In an announcement that should really surprise no one who follows the car business, the Jaguar F-PACE won World Car of the Year this morning at NYIAS 2017. This very reporter predicted this victory weeks ago ("…the odds-on pick has to be the Jaguar F-Pace…"). But, I can't behave as though I should open a psychic hotline service or set off to Vegas to beat the bookies.
When I first drove the F-PACE during a special media event last year, I knew the vehicle was destined for statuettes and a game-changer for the automaker. When you're setting around a posh dinner table in Aspen at a car media event, and you can't find a single person who has anything negative to say about the given vehicle of the hour amongst the jaded and often crotchety crop of writers, you know the designers and engineers hit a straight six.
The 2017 Jaguar F-PACE beat back the Bosh as the Brits overcame German challengers in the form of the Audi Q5 and Volkswagen Tiguan. Earlier in the awards program, the F-Pace also took home the 2017 World Car Design of the Year over the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet and Toyota C-HR. In the 13 years of the World Car of the Year Awards, the F-Pace is only the second vehicle to win both "Car of the Year" and "Design."
Flashing back to that Colorado F-PACE first drive event when I initially got my hands on the machine, I also needed only one afternoon behind the wheel to predict it would be Jaguar's #1 seller in a year's time. While accepting its awards, Jaguar announced the F-Pace is the fastest selling model the company ever produced. The reasons are clear: The F-Pace is the new badge on the block in the luxury crossover neighborhood; that crossover market is the hottest segment in the car business; and the F-Pace is just a beautiful piece of work.
So, while Jaguar basks in its April glory, I'm left wondering if bold and stone cold lock predictions means I should branch out from this writing thing and get into the consulting business somewhere. I'm open to offers, especially if there's Dental."
Jaguar F-TYPE drops a few pounds, a couple cylinders with new turbocharged model
"The F-TYPE's new engine is Jaguar Land Rover's 2.0-liter "Ingenium" four-cylinder mill. The powerplant is enhanced by a twin-scroll turbocharger with ceramic bearings, high-pressure gasoline direct-injection and JLR's electrohydraulic valve lift control system. This "Ingenium" engine is shared with the Range Rover Evoque, but Jaguar boosted the output for this incarnation, bringing the F-TYPE's totals to 296 horsepower (up by 56) and 295 pound-feet of torque (adding 45).
Mated to the new engine is an eight-speed "QuickShift" automatic transmission putting power to the rear wheels. Jag offers a manual option for the current-gen F-TYPE V6 that I think might be a nice fit for this new entry point into range, but the automaker has so far only announced the automatic. Maybe if we ask really nicely...
The four-pot F-TYPE will also be the lightest model in the range, tipping the scales at 114.6 pounds lighter than the supercharged V-6 model when similarly equipped. Tweaks have been made to the new model's suspension, steering and torque vectoring braking systems to compensate and calibrate for the reduced mass. The rubber meets the road with standard 18-inch wheels shod with 245 mm wide tires up front and wider 275 mm rubber on the rear axle.
Efficiency numbers haven't been stated yet, but some performance benchmarks have. The F-TYPE 2.0T will sprint from 0-60 mph in about 5.4 seconds before going on to a top speed of 155 mph. That's about 2 seconds and 50 mph short of the mighty F-Type SVR, but the four-cylinder comes in at well under half the cost -- starting at $59,000, where it will do battle with the new four-cylinder Porsche 718 Cayman and Boxster models."
Goodwin, Antuan. "2018 Jaguar F-TYPE: A little leaner, no less mean." Roadshow. N.p., 12 Apri. 2017. Web. 20 Apr. 2017
Lucid Air and Jaguar I-PACE take on Tesla
"New York - The Tesla Model S sedan and Model X SUV have pioneered the luxury electric-vehicle segment. But now they have company on both fronts.
The Lucid Air, a Model S-fighter, debuted at the New York Auto Show this week, just five months after the curtain rose on the Model X-fighting Jaguar I-PACE at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Beautifully styled by two of the industry's leading designers to take on Tesla, the new models - one from a startup, the other from an established automaker - come from dramatically different business backgrounds.
"All credit to Tesla. They have pioneered electric vehicles, but now they know that other brands are on the march. There's not a car brand at this show that's not working on a (full-electric) vehicle," said Andy Goss, Jaguar director of sales and marketing, in an interview. "BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Porsche all have product coming."
But it's Lucid, headquartered in Silicon Valley near Tesla, that is pushing the envelope of EV capability. With a clean sheet of paper, Lucid is coming to the auto market with the intent of redefining it with more versatile EV platforms.
"The establishment (automakers) still have the majority of their focus on maintaining their internal-combustion lines," says Lucid design chief Derek Jenkins, who in his previous role with Mazda designed such lookers as the Miata and CX-9 sport ute. "That's their bread and butter - it defines their segments and their brands."
Jaguar admits as much. Its I-Pace will help the automaker meet looming government emissions rules even as it chases coveted luxury consumers.
"Compliance issues have something to do with this, especially in China and Europe," says Goss of those nations' increasingly strict greenhouse gas limits. Battery-electric vehicles are a massive contributors to getting your average (fuel-economy ratings) down."
With a development team led by Chief Technology Officer Peter Rawlinson - Tesla's former chief engineer - the gorgeous Air has the same exterior dimensions as the Model S but is larger inside. Where Tesla conformed to design standards of a long hood and tapered rear, the Lucid fully exploits the lack of gas engine for interior space. The Air's premium model sports a full-glass moon-roof from stem to stern - hence its name.
"We can extract the full potential of the electric car. I couldn't have done that at Tesla," says Rawlinson. "Because the batteries are in the floor, this car has the exterior dimensions of a Mercedes E-Class and the interior dimensions of an S-Class long wheelbase."
The Mercedes S-Class starts at $96,000. The Lucid, slated for 2020 sale, hopes to bow at just $60,000 - similar to the Model S. Lucid is in the process of raising $240 million to build its Casa Grande, Arizona, production plant.
Jaguar's I-Pace, due next year, will likely start higher given its brand equity. Much of that value comes from the pen of legendary designer Ian Callum, father of the Jaguar F-Type, arguably the prettiest sports car in production. Yet Callum, like Lucid's Jenkins, has turn away from the long hoods that Jaguar made famous (the signature 1960s E-Type is practically all hood) in order to take advantage of the 90 kWh battery pack stowed in the floor."
Payne, Henry. "Lucid Air and Jaguar I-PACE take on Tesla." The Detroit News. N.p., 12 April 2017. Web.