official pictures of the new Megane hatchback ahead of its public debut at next week’s Frankfurt Motor Show.

The Ford Focus rival shows design traits from other models in Renault’s range – such as the Talisman, which is also set to make its first public appearance at Frankfurt.

Unlike the Talisman, however, the Megane will be sold in the UK – with sales set to begin early next year.

In a move similar to Peugeot with its 308, the new Megane looks to be heading upmarket in a bid to take on the Volkswagen Golf.

Renault is yet to reveal any official pictures of the new Megane’s interior, but leaked pictures suggest it’ll feature a large touchscreen, similar to that of the latest Espace.

2016 Renault Megane revealed ahead of Frankfurt debut

From launch, a premium Megane GT will be available with a sportier appearance from its new front bumper design, along with a broader air intake and a new honeycomb grille.

To the rear, two chromed exhaust pipes hint at its sportiness, along with ‘Renaultsport’ badging.

Renault is yet to confirm the engine range for the new Megane, with a number of new units thought to be on the agenda.

It’s also remaining tight-lipped about a hot RS version to take on the likes of the Ford Focus ST and Honda Civic Type-R, but we expect to hear more in the near future.

To find out more about the new Renault Megane and other important unveilings at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show, keep an eye on Motoring Research, where we’ll be reporting live from 15 September.

Nissan teases new crossover concept ahead of Frankfurt debut

Nissan teases new crossover concept ahead of Frankfurt debut

Nissan teases new crossover concept ahead of Frankfurt debut

Nissan has released this teaser image of a new crossover concept car ahead of its official public debut at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show later this month.

Set to revive the Nissan Z-badge, traditionally used on sporty models such as the current 370Z, the new model is likely to prove controversial with purists.

With the 370Z due to be phased out within the next few years, Nissan appears to have decided to continue its ‘Z’ line-up with a sporty crossover.

In a statement released alongside the teaser, the manufacturer said: “Can Nissan continue to innovate and move the bar higher? What if Nissan created a new way to feel driving excitement?”

The concept is thought to preview a new model, set to sit below the Qashqai and alongside the Juke in Nissan’s line-up.

Likely to be sportier than the Juke, the production model might appeal to buyers who find the Juke too quirky.

We’ll find out more about Nissan’s crossover concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show, where we’ll be reporting live from 15 September.