For the first time, Land Rover isn’t the only brand testing SUVs near the JLR headquarters in Gaydon, Warwickshire. We spotted the new baby Discovery and replacement for the Freelander testing earlier this week, and these are the latest pictures of the Jaguar 4x4 - an Audi Q5 rival due in early 2016 - on the same roads.
We already know the C-X17 concept, shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, is a close indicator of the production car’s styling, and along with the F-Type lays the template for the next generation of Jaguars – including the 3 Series-rivalling saloon. With that in mind, we wouldn’t read too much into the bodywork on this early mule, which resembles an XF saloon on stilts. However, the extra ground-clearance, chunkier sills and deep front and rear bumpers are giveaways to what’s under the skin.
Unlike the baby Discovery, which will sit on a development of the Range Rover Evoque steel chassis, Jaguar’s SUV contender will be based on a new all-aluminium platform that will also underpin a BMW 3 Series-rivalling saloon, due in 2015. Measuring 4,718mm long, 1,959mm wide and 1,649mm high, with a wheelbase of 2,905mm (30mm longer than its saloon sister car), it will go head to head with the BMW X3, Audi Q5, although it’s slightly longer, wider and lower than both.
Engine choices are expected to include the supercharged 3.0-litre V6 from the F-Type, as well as a selection of new ‘Hotfire’ turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, the most potent of which will produce around 300bhp. These will be built at a new factory in Wolverhampton, which is under construction and be operational by 2015 to coincide with the launch of the new saloon.