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F-TYPE in Firesand at LA Motor show

ABOUT JAGUAR

14/09/2016

F-PACE | CHASSIS

No compromises. The all-new F-PACE embodies Jaguar dynamics DNA in a performance crossover form, which means benchmark steering feel and response combined with an unequalled balance of agility and comfort – on all surfaces

Agile, direct, responsive

Everything about the all-new F-PACE has been engineered from the outset to deliver the driving experience which sets all Jaguars apart from the competition. The philosophy was not one of adapting the core DNA to suit expectations of how a sports crossover could ride and handle. Quite the opposite: Jaguar took everything that gives its saloons and sports cars class-leading dynamics and applied them to the all-new F-PACE.

This uncompromising approach drove demanding targets for the body's weight, weight distribution, torsional rigidity, and aerodynamics – only with these fundamentals in place can chassis systems truly deliver. Given the ideal starting point by the high stiffness of the Lightweight Aluminium Architecture, the all-new F-PACE also has a long 2,874mm wheelbase, which benefits not only ride but also dynamics because it helps to put the centre of mass right between the axles.

Add double-wishbone front and Integral Link rear suspension – the most advanced of their type – and a sophisticated Electric Power Assisted Steering (EPAS) system, the result is a performance crossover which delivers an unmatched breadth of dynamic capability on all surfaces and in all conditions.

“We develop every Jaguar to offer an unrivalled combination of agility and responsiveness with exceptional ride and refinement – and the all-new F-PACE is no exception.

"Applying all of the learning from F-TYPE, the steering reacts immediately, giving a truly connected feel. The double wishbone and Integral Link suspension offer the ideal balance of precise handling and body control, making the all-new F-PACE as rewarding to drive as it is comfortable to be driven in – on any type of road.”

Mike Cross, Chief Engineer of Vehicle Integrity, Jaguar

Proven on F-TYPE, the double-wishbone front suspension designed for the all-new F-PACE was chosen for the same reasons: it out-performs all other systems. Extremely stiff in camber, double-wishbone suspension allows the front tyres to develop lateral force more quickly. This makes the vehicle more agile because turn-in is sharper and response to the driver's input at the steering wheel is felt immediately.

The other key benefit is superior roll camber gain characteristics: the tyre is better able to maintain its contact patch throughout the suspension's full range of travel, enabling it to generate more grip, and also maintain steering feel.

Aluminium is used almost exclusively to make the suspension as light as possible, most notably the front knuckles. The intricate, ribbed design is achieved by forging the components from cast blanks: this enables maximum stiffness for minimum weight. Among the other enhancements are bonded bushes for the tubular anti-roll bar: as well as better NVH properties these also prevent dirt ingress, improving robustness. 

Integral Link: Comfortably ahead

The result of years of advanced research and development, Integral Link is the most sophisticated and most capable rear suspension system available and provides unequalled ride, handling and refinement attributes. Integral Link separates lateral and longitudinal stiffnesses, enabling the suspension to provide the best possible comfort without compromising dynamics.

Bushes which manage longitudinal loads can be made much softer than would otherwise be possible with conventional multilink suspensions, enabling excellent energy absorption and therefore a smoother, quieter ride. At the same time, lateral stiffness can be far higher, making the vehicle more responsive. Caster stiffness can be increased too, which is felt by the driver as improved stability when braking.

The upper links are aluminium forgings, while the lower arm is hollow-cast aluminium – the optimum lightweight solution for this complex part. The springs and dampers are mounted separately, allowing each to be ideally positioned for the forces acting on the suspension and contributing even more to the all-new F-PACE's benchmark dynamics and refinement. This design is also highly space-efficient, minimising intrusion into the luggage compartment.

Variable ratio steering: More precise, more responsive

Every Jaguar is designed to set the class benchmark for steering. The all-new F-PACE is no exception, and this target drove the development of every single component between the steering wheel and the tyre contact patch in order to achieve the precision, response and linearity which define Jaguar steering DNA.

