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Future models - Jaguar - XF

First look: Jag lets its new cat out of the bag

Cat attack: Jaguar C-XF concept morphs into the S-Type-replacing XF.

Move over S-Type: Jaguar’s all-new XF luxury sedan has BMW’s 5 Series in its sights

27 Aug 2007

JAGUAR’S vital new XF luxury sedan has broken cover, with full details and images of the S-Type replacement emerging in the US today – a day ahead of its scheduled official announcement.

Due to make its world public debut at the Frankfurt motor show on September 11, the all-new XF will make its first Australian appearance the day before the Sydney motor show on October 10, and will go on sale here by mid-2008.

As a direct rival for top-selling European luxury sedans including BMW’s 5 Series and the Mercedes-Benz E-class, the redesigned Jaguar large-car is charged with becoming the most popular model for the hallowed British brand, which Ford has put up for sale alongside Land Rover, following news that its under-performing, volume-selling X-Type may not be renewed.

The production XF emerges with far more conservative styling than the C-XF concept that previewed it at the Detroit motor show in January, but still features a coupe-like roofline, the same new-look grille, front quarter venting, and a main headlight beam that protrudes above the rest of the headlight.

However, gone are C-XF’s the menacingly narrow stylized headlights, the super-aggressive front bumper, the wildly creased bonnet with massive power bulge and air-inlets, and the concealed door-handles. Jaguar says all versions offer an aerodynamic co-efficient of 0.29Cd.

6 center imageJaguar Australia will offer all four engines available in the XF globally, including two V6s and two V8s – two of which are force-fed (and drive through taller final drive ratios than their naturally-aspirated siblings) and all of which are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.

Opening the range will be the XF 2.7D, powered by a 2.7-litre twin-turbo diesel V6 co-developed by France’s PSA Peugeot-Citroen and also seen in the current S-Type and flagship XJ, as well as Peugeot’s 407.

A long-stroke, 24-valve diesel V6 also seen in single-turbo guise in Land Rover’s Discovery, it delivers 152kW at 4000rpm and 435Nm at 1900rpm, and is good for claimed 0-100km/h acceleration in 8.2 seconds, a 229km/h top speed and combined EU fuel consumption of 7.5L/100km.

As a 3.0-litre petrol V6, the XF delivers 175kW at 6800 and 293kW at 4100rpm, sprints to 100km/h a tenth slower than the diesel (at a claimed 8.3 seconds), has a top speed of 237km/h and returns an average of 10.5L/100km.

Next up is another carryover petrol engine, the 4.2-litre V8, this time offering 219kW/411Nm, claimed 0-100km/h acceleration in a rapid 6.5 seconds, a 250km/h-limited top speed and fuel economy of 11.1L/100km.

Finally, for now, the flagship SV8 employs a version of the supercharged 4.2-litre V8 currently found in the XJR and the Range Rover Vogue and Sport. In the XF, it produces 306kW at 6250rpm and 560Nm at 3500rpm. Of course it’s also limited to 250km/h, but sprints to 100km/h in a claimed 5.4 seconds and returns 12.6L/100km claimed average fuel consumption.

A range-topping XF-R, propelled by an even more powerful blown V8, is also expected.

According to Jaguar the XF will match the best-in-class for refinement thanks to high-quality design, engineering and luxury appointments, such as touch-screen controls for the major vehicle systems.

The XF employs the new XK’s sequential shift-by-wire transmission system dubbed Jaguar Sequential Shift, which comprises one-touch manual gearchange control via steering-wheel mounted paddles.

New technology includes JaguarSense, a touch or proximity-sensing control system forThe glovebox and overhead console lights, plus options like JaguarVoice control to operate audio and telephone functions, a blind-spot monitor, reversing camera, adaptive cruise control, automatic speed limiter and tyre pressure monitoring.

An electric parking brake and an eight-speaker sound system will be standard across the XK range, along with a rotating gearshift dial called the JaguarDrive Selector. On entering the XF the start button glows red, the shifter rises into the palm of the driver’s hand and rotating climate-control vents turn from their flush, ‘parked’ position to their functional open position.

Jaguar says the XF offers best-in-class torsional body stiffness, while standard driver aids will include electronic traction/stability control, cornering brake control, engine drag torque control, electronic brake assist, electronic brake-force distribution and an anti-lockbraking system plus, in a Jaguar-first, “understeer control logic”, which decelerates the car to restore front tyre grip when required.

The XF rides on a lengthy 2909mm wheelbase and Jaguar says that, at 4961mm long and 1877mm wide, the XF is 45mm longer and 25mm wider than its nearest ‘dimensional’ competitor, the Audi A6, and offers even greater advantages over the 5 Series, E-class and Lexus GS.

It has a sizeable boot capacity of 500 litres, which is accessible via a folding rear seat, and employs subframe-mounted semi-aluminium suspension systems at both ends, with unequal-length wishbones up front and a multi-link arrangement at rear. The top-shelf SV8 gets Jaguar’s Computer Adaptive Technology Suspension (CATS) two-stage adaptive damping system.

Three trim levels will be offered: Luxury (available with either petrol or diesel V6s), Premium Luxury (with the naturally-aspirated V8) and SV8 (with the supercharged V8).

Jaguar says the SV8 is the only car in its class to offer 20-inch wheels as standard, while 18 and 19-inch alloys are fitted on lesser variants.

Big brakes abound, with 326x20mm vented front discs on all naturally-aspirated models (and all rear-ends) and 355x32mm vented front discs on the SV8, while a variable-ratio power-assisted steering system is standard across the range.

“The XF is a stage in a personal journey for me. It has always been my career goal to return Jaguar to its rightful place as leader in automotive design,” said Jaguar design director Ian Callum. “Cars like the original XJ6 left a lasting legacy and my ambition has been to create something as seminal. The XF is that car.”

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