As for any new large car project, subordinate marketing interests. And this does not mean that it will be unsuccessful. Marketing makes a great product, but in most cases, kills the soul of the car.
However, after the Paris Motor Show in 2014, where he was already presented the concept F-Pace, opinion has changed. There, on the podium, with the stretched silk ribbon he was not some sort of the SUV, designed by Jaguar Land Rover team, and... a real «Jaguar». Yes, grown up, but slightly potyazhelevshy, yes, with a body slightly different form, but he was one of those «Jaguars», I knew that I loved and admired. From that moment began the countdown, which is «zeroed» in the moment when I got behind the wheel.
Meeting with a completely new car — it's like the appearance of a stranger in a familiar company. You meet him on the clothes and all the while secretly expect surprises. It is not known, it is smart or stupid, rude or polite, and how to act in different situations. And no one to ask. With it one is not familiar. Do you recognize it slowly, over and over again, the test for the test.
... They were waiting for us on the shore of the Bay of Kotor, patiently stood on the deck of the ferry. It is the same eighteen bright blue car.
Like all the rest of the test drive, I have never until this moment did not open the door of a new car. Outside seen. Inside I did not sit down.
Stas, my co-driver on this trip, knowing my passion for «Jaguar» and looking into my eyes pleading silently handed the keys and got into the passenger seat. It is clear that, according to the odometer (about 4 thousand km.), I was at F-Pace is not the first, but at least now I sit behind the wheel.
Getting our test turned out to be agonizing. The road was one of the lanes in each direction, and the organizers immediately warned that there are a lot of police that speeding fines are not in place, and lucky to issue a fine to a local bank with a colossal waste of time. But time was short. So that 380-horsepower all-wheel drive car, which was all in my power, could not manifest itself in a narrow and busy road, and all his power, concentrated for me at this point in a single accelerator, was absolutely useless.
Moreover, it is a kind of psychological pressure, which still have to cope with. I — failed.
During a forced stop on the reverse movement, I asked Stas to take it over and moved to the passenger seat. Wi-Fi, works great in the car, he gave me a lesson in the near future, too many beautiful photos from that day stale in my phone idle.
A little later, bursting out of the city and its suburbs, I had the chance to sit behind the wheel of F-Pace. Even now I am able to play the entire hurricane of emotions, which then gave me this car. In short, they sound like this: it is the second SUV to my memory, which is managed as a very balanced, thoughtful and powerful sedan, ie in fact, if you do not concentrate on the distance to the ground is a feeling that you're behind the wheel, for example, Jaguar XE. Or is the new top-end XF.
I said that this is the second such SUV? Well yes. The first is the Porsche Macan.
380 hp for such a car — a great power. The question is: what mountain paths Montenegro realize it was almost impossible. To somehow feel the car on the streamers had to do what I hate the most in control: quickly change under the foot pedal throttle / brake. And still trail unspent energy literally curled behind the car, and the engine is published sometimes sounds like baby moan. But on the highway F-Pace was able to show all its power. Sustained, rapid, perfectly responds to any movement of the steering wheel due to the re-edited Electrobooster inherited from the F-Type, he was the star of the highway. That line — the best way for the F-Pace at maximum power.
The same three-liter V6 engine is offered in both settings option: a bit «muffled» 340 hp looked acceptable in the mountains of Montenegro, but the most advantageous option was the F-Pace, equipped with three-liter diesel engine rated at 300 hp
It is about this car I would say that it is universal, ie suitable for all situations. The engine is powerful enough and it is very economical (flow rate of about 6–8 liters), it is completely unreal moment in 700 Nm, which, if desired, tearing the car from a place so dark that in the eyes. All-wheel drive «Efpeysu» is also inherited from the F-Type, as well as quite excellently tuned suspension. The apparent advantage of double wishbones on all other similar systems once the reason for its selection for the F-TYPE, and now for the F-PACE. Behind — Integral Link, is also modified and amended by the soft sleeves. The discovery of British engineers has meant that even in the corners and side loads the car remains absolutely stable and capable of completely normal management. Add to this the number of advanced technologies such as Adaptive Surface Response (ASR) and the All Surface Progress Control (ASPC), which are connected on complex surfaces or in adverse weather conditions, and you will understand what I mean by «universal car.»
A significant part of the way we passed through the mountain serpentine loops with steep turns, and some even like was created to rally special stages: the narrow asphalt paths on the one hand that rock, and on the other — open. And it's such a temptation for those who «like it hot» that can not be kept from him. The only limiting factor was the possibility of oncoming traffic, but on the well-viewed sites... Well, you understand. What I want to say, it really magical. In a situation, when the bill comes on every millimeter of movement of the wheel, F-Pace and the truth — the king. Torque Vectoring creates creates precisely calculated and slight braking force to the inner wheels to turn. This car is in turn on the ideal trajectory, without even a hint of wheel breakdown. Even at high speed, even on gravelly and fine crumb old asphalt.
The last part of our road tests has been. I understand that due to this Exercise the Jaguar, as they say, was showmanship, but overcoming the old road in the mountains of Montenegro, where instead of asphalt sharp gravel and crushed stone, and height difference between the wheels can reach a few dozen centimeters, every time I wondered — what for? F-Pace copes with the task, but the actual road condition was such that the discomfort caused simply by driving on them. And no, even the most ideal suspension could not save the passengers jumping stomachs in this situation. But often it represents an opportunity to experience the logic of engineering in the design of the entire platform. Minimum angles of entry and exit — 25,5 ° and 26.0 °, respectively, and it allows the vehicle to go up and down almost vertical surfaces. So now on my own experience I know both: F-Pace — is not only a pampered cat that can be dispersed on a flat and smooth asphalt, but quite a seasoned Jaguar ready to move on the road.
... For British brand Jaguar F-Pace — the first SUV class car. You can imagine how much money, effort and energy has been invested in the development of a new model to its fate has been successful on the market. But it seems that the chief engineers and designers have seen not only a commercial profit. They wanted themselves to enjoy a new car... and that it got everyone else.
And we all, as in the fairy tale Maeterlinck, each sought to seize his blue bird, and stubbornly moved in search of its soul. And you know? We found it.
Photo: Maria Melnikova