Jaguar used this week’s 2015 Detroit Auto Show to confirm that its first-ever SUV, which has been previewed by the C-X17 concept car and is due to go on sale in 2016, will be called an F-Pace. The name is meant to associate the sportiness of the F-Type with Jaguar’s historic catchphrase 'grace, space and pace', which the SUV it will be attached to should certainly encapsulate, judging by the concept version and our own spy shots.
However, there’s no denying that the name is a bit of an odd choice. It turns out that Jaguar had considered more conventional names before settling on F-Pace, one of which was X-Type, previously used on an unloved small sedan and wagon.
“We even toyed with the idea of calling it X-Type which would have been quite an obvious one,” Jaguar design director Ian Callum told Auto Express. “Had there not been an X-Type in the past it would have been a good choice—I was brave enough to go for X-Type but there were a lot of other people who weren’t.”
Callum said Jaguar also looked at Q-based names, such as XQ, but felt it was too close to the naming practice Audi uses for its SUVs as well as the Q by Aston Martin personalization service.
During his interview with Auto Express, Callum also revealed that he’d like to design another SUV for the brand.
“It has been a good project and in fact we might do another one,” the British designer said, adding “XJ could be F-Grace!”
So, perhaps in the not too distant future we’ll see a larger, XJ-based SUV to sit alongside the XE-based F-Pace in Jaguar’s new high-riding lineup. Given the insatiable demand for premium SUVs, particularly in key markets like the U.S. and China, such a move certainly makes sense.