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New York show: Tightrope walking Jaguar XF unveiled

Suspense over: Instead of bright lights and showgirls, Jaguar unveiled its new XF by driving it across an English dock on a pair of Dyneema ropes.

All-new Jaguar XF revealed in record-breaking river crossing stunt

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Jaguar logo25 Mar 2015

By DANIEL GARDNER

JAGUAR has bucked the trend of stage-lit motor show reveals, opting instead to unveil its all-new XF large sedan in a record-breaking 240-meter water crossing supported by just a pair of ropes.

The British car-maker arranged the publicity stunt to highlight the vehicle's lightweight construction, and says it carries 80kg fewer than its competition, but does not go into detail about what the new Jag will rival.

Piloted by a stunt driver, the new XF covered a greater distance on a wire than any car has before, but quite how many times a similar stunt has been attempted previously was not mentioned at the London event.

Jaguar used the spectacle to release the first significant XF technical information, revealing the car will have four engine options including a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol and diesel of the same capacity and configuration with 177kW/340Nm and 132kW/430Nm respectively.

Top-end variants will be powered by either a 221kW/700Nm twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6 diesel or the same supercharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol that drives the Jaguar F-Type S with 280kW and 450Nm.

Jaguar is claiming the four-cylinder diesel version will be the emissions champion of its segment, producing 104g of CO2 per kilometer – 20g fewer than the 2.0-litre diesel version of BMW's 5 Series.

While Jaguar isn't talking about rivals at this stage, it will doubtlessly have BMW's 5 Series and the E-Class from Mercedes in its sights, as well as the recently updated Audi A6.

The XF's aluminium monocoque construction has allowed 190kg to be saved over the first-generation model, and if the claim that it is 80kg lighter than the competition is accurate, the new version will weigh about the 1500kg mark.

Along with the big cat's fresh look, the XF is slightly lower and shorter than the previous model despite having a 51mm extension to the wheelbase, which has freed up extra rear seat room.

Its 75 per cent aluminium construction has boosted body rigidity by 28 per cent, improving handling, as does the near 50:50 weight distribution and double wishbone suspension.

Land Rover lent its All-Surface Progress Control technology to the XF, which allows the driven rear wheels to find more grip as the road conditions change.

Its cabin has also gained a significant boost to kit with a 10.2-inch touchscreen to control information and entertainment systems, while the driver gets a 12.3-inch instrument cluster screen.

The company has chosen to call its satellite navigation system Guidance, as it takes a conventional system and adds more features, including the ability to learn frequent journeys and automatically update the driver with traffic conditions, and connectivity that allows a route to be programmed from a smartphone before boarding.

Speaking at the dramatic unveiling in the United Kingdom's capital, Jaguar design director Ian Callum said the next-generation XF introduces a “simple and pure desig.”

and will continue to deliver what people expect from the brand.

“In creating the all-new XF, as a design team we have been driven by discipline, thediscipline of simplicity,” he said.

“Every exterior line on the XF has a clear purpose – nothing is superfluous.

Achieving that simplicity takes time and requires great determination it’s all too easy to add lines to a car, but much harder to add character by leaving lines out.

“Inside too, we have been driven by the desire to ensure the XF’s cabin is as comforting as it is comfortable.”

Jaguar will build the new XF at its Castle Bromwich plant in the UK, with the first examples rolling out on Australian streets in early 2016.

The car's official (and more conventional) motor show debut will be at the New York International Auto Show next week.

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