F-Pace 300 sport: Power and agility
While the F-Pace is relatively young to the market, the luxury SUV packs all the punches of its rivals. It is modelled after the concept vehicle, C-X17, which was unveiled at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. The F-Pace starts with an unmistakable front fascia that has a rectangular mesh grille, which exudes power and agility. Next, there is Jaguar’s signature ‘J’ Blade Daytime Running Lights and Adaptive LED headlights that produce an intensity of light that is close to daylight. It is also great when taking corners as the side lights are activated to create better visibility.
At the bottom of the front bumper are aerodynamic vents, which allow air to flow around the vehicle to enhance handling and speed. The muscular theme continues with the 19-inch five-spoke rims, which have blades resembling a fan.
Around the back are pronounced rear haunches and a series of design cues from the F-TYPE series such as full LED tail lights..
ACCELERATION ON THE GO
Anytime I get the opportunity to drive the sports version of a vehicle, I am overjoyed because I know it will be built with performance in mind. Under the hood is a 2-litre turbocharged engine that accelerates confidently and fast. As is customary, there is a rotary knob, which protrudes from the centre console, that controls the transmission. The usual selections such as park, reverse, drive, and neutral are there, however, to the far right, there is sport mode. This is the only option that allowed me to engage the paddle shifters.
One of the first things I noticed is the fact that the vehicle tries to conserve gas, so it has a tendency to stay in a higher gear to keep the RPM down. However, if fuel consumption doesn’t concern you, switch to sports mode and downshift with the gear selector to get aggressive acceleration. When this is done, a loud, growling noise comes from the muffler as if warning everyone to move out of the way.
Complementing these driving options are three additional modes: dynamic, eco, and a singular selection that covers rain, ice, or snow. In dynamic mode, the 12.3-inch instrument panel display, with virtual dials, is outlined in red, and the mood lights also switch to the same colour. The combination of this, while in sports selection, has the engine performing at its optimum as it provides a linear delivery of power and maximises responsiveness.
Eco is all about conserving fuel while rain-ice-snow mode is for tackling inclement weather or going on mild off-road excursions.
In normal drive mode, virtually all torque is distributed to the rear wheels as it pushes the muscular frame about. However, if the surface becomes challenging, the power is split 50/50 to front and rear wheels.
Much of the chassis is made of aluminium, which is both light and strong. As for the suspension, it is modelled off the F-TYPE sports car, which means that it is on the firmer side. An advantage of this is that it sits on the road very confidently, with no body roll, despite having a high centre of gravity. To assist with this are tyres with width of 225mm and Jaguar’s unique Intelligent Driveline Dynamics software for an agile feel and to minimise understeer.
The steering gives great road feedback and has an aggressive lane-departure warning, which notifies the driver with a visual alert as well as a strong vibration.
LUXURY AT ITS BEST
I have always loved how easy it is to personalise the settings in Jaguars. The options are not layered with convoluted tiles. Instead, everything is grouped in an intuitive way. For example, the configuration of the ambient light, which can be accessed through settings, reveals the 10 colours from which to choose. The multiple placement of these lights is also impressive as they are strategically positioned throughout the cabin for visual appeal.
As I entered the vehicle, the first thing that stood out was the double yellow stitching against the black leather, which covers most of the interior. Even the three-spoke steering wheel is wrapped in soft leather, which makes it comfortable to manoeuvre.
Another visual standout are the temperature controls, which are divided by horizontal strips of blue light to add to the classy and sleek appearance. Above this is a 10.2-inch touchscreen called InControl Touch Pro, which has multitouch gestures and a customisable home screen. It is paired with a Meridian Sound System that has 11 speakers, including a subwoofer. It delivers strong clarity where voice is concerned and has a tendency to be bass centered, which gives an overall sound that is rich and strong.
Fortunately for me, the model I tested had a panoramic glass roof, which gave a beautiful view of the sky as it extends from the front to the trunk. For a more engaging experience, it can also slide to allow fresh air to enter the cabin. If you are interested in privacy or you want to reduce excessive heating under intense sunlight, you can retract the electric blind.
The spec sheet for this vehicle is endless as it has a little of everything, so at the end of the day, it is about preference where brands are concerned. Its counterparts have all been ramping up their presence in the SUV market, and now, buyers have to figure out which insignia carries the most exquisite appeal.
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Price Range: starting at $13.5m
Engine: 2-litre turbocharged
Competition: Audi Q5, Porsche Macan, Mercedes GLE
Retractable panoramic roof
11-speaker Meridian Sound System
Vehicle was provided courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover Contact: 876-968-0930, email: firstname.lastname@example.org