This whole-vehicle approach and obsession to the smallest detail gives the all-new F-PACE such a responsive, connected feel: turn the wheel and immediately the vehicle rotates around you; no lag, no delay. It's what makes this performance crossover feel more like a sports car.

Among the measures taken to achieve this include adding a fifth mounting point for the steering rack, and increasing the rotational stiffness of the subframe-to-body connections. The rear axle's high lateral stiffness also helps with initial turn-in because lateral forces at the tyre contact patches build very quickly. And the aerodynamics have been developed to give a front: rear lift balance closer to that of a saloon than a crossover, contributing to improved feel during high-speed cruising.

The Electric Power Assisted Steering (EPAS) system itself has evolved too. As well as software tuned with all of the learning taken from F-TYPE, XE and XF, the all-new F-PACE system also benefits from the addition of closed-loop control. Specially-developed algorithms calculate the forces coming back from the road and use this information to further refine the level of assistance, making the steering even more intuitive.

The EPAS system also benefits from a variable steering ratio – as standard. This is achieved using variable pitch gears on the rack bar and fixed pitch gears on the pinion. By changing the contact point with the rack's gear teeth from the valleys on-centre to the peaks at full lock, the more the driver turns the wheel, the more responsive the steering becomes.

But EPAS doesn't just improve the driving experience: it also improves fuel efficiency because the motor only draws current when the driver turns the steering wheel. This helps to cut consumption and emissions on the European combined cycle by as much as three per cent.

The largest wheels and tyres in the segment: Better all round

Meticulously engineered and exhaustively tested at locations around the world, every wheel and tyre combination offers the optimum balance of grip, low rolling resistance, comfort and durability. The all-new F-PACE offers unrivalled choice, from 18-inch wheels designed specifically to reduce aerodynamic drag to 22-inch wheels which offer the biggest rolling diameter in the segment.

The range of 22-inch wheels – unique in this segment – was developed for the all-new F-PACE by Jaguar Land Rover's Special Vehicle Operations division. Produced from forged aluminium to make them lighter and stiffer, they not only help to deliver the concept-car look of the C-X17 but also contribute to the all-new F-PACE's high levels of on-road dynamics and traction on challenging surfaces.

The specially-developed 265/40/R22 tyres not only generate exceptional grip: they were also designed to offer superior comfort and damage resistance. Sidewall height is greater than that of the 21-inch offerings from the competition, improving ride and impact absorption from potholes. And kerb clearance – the distance from the edge of the rim to the edge of the sidewall – is also greater.

Torque Vectoring: Enhanced agility as standard

Another technology first developed for F-TYPE and now applied to the all-new F-PACE is Torque Vectoring. Designed to make the vehicle even more agile, the system can apply finely-metered braking to the inner wheels to mitigate understeer during corner entry, helping the driver to keep the vehicle on the ideal line through the turn. The system works predominantly on the inside rear wheel to avoid any corruption of steering feel, and as a result system intervention is virtually transparent to the driver.

To preserve Jaguar dynamics DNA and make the system as effective as possible, the calibration was done in-house, the controller is bespoke, and development was done in parallel with the base chassis handling balance. And because the system enables such fine levels of wheel control it can also deliver benefits at slower speeds too, such as when driving on mud or snow.

Adaptive Dynamics and Configurable Dynamics: Ultimate control

All models feature monotube dampers as standard. Not only do they contribute to a reduction in unsprung mass but they are also more responsive than conventional twin-tube dampers, and therefore offer superior ride control.

Adaptive Dynamics takes this to the next level. By monitoring body movement 100 times a second and wheel movement 500 times a second, the system provides continuously variable damping to suit the conditions, delivering an even more comfortable ride at lower speeds and even better handling at higher speeds.

Configurable Dynamics, first developed for the F-TYPE, enables the driver to tailor the vehicle's character by individually selecting dynamic or normal modes for the throttle mapping, transmission shift strategy, steering feel and, where fitted, the Adaptive Dynamics system, all using the central touchscreen.

For models equipped with the InControl Touch Pro premium infotainment system, drivers also gain the Dynamic-i feature, which displays a stopwatch, g-meter and a map of accelerator pedal response.

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