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New York show: Jaguar XF pairs up with XE

Best of British: Jaguar’s Mark II XF is built on an architecture that is 75 per cent aluminium for weight savings of up to 190kg over the current model.

Jaguar’s new light, luxurious XF shares baby XE’s alloy construction and powertrains

1 Apr 2015

JAGUAR’S newly-minted second-generation XF that made its debut at the New York motor show today shares many of its components and technologies – including its new lightweight RC5754 platform – with its upcoming smaller sibling, the XE.

Together, the new models are expected to give the Indian-owned British marque its best chance yet to gang-tackle the mainly German rivals in Australia and elsewhere.

Describing the XF as the “centre of gravity of the Jaguar brand”, Jaguar Land Rover chief program engineer Colin Kirkpatrick said in New York: “Our dream ambition is to become the world’s performance brand of choice, which is not a small challenge, but we now have an all-aluminium family of vehicles to realise that ambition.” The all-new 3-Series-sized XE arrives in Australia in the third quarter of this year, and will be followed about six months later by the bigger XF, in the first half of 2016.

The Mark II XF is built on an expanded version of Jaguar’s new modular architecture that is about 75 per cent aluminium.

Apart from being about 30 per stiffer than before, the new platform also contributes to weight savings of up to 190kg, making it up to 80kg lighter than rivals such as the BMW 5-Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

In turn, this light-weight construction contributes to what Jaguar claims is the lowest CO2 emissions of any non-hybrid in the segment, at just 104 grams of carbon-dioxide per kilometre for the new Ingenium 2.0-litre turbo diesel.

That 120kW/380Nm diesel is shared with the smaller and lighter XE that emits 99g/km and consumes less than 4.0 litres per 100km.

In all, six powertrain configurations will be available, in Europe at least. They will include a number of four-cylinder diesel configurations, a 2.0-litre petrol and a range-topping – for now – 279kW supercharged V6 transplanted from the F-Type.

Manual transmissions will be available in Europe, but expect all variants to be equipped with the eight-speed ZF automatic in Australia.

At 4954mm long, the XF is 7mm shorter than the original XF that has done duties for seven years. However, the wheelbase has been stretched 51mm, to 2960mm, liberating 24mm more kneeroom in the back seat for what Jaguar says is class-leading spaciousness. Rear seat headroom is up 27mm too.

The XF rides on double-wishbone suspension at the front and integral link at the back. Weight distribution is said to be an ideal 50:50.

In some markets, the XF can be option with torque-on-demand all-wheel-drive. As well, Jaguar now offers what it calls All-Surface Progress Control – a new form of traction control for low grip surfaces such as ice and snow.

Technology new to XF includes full-LED headlights, a laser heads-up display that is said to deliver high-contrast colour images, autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, intelligent speed limiter and semi-automated parking.

The 10-inch touch screen includes sat-nav, “seamless iOS and Android connectivity” and 17-speaker Meridian audio.

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