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Frankfurt show: Jaguar to unveil F-Pace SUV

On the pace: Jaguar's production-ready F-Pace SUV will debut at this year's Frankfurt motor show, two years after the reveal of the C-X17 concept (left).

Jaguar’s F-Pace SUV foray to break cover in production form at Frankfurt motor show

Jaguar logo1 Apr 2015

By DANIEL GARDNER in NEW YORK

JAGUAR'S first SUV will roll out for its global debut at the Frankfurt motor show in September this year, showcasing the vehicle that it says puts the roaring-cat badge “on the map”.

The British car-maker has previously confirmed it will enter the lucrative high-rider segment with the F-Pace, and that it will come to Australia, but Jaguar has now confirmed a date and is expecting a big result from its new model.

At the unveiling of the company’s new XF luxury sedan in New York this week, Jaguar global brand director Steven De Ploey told media he had great expectations for the F-Pace in Australia, as well as global markets.

“It’s clear that the fastest growing markets, including Australia, are the SUVs and we have very big hopes in your market,” he said. “I think that will be the car that puts us on the map.”

When questioned if the arrival of an SUV would damage a brand more traditionally associated with passenger cars, Mr De Ploey said Jaguar was coming to the market at just the right time and would benefit from the work of other car-makers before it.

“I think Porsche did the difficult homework for us,” he said “They had the whole push-back from the purists but it was the car that saved Porsche.

“I think the world has accepted, and Porsche has made the world understand an SUV can be a very dynamically capable car. You’ll see that F-Pace is targeted to hit and meet, if not exceed Macan’s capability.”

Mr De Ploey said that while other car-makers had been in the game for longer, Jaguar had the advantage of a slimmer line-up, adding that it would not hurt any other model by introducing a new volume seller.

“We’ve got no cannibalisation issues. We are not BMW with 37 models,” he said.

“They are eating their own lunch to some extent. Overall the business still grows but they can't do one without affecting another. We are in a fortunate position where we don’t have that yet.”

Jaguar Australia general manager of communications and public relations Tim Krieger shares Mr De Ploey’s confidence in the F-Pace's potential, telling Australian press the new car would form part of a solid strategy along with the XE and XF sedans to continue company expansion Down Under.

“The great thing about XE is that it talks to a completely new audience that Jaguar hasn’t spoken to for a long time so we see great volume opportunities for XE, but F-Pace being in that SUV crossover segment, in Australia it’s certainly where the volume is so we expect it to be a very popular model,” he said.

“Certainly XE and F-Pace should be very warmly received.

“Given that all our core competitors are playing in that space there is an expectation to be a modern brand you need to have an offering in that segment so I think there is a lot of anticipation and excitement about that model.”

When posed with a similar question regarding brand identity, Mr Krieger said Jaguar could safely enter new domains as long as it stuck to the core values that customers demand in the luxury sedan range.

“It really depends on the product,” he said. “It’s a valid point but the product has to live up to the brand promise. For Jaguar it needs to be a performance vehicle. It needs to have great drive and handling, dynamics.

“If you can do that I think it works. Our customers clearly want vehicles with that configuration. As long as it does what the Jaguar brand stands for, I don’t think there is an issue.

“I think it’s the right thing for the brand.”

Mr Kreiger said the Jaguar F-Pace would be a more on-road focused model and would not tread on the toes of sister-brand Land Rover’s off-road reputation.

“It’s very distinctly a Jaguar. It’s not about capability. Capability is clearly Land Rover’s position and Jaguar has it’s own position so the two will be very different offerings. Jaguar wont be straying into the hardcore four-wheel drive area. It’s a very different animal.”

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GoAutoNews is Australia’s number one automotive industry journal covering the latest news, future and new model releases, market trends, industry personnel movements, and international events.