Jaguar Land Rover Highlights from the L.A. Auto Show
Jaguar Land Rover was out in force at the L.A. Auto Show, and so were we to get pictures and the low down.
You probably already know that Jeep showed off their new truck and Porsche showed off a new 911 that looks like the last 911 that looks like the last 911 that… You get the picture. While all that stuff is fun to check out, we gravitated to the Jaguar and Land Rover displays to get a look at the what’s exciting us for 2019.
Jaguar F-Pace SVR
Jaguar has already shown the world how to make a sporty crossover. It was only a matter of time before the Special Vehicle operations got their hands on it to gave us an SVR version. Seeing it up close and personal got us rubbing our hands together in anticipation of the V-8-powered, 5.0-liter, 550 horsepower, 2019 Jaguar F-Pace SVR.
It’s not just a heart transplant though. There’s improvements in aerodynamics, a stiffer adaptive suspension system, even more rigidity in the chassis, and a revised electric power-steering system. We expect the F-Pace SVR to become the darling of the automotive journalists once the review units start getting into the wild.
E-Pace and I-Pace
We’ve mentioned before that we’re sure the all-electric I-Pace is the first proper non-self-inflicted blow for Tesla. This is now the benchmark for luxury electric vehicles. It’s designed by Ian Callum and uses electric drive technology from Jaguar’s Formula E racing car program. We can’t get enough of it.
The E-Pace has been selling very well already and lands somewhere in the market between the Range Rover Evoque and the Land Rover Discovery Sport to intrude in Jeep territory in the U.S of A. Unlike any Jeep though, it’s both gorgeous and fast. We fully expect the E-Pace to continue to be Jaguar’s stealthy success story.
Range Rover P400e plug-in hybrid (PHEV)
Electric power has come to the SUV world. Until Range Rover saw the writing on the wall, nobody had managed to produce a hybrid, 4WD vehicle capable of riding low range to face the challenge of off-roading solely on electric power. Thanks to the aluminum architecture of the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport keeping things as light as possible and some slick engineering to maintain suspension articulation, it’s now a reality. It’s still early days for Range Rover PHEV vehicles, but we expect the sales numbers to grow steadily as more and more people embrace the practicality and benefits on offer.
Land Rover Discovery
The Land Rover Discovery does resemble the Range Rover in styling cues, and it also has the same aluminum base of architecture technology underneath. However, it slots in behind the Range Rover while blowing away its market segment competitors in off-road capability and, in our minds, with its looks. Between the Land Rover Discovery and the Jaguar F-Pace, the leave vehicles like BMW’s X5 looking like jack of all trades and masters of none. If you want a luxury sports crossover, the F-Pace dominates. If you want a luxurious yet practical SUV that isn’t afraid to get its wheels dirty, then the Discovery is for you.
The Jaguar XE saw a return to rear-wheel drive in Jaguars luxury sports sedans. There’s been relatively little hype over the XE despite it’s fantastic driving dynamics because BMW and Audi have been dominating so long, and the time Jaguar lost in the Ford Years. However, we’re excited for just how important the XE is in the grand scheme of things for jaguar. The F-Pace is sticking its elbows out in the luxury sports segment with the big boys and stamping Jaguar’s name on the public’s consciousness while the I-Pace does the same in the tiny but, important EV segment.
We see the next few years of Jaguar starting to see the fruits of its labors as it takes more and more of the markets Jaguar chooses to cut into with scalpel like precision. While the sedan market is being declared dead as Ford and Chevrolet continue pull out, it’s important to remember that these are cycles. The station wagon, then the minivan, now the crossover SUV, has had car enthusiasts pulling their hair out for decades and declaring the death of practical enthusiast vehicles. That day has never come, and Jaguar making sure the XE is a contender for best in class is a smart long-term move in our book.
Jaguar F-Type R
The most athletic and powerful version of the F-Type doesn’t just mix brutal power with graceful agility, it’s also absolutely eyeball-meltingly beautiful. A 550-hp supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 with an 8-speed automatic and all-wheel drive hitting 60 mph in 3.2 seconds just adds to the aching beauty. We drove one and screamed pretty much the whole time about how great it is. If this isn’t proof that Jaguar is on top of its game, we don’t know what to tell you.
Jaguar I-Type Race Car
A 200kW electric power unit, pushrod-operated double wishbone front suspension with twin dampers and torsion bars, rear coil-over suspension system with four way dampers, carbon based regenerative braking, and Jaguar’s Rechargeable Energy Storage System. Jaguar’s I-Type is sitting right on the bleeding edge of what a race car can be.
Formula 1 technology doesn’t filter down like it used to, nowadays it tends to drip. With electric powertrains on the rise, anyone who’s anyone is getting into Formula E despite it’s…tepid…viewing figures. We’re already seeing electric drive technology from Jaguar’s Formula E program find it’s way into the I-Pace, and it’s why we are following Formula E despite the lack of noise. Jaguar is absolutely in the present, but the Jaguar I-Type shows us it’s also making sure it has a grip on where the future is going.