Wheels Asia - - Cover car - TEXT AND PHO­TOS AARON HIA

The tem­ple of per­for­mance SUVS is al­most com­plete, with Jaguar’s highly-an­tic­i­pated SUV join­ing the fra­ter­nity

here is al­ways a first for every­thing and Jaguar clearly isn’t any dif­fer­ent in this the­ory of life. With SUVS be­ing the trend now in ev­ery part of the world, it isn’t hard to en­vis­age the Bri­tish mar­quee want­ing a slice of the SUV pie. Hav­ing be­ing masters in their own realm of sedans and coupes and hav­ing won ac­claimed suc­cess with its rau­cous and ob­scene su­per­charged V6 mo­tors, how would an SUV en­trant per­form amongst its ex­ist­ing rank of sedans and coupes?

En­ter the F-pace, a SUV that reeks com­pletely of Jaguar’s am­bi­tion to rule the world. Given how ac­cus­tomed much of the driv­ing pop­u­lace has be­come to the typ­i­cal of­fer­ings from Stuttgart, In­gol­stadt and Bavaria, the F-pace comes as a slice of pep­per­mint choco­late tiramisu amongst the usual dessert takes of salted caramel. Be­ing its first SUV of­fer­ing, there can be no mis­take. Af­ter all, first im­pres­sions count and there can be no mis­take with the F-pace; a lot of Jaguar’s pride and rep­u­ta­tion is rid­ing on it.

And what a first im­pres­sion it makes, the F-pace makes lit­tle or no ef­fort at be­ing suave; it does it so ever nat­u­rally, but at the same time, does not put on a pre­ten­tious, overly mus­cu­lar im­age by keep­ing its side pro­por­tions in check. The typ­i­cal vi­su­als of the Bri­tish cat can be spot­ted from its large front grille, boldly em­bossed with the brand’s in­signia. The ob­vi­ous bits how­ever, are the com­plete front façade and its dis­tinc­tively shaped tail lights.

In­side the F-pace, Jaguar has stayed on point with its fin­ish­ing. In typ­i­cal Jaguar fash­ion, the in­stantly-recog­nis­able bits are the steer­ing wheel, dash­board, ro­tary drive se­lec­tor knob and dash­board. Sur­pris­ingly with all that high-tech wiz­ardry that Jaguar touts from its in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem, it still misses out on smart­phone cast­ing, something that many con­ti­nen­tal car man­u­fac­tur­ers are em­bark­ing on. Then there’s the is­sue with the win­dow switches mounted on the high on the door, which makes you won­der why Jaguar did not opt to place the switches next to the door han­dle. Small smidges then, be­cause be­ing in the F-pace is a mas­sively en­joy­able af­fair. While its size sits some­where be­tween the BMW X3 and the Audi Q5, it of­fers relatively de­cent space for four adults, along with good 650-litre boot space for two

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