Tata Motors-owned Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has entered the SUV market with the launch of F-Pace model which is expected to hit the booming Indian market in the second half of 2016.
The F-Pace Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show has been dubbed the ultimate practical sports car, which embodies the spirit of the iconic British luxury car brand with modern technology.
It made its entry at the show with a spectacular 'Guinness Book of Records' breaking drive around a 19.1-metre-high loop driven in a daring stunt by racing driver Terry Grant.
The F-Pace SUV is expected to hit the roads in Europe and the US in a phased rollout by early next year, with an Indian launch expected in the latter half of 2016. There is a growing crossover segment in India to which this car will most certainly appeal.
We are yet to look into the pricing, which is always a challenge in the Indian market, said Rohit Suri, JLR India president and managing director. The starting prices for the US are $40,990, the UK as 34,170 pounds and Germany 42,390 Euro, which the company claims is fabulous value for a game changing product which will redefine the segment.
"The cars will be produced at JLR's 500-million pounds Solihull factory in the UK using new architecture which is more aluminium based, giving it a revolutionary light weight appeal. We have expanded our footprint in new markets like China and India. But our heart and soul will always remain in the UK," JLR CEO Ralf Speth said at a gala launch event in the lead up to the motor show.
The event for the new model also marked the world debut of the activity key, a waterproof, shockproof wrist band with an integrated transponder. It is ideal for those who regularly take part in outdoor leisure pursuits such as surfing, skiing of kayaking because it allows the driver to securely lock the keyfob inside the vehicle.
All the driver has to do to unlock the car is present the activity key to the sensor hidden behind the letter J of the Jaguar script on the tailgate, explained Peter Virk, head of connected technologies and apps at JLR.
The launch of the new F-Pace marks the first time the 80-year-old car manufacturer has entered the SUV market. It claims to be ahead of its competitors in the segment, like Porsche Macan and BMW X4 models, in terms of agility.
"The year 2015 is a transformational year for Jaguar and for that reason we have dubbed it the 'Year of the Cat'," said Richard Agnew, global PR director for Jaguar cars.
Ian Callum, director of design for Jaguar, noted: "Every Jaguar should draw your eye from 200 metres away and I believe the F-Pace's presence on the road is second to none in this class. The lightweight aluminium architecture gave us the design freedom to create a car with latent poise - a svelte car with attitude."
Besides the F-Pace, JLR is expected to showcase the 2016 Jaguar XJ alongside the XF and XE models at the Frankfurt Motor Show this year.
Apart from cars, the UK-based giant will display its Innovation Lab for the first time, featuring interactive displays of its Ingenium engines and examples of research programmes. These include the remote control Range Rover project, which will be demonstrated as part of the Land Rover Experience.
A special event is also planned around the showcasing of the models which are set to feature in the new James Bond film'Spectre', including the Jaguar C-X75, Range Rover Sport SVR and Land Rover Defender.
The Frankfurt International Automobil-Ausstellung, or motor show, officially begins on Thursday and will run until September 27, following the media launch on September 15 and 16.