2017 Jaguar F-Pace Loops the Loop in Record-Breaking Reveal
Wow. We did not see that one coming.
Jaguar, long the bane of our impatient editorial existence, has finally shown off its new midsize luxury SUV, the F-Pace, in full—and the company has done it in a fittingly spectacular fashion. The brand’s first-ever SUV could be one of its biggest sellers, and a big hit deserves a big stunt. A 63-foot Hot Wheels-style loop should fit the bill nicely…
That’s right, the brand known for Space, Pace, and Grace just broke the Guinness World Record for the largest ever loop-the-loop, running the F-Pace SUV through a stunt that submitted it to 6.5g of force and showcased its dynamic talents and stunning styling. Professional driver Terry Grant piloted the Jag through the event, which took months of planning by structural engineers, mathematicians, and safety experts. Even Grant himself had to physically prepare for the loop, setting two months aside for physical and dietary therapy to train for the g-forces, which are greater than those experienced by astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle.
“Driving the world’s largest loop tonight was a very proud moment in my career,” Grant says. “I am delighted to bring the Guinness World Record back to the UK and help Jaguar run rings around their competitors ahead of the motor show tomorrow.”
The F-Pace involved in the loop stunt is the S model, which comes equipped with the company’s 3.0L supercharged gas V-6, shared with the F-Type sports car. Making 380 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque, the motor will rocket the F-Pace to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds and on to a top speed of 155 mph, thanks to its relatively svelte 4,015-pound curb weight.
Other motors in the F-Pace’s repertoire include another 3.0L supercharged V-6, making 340 hp and equivalent torque. That slightly detuned sixer will hit 60 in 5.4 seconds, with an identical top speed. The final engine, which will make its appearance a few months after the F-Pace goes on sale, is an Ingenium 2.0L turbocharged diesel I-4, which will produce 180 hp and 318 lb-ft. F-Paces with that motor reach mile-a-minute status in 8.2 seconds and max out at 129 mph.
That diesel will likely be a decent mileage-maker, given its 200-pound-lower weight and more reasonable performance. Although it’s quite a bit slower to 60 mph than its siblings, it might still be a good choice for many buyers, as the diesel’s groundswell of torque is only shadowed by the s’charged gas engines by 14 lb-ft. We bet it’ll be a tractable, if not extremely sporty, engine choice, and it represents the first-ever use of a diesel engine in a Jaguar car in the U.S.
Fuel economy for any of the engines is still pending, but with all three options being paired with ZF’s eight-speed automatics, it’ll likely be competitive or class-leading. Plan on at least 20 combined mpg for even the most powerful motor, with possibly 30 combined mpg for the diesel.
With 8.4 inches of ground clearance and nearly 20.7 inches of wading depth, it’s surprising that the sporty SUV might also have some off-road inclinations. Good approach and departure angles come along for the ride, as well. Although no low-range transfer case is mentioned by Jaguar, a huge list of standard traction aids, adaptive all-wheel-drive torque vectoring hardware, and the company’s new Adaptive Surface Response (AdSR) terrain control selector should keep the SUV moving forward in all but the most rugged (and un-Jaguarlike) scenarios.
Styling is exactly as expected—that is, this is one stunning piece of automotive art. Jaguar did very little to water down the C-X17 concept SUV from a few years ago, endowing the production-spec F-Pace with a glamorous roofline that the company mercifully avoids calling a coupe. F-Type–inspired rear fenders and taillamps combine with knife-slash headlights and “J-Blade” LED accent lighting to give the F-Pace a firm family resemblance, and the graceful profile view makes for one of the best-looking vehicles ever, SUV or not. The front grilles on the F-Pace S might be a little outlandish, but they’re suitably toned down on the luxurious F-Pace Portfolio, with the F-Pace R-Sport nicely splitting the difference.
Jag is very keen to point out that the F-Pace is a “family sports car,” rather than a fashionable, unpractical bauble like some of its competition. “Life-proofed” for five people, the Jag gets 33.5 cubic feet of cargo space and plenty of room for passengers, and extras like active safety assistants, Jaguar’s new InControl infotainment system, and an optional Activity Key. That last feature is a shockproof, waterproof, wearable piece of technology that easily locks the vehicle, allowing owners to securely lock their keyfobs in the vehicle. Jaguar envisions this feature to be invaluable to surfers, kayakers, and other wet-and-wild adventurers.
Pricing for each model line hasn’t been announced yet; however, the F-Pace equipped with the Ingenium engine will start at $40,990, while the 3.0L supercharged V-6 will start at $42,390. The 380hp variant of that engine will only be available in the F-Pace S and F-Pace S First Edition, starting at $56,700.
So, Jag, what are the odds you’ve left your Hot Wheels track set up, and what are the odds you’ll let us take a crack at tying that record you just broke? We hear you’ve got a car that’s perfect for it.