Jaguar SUV (2016) 4×4 mule spied in UK

Published: 03 December 2013

Jaguar’s new 4×4 is coming. We’ve seen the concept car, but this freakishly proportioned prototype proves development of the new SUVs powertrain is underway, ahead of the aluminium-bodied crossover going on sale in 2016.

Jaguar SUV for 2016: what are we looking at here?

At first glance, it’s a Jaguar XF saloon that’s been subjected to an ill-advised injection of extra ride height. However, behind the chunkier tyres and up-on-stilts suspension, mule is testing the all-wheel drive running gear that’ll underpin the new Jaguar SUV – and be available on its sport saloon sister, the 3-series rivalling ‘X760’. Basic Jaguar SUVs will be fitted with a rear-drive chassis.

Under the bonnet, this Jaguar 4×4 test mule uses a petrol-fired, supercharged 3.0-litre V6. It’s the same engine that Jaguar chose to showcase in the C-X17 concept car, and is likely to form the staple of the future SUV range in petrol-friendly markets like the USA and Middle East.

For Europe, a suite of four- and six-cylinder turbodiesel mills will be crucial to see the Jag take on key rivals like the new BMW X5, Mercedes ML, and upcoming Audi Q7. A supercharged V8 model to rival Jaguar Land Rover’s own Range Rover Sport RS isn’t difficult to imagine, either…

Looks are expected to change little from Ian Callum’s well-received C-X17 concept car, first shown at the 2013 Frankfurt motor show. Wheel sizes are likely to be reduced from the show car’s 23in whoppers, and the cabin will switch to a more family-friendly five-seat layout, though the basic design will derive hints from the concept model.

It’s no Range Rover, though: the concept car stands just 1.63m tall (the same as a baby Rangie Evoque) and the length is 4.7m – only a touch longer than an Audi Q5. Though the showroom version might swell a touch to assuage practicality grumbles, Ian Callum reassures CAR, ‘I don’t like to over-promise on concepts – that’s all I’ll say.’

While we won’t see the results of Jaguar’s SUV testing until 2016, the aluminium ‘iQ-Al’ platform will debut sooner, in the ‘X760’ sports saloon. Click here for CAR’s full scoop on the crucial new small saloon.

By Ollie Kew

Former road tester and staff writer of this parish