DETROIT -- Jaguar will enter the cutthroat luxury crossover segment in 2016 with the new F-Pace.
Jaguar was due to confirm today at a press briefing on the eve of the Detroit auto show that it will build the five-door crossover. It will compete with the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and a new-generation Mercedes-Benz GLC, a redesigned GLK, that debuts this fall.
The all-wheel-drive crossover, slated to go on sale in spring 2016, will use the same aluminum-intensive modular architecture as the new XE compact sedan. The XE goes on sale in Europe this spring and a year later in the U.S.
The F-Pace is expected to take styling cues from the C-X17 concept shown at the 2013 Frankfurt auto show.
Jaguar needs the F-Pace to increase sales in the U.S., where all of its competitors have a vehicle in the segment.
Jaguar’s sales U.S. sales slipped 7 percent in 2014 to 15,773 in a luxury market that grew 6 percent.
Jaguar executives have said the new crossover won’t compete with the Land Rover SUV range because it will be more of a street cruiser than an off-road vehicle.
Ian Callum, director of design for Jaguar, said in a statement that the “overwhelmingly positive response to the C-X17 concept” prompted the company to approve production: “The Jaguar F-Pace, inspired by the F-Type, represents a perfectly judged balance of style, performance and practicality.”
Andy Goss, Jaguar Land Rover’s global sales director, said the new crossover “builds on the brand’s founding ideals of Grace, Pace and Space.”
The F-Pace is already being tested, the company said. It will be built at the company’s Solihull, U.K., factory.
Jaguar did not say when the actual vehicle will be shown.