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New York show: XF gets XJ looks as Jag updates range

Sleeker cat: The revised Jaguar XF's all-LED tail lights give it a “distinctive night-time rear signature”.

Jaguar facelifts 2012 XF sedan and XK sportscar, XJ limo adds new rear-seat options

Jaguar logo21 Apr 2011

By HAITHAM RAZAGUI

A SCOWLING new face on the XF sedan leads the updates to Jaguar’s MY2012 range, flanked by a revised XK sportscar and new rear-seat options for the XJ limo, all of which made their public debuts at this week’s New York show ahead of an expected Australian release late this year.

The Indian-owned British luxury brand has brought the XF’s looks into line with those of the XJ flagship, sharing its big brother’s narrow headlight profile, made possible through the use of “bi-function HID xenon technology” that Jaguar says provides “outstanding beam resolution” despite the slim shape of the apertures.

The bonnet’s sheetmetal has been reshaped to accommodate the new front lights, as have the front guards, which now incorporate triangular-shaped side vents in place of the pre-facelift XF’s shark-like gills.

Daytime running lights have been moved from the air vents in the front bumper to a “J-Blade” pattern around the edge of the new, slimmer headlights.

At the back, the all-LED tail lights give the XF a “distinctive night-time rear signature” and now extend along both sides of the chrome feature strip that runs horizontally across the facia – which for the facelift has a gloss black lower edge above the numberplate.

6 center imageFrom top: Jaguar XFR, Jaguar XK convertible and coupe, Jaguar XKR-S, Jaguar XJ.

While each XF variant will have its own discrete front and rear bumper differences, the hot XFR range-topper gets a revised bodykit setting it apart from the rest of the range.

In comparison with the outgoing model, the new XF features air intakes on each side of its new front bumper, plus a rear diffuser. Jaguar will also offer an optional aerodynamic package for all variants to give them a more sporting look.

Rounding off the exterior changes are three new paint colours and extra alloy wheel designs ranging from 17 to 20-inches.

Inside, the first significantly refreshed XF since its 2008 Australian release continues with its signature start-up sequence of revolving air vents and rising gear selector but adds redesigned seats, new colour combinations and extra personalisation options.

All MY2012 XFs receive an upgrade to on-board audio, with three new systems topped by a premium 1200-Watt Bowers and Wilkins setup with 17 speakers. All have two USB ports (one of which is iPod specific) and Bluetooth. They also have the option of adding a hard-drive navigation and capacity to store 10 CDs worth of music.

The driver’s instrument cluster becomes a full-colour, high-resolution TFT screen and the seven-inch central touch screen now has a polarising filter to improve contrast. Additional switches below the central screen enable the driver to quickly switch between its different functions and new on-screen graphics are brought into line with those of the XJ.

Technology advancements extend further than the cockpit, with a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle-shift standard on the diesel line-up, which as GoAuto has reported, will include a new 2.2-litre four-cylinder with idle-stop.

The new diesel unit produces 140kW and 450Nm and can return fuel economy of 5.4 litres per 100km while emitting 149 grams per kilometre of CO2. The frugal new engine can propel the XF from rest to 100km/h in eight seconds on the way to a 225km/h top speed.

Jaguar claims its most fuel-efficient engine ever is as refined as the 2.7-litre V6 turbo diesel the brand used to offer in the XF and is now offered – in modified form – in the Ford Territory.

On the subject of fuel efficiency, Jaguar says the addition of the eight-speed gearbox has improved fuel consumption of the existing 3.0-litre V6 diesel by six per cent ands reduced CO2 emissions by 5.6 per cent.

Jaguar has worked on the XF’s acoustic shielding and acted to reduce wind noise by smoothing the flow of air over the car. Facelifted diesel XFs will also be offered with the option of Jaguar’s Adaptive Dynamics variable damping system for the first time.

Following an embarrassing four-star safety result for the XF from the European New Car Assessment Program (ENCAP), Jaguar will no doubt have also worked on improving the facelifted car’s crashworthiness for when it goes into production in July.

The updated XK sportscar range – which has been on sale in Australia since 2006 – will be led by the rip-snorting 300km/h XKR-S that premiered at Geneva and is the most powerful production Jaguar ever.

New slimmer headlights with incorporated LED indicators and daytime running lights, a larger grille, revised rear styling and five new paint colours differentiate the MY2012 XK range, which has also received interior revisions, from its predecessor.

Inside the new XK are new trim materials, veneers and colour combinations including soft-feel paint for the switches, gloss black for the centre console and blue ambient lighting.

A new multi-function steering wheel becomes standard across the range and optional ‘Performance’ front seats (on the XKR and XK Portfolio variants) that feature integrated head restraints and increased support offer 16-way adjustability, with memory and heating functions. The image from the XK’s new reversing camera is displayed on a seven-inch central touch screen.

The XJ flagship limousine is too new to receive significant updates but in addition to a new ‘Jet/Ivory’ interior colour combination for Premium Luxury and Portfolio specification XJs, new ‘Rear Seat Comfort’ and ‘Executive’ option packs (the latter is only for long-wheelbase models) will become available for the 2012 model year.

The Rear Seat Comfort pack provides electric tilt for the rear backrest recline angle, four-way lumbar support adjustment and a massage function. In addition to a stowable front passenger seat for extra rear legroom, the package includes winged head restraints and footrests.

Jaguar claims the Executive pack “transforms the rear of the XJ into a high-speed mobile office space”. The pack comprises fold-down laptop trays for rear passengers, an electric rear sunblind, upgraded carpeting, gloss wood veneers and chrome mirror housings.

The illuminated treadplates, boot latch and air vents of the XJ Supersport variant will also be offered as an option across the range for MY2012.

Jaguar Land Rover chief executive Ralf Speth reportedly revealed JLR’s plans to launch 40 new and updated models and powertrains by 2016 at the New York show, quite a turnaround for a company that went cap-in-hand to the British government for financial assistance in 2009.

Australian Jaguar sales are down 41.6 per cent for the first quarter of this year, largely due to the absence of the entry-level X-Type, which alone contributed 175 sales for Q1 2010. The XF is riding high though, with 125 sales so far this year marking a 50.6 per cent increase over the same period last year.

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