Jaguar is preparing a crossover army to battle key luxury players, led by its F-Pace

2016-Jaguar-C-X17 front angle
Jaguar C-X17 Concept
Jaguar’s crossover strategy has swelled dramatically in recent months. Benignly, the UK automaker introduced the C-X17 crossover concept at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show without any assurances that any production crossover would come from the design study.

As the brand absorbed consistent positive feedback, it became clear that Jaguar would indeed introduce a production version. In the words of Design Director Ian Callum, “We received such an overwhelmingly positive response to the C-X17 concept car last year that we just had to make it a reality.”

Alas, the F-Pace was announced for a debut at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show … but that has proved to be the tip of the iceberg. Rumors began circulating about both a smaller and larger crossover to fill out the range. Now those rumors are taking shape thanks to a report from Autocar.

Following the F-Pace’s launch early next year, which will be the automaker’s first challenger to luxury rivals like BMW’s X5, Audi’s Q5, Porsche’s Cayenne, and Lexus’s RX, more high-riding models will follow. “Don’t think in terms of one more SUV — think a family of SUVs,” said company insiders.

Starting at the entry level, there are plans for a rival to MINI’s Countryman and Audi’s upcoming Q1. Jaguar believes there’s more value in a subcompact crossover than a subcompact car, both in potential sticker price and brand credibility.

Moving up the chain, Jaguar has all but ruled out a larger SUV to sit above the F-Pace. Since performance will be the main focus of its crossovers, a larger, heavier model will be harder to motivate and build for high-speed handling. That leaves coupe variants of the F-Pace and J-Pace (as the subcompact crossover will likely be called) highly likely.

More dramatic styling and direct rivalries with models like the BMW X2/X4/X6, Mercedes GLA/GLE Coupe, and upcoming Audi Q6/Q8 are pulls for Jaguar cross-coupes. In addition to sharper looks, the coupe variants may be the first to receive R and SVR performance versions akin to the Range Rover Sport SVR.

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