Jaguar is forging ahead with plans to expand its lineup and the next addition will be another SUV, to be called the J-Pace.
It's been rumored for some time but Jaguar on Friday finally confirmed plans for the J-Pace, a mid-size SUV to target the Audi Q7, BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz GLE. Timing hasn't been mentioned but previous rumors point to a market arrival in 2021. This means the first prototypes should appear soon.
Jaguar gave an early look at the J-Pace to judges involved in the World Car of the Year awards program, most of whom are automotive journalists. The judges were also treated with early looks at a replacement for the XE, an update of the F-Type sports car, and a redesigned, battery-electric XJ.
The J-Pace, which should boast third-row seats, will utilize the new modular platform shared with the next-generation Range Rover and Range Rover Sport from sister brand Land Rover, which are also due around 2021.
Dubbed MLA, the platform debuts this year in the highly anticipated redesigned Defender and will eventually underpin most models at Jaguar Land Rover. Jaguar vehicles will be more road-biased, to help differentiate them from their more rugged Land Rover siblings.
One of the main benefits of the MLA platform is its ability to support hybrid and full electric powertrains. The J-Pace will take advantage of this by launching with mild- and plug-in hybrid powertrains and potentially offering an electric option later in the life cycle. Jaguar Land Rover predicts that 20 percent of new car sales will be electric by 2025.
It wasn't that long ago that the idea of a Jaguar SUV seemed preposterous. However, the F-Pace small SUV became Jaguar's best seller its first year on the market, outselling sedans like the XE and XF more than two to one. Jaguar has since launched the compact E-Pace and battery-electric I-Pace, with the former expected to become an even better seller than the F-Pace. No surprise then that Jaguar is already mulling a subcompact SUV to be dubbed either A-Pace or B-Pace.