Jaguar SUV (2016) 4x4 mule spied in UK

Published: 03 December 2013

Jaguar’s new 4x4 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 4x4 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.