Remember 2007? Don’t worry if you don’t, I can’t either. I can’t even remember what I had for dinner last night. But a quick Wikipedia search will show that in fact 8 years ago was when the first iPhone came out. Pirates of The Caribbean: At World’s End was the highest grossing film of the year and Avril Lavigne had the best selling album. God, that was a long time ago.
But, 2007 wasn’t entirely rubbish. It also gave us the Jaguar XF. This was brought out to replace the ageing S-Type, which not only was actually quite old but looked it too. Jaguar had shown the world with the new XK in 2006 that it could in fact produce a modern sports car. The XF was proof that Jag could produce a modern sedan. Inside and out it was like no Jaguar sedan before. Not only did it change the ways Jaguars looked but it also changed the way that we looked at Jaguar.
After the XF renaissance came a range of cars that got better and better. The new XJ is now a contemporary rival to the Germans, the F-Type is one of the most desirable cars at the moment, and while the XK is getting long in the tooth it’s still a head turner. Now we have the new XF and well, let’s start with the design. Jaguar’s designers clearly knew they were on to a good thing with the first XF, as this second-generation car evolves on its predecessor’s design.
The family ties are obvious too with the notable Jaguar XE-inspired taillight design. The front is a mixture of the XE and XF. It’s aggressive and sporty but in a Jaguar sort of way, i.e. not too brash or vulgar. The basic shape of the headlights seem unchanged though the new XF is the first Jaguar to come with full LED headlights. How very modern. The side profile is unmistakably Jag. There are no unnecessary creases or details to distract the eyes from the elegant shape. The only I’m not entirely sure on is the rear quarter light, which reminds me of a Rover 600. The old XF’s window profile looked more athletic.
Inside the theme of simple elegance continues. There are no pop up screens, no tablet looking screens, or multiple surface layers. The larger XJ’s wraparound dashboard is a welcome addition, but with a minimalist twist. The new XF features Jaguar-Land Rover’s new quad-core InControl Touch Pro infotainment system. It’ll be available with either an 8 or 10.2-inch touchscreen. The instruments are shown on a 12-inch TFT configurable screen. Expect the usual Jaguar interior materials to be used such leather, wood, aluminium, and of course that pop-up rotary gear selector.
The new XF sits on the same new lightweight aluminium platform as the smaller XE sedan. Jaguar claims an increase in stiffness by about 30% and a decrease in weight by around 190kg over its predecessor. To give it a fighting chance against other sports sedans the XF has a 50/50 weight distribution, the same electric-assisted steering system as the F-Type, and the same suspension set up as the XE meaning double wishbones up front and independent at the rear. Jaguar will offer the XF with active dampers and Jaguar Configurable Drive. New with the XF is All-Surface Progress Control which manages braking and throttle on slippery surfaces, the driver simply has to steer. The new XF also slightly shorter than the car it replaces however the wheelbase is longer. Jaguar promises “class-leading rear space”.
Under the bonnet the XF will be available with Jaguar’s tried and tested 3.0-litre supercharged petrol V6 and 3.0-litre V6 turbo diesel engines. The supercharged petrol develops 375bhp/275kW and 450NM of torque. The V6 diesel gets a bit of an upgrade now developing 296bhp/217kW and 700NM, up by 22bhp/15kW and 100NM. Jaguar-Land Rover’s new 2.0-litre four-cylinder ‘Ingenium’ engines will also be available. A petrol and a diesel version will be offered with differing outputs.
The XF will make its official debut at the upcoming New York Motor Show with sales in the United Kingdom starting by the end of the year. Expect it to land on our shores sometime in 2016. Jaguar’s rivals should be worried. The XF looks great, promises sporting dynamics, and it’ll still be more exclusive. Let’s not forget Jaguar’s impressive reliability record over the past few years. If this new XF manages to score a higher safety rating than the old XF, which only received four-stars out a possible five from EuroNCAP, then it’ll certainly shake things up in executive car parks. So, businessmen and golfers of the world, does the new XF look like a winner or would you prefer one its rivals?