► New spyshots catch diesel-electric hybrid on test
► Plus artist's impression of 2019 Jaguar J-Pace
► It's the new luxury SUV from Jag
Jaguar is preparing a luxury SUV to sit above the F-Pace crossover, nudging it perilously close to Range Rover territory - and these spyshots capture what is believed to be a working diesel-electric testbed for Jag's new range-topper.
We've previously uncovered plans for the Jaguar J-Pace and our artist's impression below, by Andrei Avarvarii, reveals the direction design chief Ian Callum and his team are pursuing for the biggest Jag surprise in years.
The cut-n-shut prototype above confirms a longer wheelbase; forget the F-Pace-alike bodywork - the main secrets are below the skin, and in particular its diesel-electric hybrid powertrain.
Jaguar J-Pace: the lowdown
What would a Range Rover look like if were designed by Ian Callum and not Gerry McGovern? Chances are we are going to find out in the not too distant future. After all, Jaguar has long started working on the next-generation XJ which is scheduled for launch in 2018.
The product planners thought long and hard about how best to expand the range: XJ coupe, convertible, shooting brake, just about every option was evaluated. But the numbers never added up, which is why a sporty and luxurious SUV is now on top of Jaguar's secret wishlist.
Based on the Range Rover's aluminium platform
For synergy's sake, the Jaguar J-Pace is designed to be based on the facelifted Range Rover. Sharing the RR's all-aluminum D7 architecture (above), Jaguar's new crossover would get its own bespoke exterior and interior treatment, as suggested by our artist's impression. The C-X17 concept car already previews the look for the smaller F-Pace crossover, and now Callum's team are beavering away on big brother.
Aimed at rich country bumpkins and wealthy city slickers alike, the car's proportions are said to be more RR Sport than Sir Range. But JLR is keen to make sure there is enough clear water between the two brands; expect the Jaguar luxury crossover to have a more sporting edge than the go-anywhere Land Rovers.
Two wheelbases - and a plug-in hybrid
Like the XJ saloon and full-fat Range Rover, the go-anywhere Jag J-Pace would be offered in two wheelbase configurations. In addition to the must-have V6s and V8s, the portfolio also makes provision for a modular plug-in hybrid as well as for high-performance RS and SVR editions.
Aimed at Audi Q8, BMW X7 and Mercedes GLS-class, the J-Pace is expected to debut in 2019.
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