Jaguar is known for its low slung sports cars and luxury sedans. So when the British carmaker ventured into building SUVs, apart from the initial grumbling about the heritage, much was expected from their first ever SUV, the F-Pace. Well, it seems Jaguar has figured it all out in their first attempt because the F-Pace has won the world car of the year (WCOTY) award as well as the world car design of the year award.
The twin accolades have bolstered Jaguar’s faith in their new age SUVs that have spawned from the DNA of their performance machines. The F-Pace SUV has taken inspiration from the F-type, Jaguar’s flagship supercar. The competition began with 23 cars being shortlisted based on the criteria laid down by WCOTY. 75 journalists from 23 countries drove the cars in Los Angeles last year, thus shortlisting ten cars in the first round and then bringing the list down to three which was announced in Geneva last month.
The three finalists were Audi Q5, Jaguar F-Pace and the Volkswagen Tiguan. The final ballot voted in favour of the Jaguar F-Pace to be crowned the world car of the year at the New York International Auto Show. Dr Ralf Speth, CEO Jaguar Land Rover said, "The F-PACE was designed and engineered as a performance SUV with exceptional dynamics, everyday usability and bold design. Winning these two awards endorses the talent and great work of our teams that have delivered the world’s most practical sports car and Jaguar's fastest selling vehicle.”
Jaguar launched the F-Pace SUV in India last year with two engine options and four trim options overall. The entry-level Jaguar F-Pace in India gets the 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine from the Ingenium series. It develops 177bhp of power and 430Nm of torque and comes mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission with all-wheel drive standard. The other engine option is diesel as well but with a 3.0-litre V6 turbo engine that develops 296bhp of power and a whopping 700Nm of torque. This engine also comes mated to an eight speed automatic and all-wheel drive.
Jaguar has made sure that the F-Pace is as dynamic as other Jaguars and at the same time has decent off-road capabilities. The torque-on-demand all-wheel drive unit has been sourced from Jaguar’s other half, Land Rover, and it gets the clever Adaptive Surface Control which automatically switches among three modes: snow, ice, and wet grass. Essentially, it’s a more limited “auto” setting of Terrain Response, sans any tinkering with diff locks and air suspension. As in the F-type, the F-Pace all-wheel-drive system functions like a rear-driver but can lock a 50-50 torque split within 165 milliseconds.