The Jaguar F-Pace range is set for a boost next year when JLR’s 48v architecture creates its most potent six-cylinder variant yet. Slotting in beneath the red-blooded V8 SVR and above the non-electrified stuff, the mild hybrid P400 will combine JLR’s turbocharged inline-six with a belt-integrated starter generator, improving fuel efficiency and enhancing performance thanks to its instantaneous supply of torque under heavy loads and between gearshifts.
The F-Pace P400’s powertrain, which is also headed for the facelifted F-Type and all-new Defender, arrives as part of JLR’s big push to reduce the average CO2 output of its line-up by electrifying a version of every model in the range. But it also pushes the six-cylinder F-Pace’s performance closer to the realms of the F-Pace SVR, which is due on roads early next year using Jag’s 550hp supercharged 5.0-litre V8 (and is set to eventually switch to BMW 4.4-litre V8 power, as part of JLR’s new engine supply deal).
We’re expecting the P400’s design to therefore project the powertrain’s mix of performance and efficiency, with sporting features – including the large exhaust system we assume is hidden by covers in our spy pictures – but none of the brutishness seen on the Special Vehicle Operations model. The facelift itself looks to be mild, particularly in comparison to the more drastically altered 2020 F-Type, with the biggest change on the spied development car being new LED lighting. The improvements inside will be more substantial, however, with JLR’s latest cabin architecture, including its double screen centre console and digital instrument cluster, on course to give the F-Pace a much-needed boost in its fight against the Porsche Macan.
Elsewhere in the line-up, JLR’s new MHEV four-cylinder powertrain could also be added, creating the most fuel-efficient petrol variant of the range – and extending the F-Pace’s reach at a time when Porsche is looking to make the aforementioned Macan all-electric. No doubt JLR will be keen to broaden the F-Pace’s appeal, what with the model having remained a strong foothold as sales faltered through 2018 and the early parts of 2019. And with more F-Pace MHEVs on the way and the I-Pace now in full swing, it means Jaguar could have already covered off Porsche’s all-electric SUV plans.