Jaguar New Compact SUV Has No Hybrid Or Electric Versions.
“The E-Pace will be the third new Jaguar nameplate recently added to the Jaguar model portfolio”
British luxury brand Jaguar, owned with its sibling Land Rover by Tata Motors of India, announced it will launch a new smaller SUV Wednesday, the E-Pace, which will go on sale in the U.S. next year.
Jaguar filled in its product range last year with its first SUV, the F-Pace. For Jaguar to compete effectively in the U.S. it now needs an SUV bigger than the F-Pace, according to Dave Sullivan, Detroit Based analyst at the AutoPacific automotive sales forecaster.
In remarks just before the announcement of the new E-Pace, Sullivan said Jaguar has opted for controversial diesel power to help it meet oncoming tougher fuel efficiency standards, but this strategy needs to be quickly changed.
The new E-Pace will only be offered with gasoline engines, but so far there’s no sign of a required hybrid or plug-in hybrid version. Jaguar has already announced its first electric car, the I-Pace, for sale in 2018.
Jaguar said prices for what it called a compact, performance new E-Pace will start at $38,600.
“The E-Pace will be the third new Jaguar nameplate recently added to the Jaguar model portfolio following the introduction of the Jaguar XE sports sedan and Jaguar F-Pace performance SUV which have contributed to a 44% growth for the Jaguar brand in the U.S. through May 2017, and the all-electric I-Pace concept which will go into production in 2018,” Jaguar said in a statement
“The Jaguar E-Pace features standard all-wheel drive technology and an all-Ingenium line-up of (gasoline) engines, as well as a suite of connected technology and convenience features,” Jaguar said.
Sullivan said Jaguar is still what he calls a challenger brand sitting in the third tier of the U.S. premium sector. BMW, Mercedes and Lexus are at the top, the next tier includes the likes of Cadillac, Infiniti, Lincoln and Acura, and then there’s Jaguar.
Talking about Jaguar’s prospects for the next 5 years, Sullivan said its top of the range XJ is now looking a bit old compared with the latest products like the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes S class.
“They really bet on diesels to meet government requirements and priced them very attractively in the U.S. Diesels are about $1,500 to $1,800 more expensive than the gasoline versions. That’s very aggressive. But that’s not going to last. There are very strict rules in 2020. Consumers aren’t going to buy them and it’s not a good long term bet for JLR. They’ve got to have plug-in hybrids, and the I-Pace can’t come soon enough,” Sullivan said.
The E-Pace will be unveiled on July 13.
Sullivan said the F-Pace has done very well for Jaguar and came at just the right time, but to make progress in the U.S. it must come up with a bigger SUV with three rows of seats.
Speaking after the E-Pace news, Sullivan said he liked what he saw.
“This is a great cadence for Jaguar to continue upon the success of the F-PACE. Yes, they are a little late entering the race and we have many new models on the way here in the U.S., including the QX50 with quite possibly the most innovative gas engine ever,” Sullivan said.
The Infiniti QX50 has a 314 hp, 3.7-liter gasoline V6 that propels it from rest to 60 mph in just over 6 seconds.
“Jaguar is really going to need to come up with some marketing to reach buyers in ways they have not done before. They are going after buyers now that are in a very different price point than they have dealt with since the X-Type (and we know what a disaster that was),” Sullivan said.
The X-type Jaguar was a small sedan based on previous owner Ford Motor’s mass market Mondeo. It failed to be a big seller, not least because it was referred to as a Jaguar based on a Ford. Wiseacres said if only it had been the other way around.
“Jaguar really needs to complete a trifecta now with a three row crossover. The J-Pace is expected to be the three row crossover for the brand but it isn’t expected until the turn of the decade. It’s a key part of unlocking the U.S. market. The (Range Rover) Discovery Sport probably should have been a Jaguar,” Sullivan said.
AutoPacific expects sales of the E-Pace to reach 5,500 in 2018, and then zoom on to 20,000 by 2022. F-Pace sales in 2017 should more than double to 22,400 compared with last year, and steadily climb to 25,500 by 2022. Overall Jaguar sales should accelerate to 47,700 in 2017 from 31,300 in 2016 and power on to 91,900 by 2022.
The Jaguar range also includes the XF mid-size sedan and the F-Type two-seater sports car.