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Jaguar set to lift XFR looks and price

Hi-po cat: Jaguar's supercharged V8-powered XFR super-sedan has been given a facelift.

Blown XFR to get meaner looks to match its performance in Jaguar range facelift

Jaguar logo8 Jun 2011

By JAMES STANFORD

A PRICE rise will accompany the new-look Jaguar XFR supercharged performance sedan when it arrives in October, but Jaguar Australia is aiming to make the cost of entry to the XF range more affordable.

Pricing has been confirmed only for the range-topping model, the blistering XFR, which rises from $207,905 to $210,990.

Prices for the other facelifted XF models will be confirmed at the Australian International Motor Show in Melbourne on July 1.

Jaguar Australia said it was still working on pricing for the new entry-level model, the 2.2-litre diesel, but was tipping low $80,000s.

That would allow Jaguar to reach new customers, given that the most affordable XF in the current range is the 3.0-litre V6 diesel at $93,815.

Jaguar Australia company brand manager Kevin Goult told GoAuto the new four-cylinder diesel XF would give BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-class customers a great alternative.

“The 5 Series and Mercedes E-class will really have something to worry about,” he said. “We need to get it in there and get some of the action.”

6 center imageSpecifications for the Australian cars are yet to be announced, but the XF range will get a significant freshening, mostly on styling.

The most obvious change is to the front of the car, with the new XF taking on new narrow headlights which mean the car is now much closer to the C-XF concept that previewed the XF at the 2007 Detroit motor show.

“The technology didn’t exist at the time for us to have those lights on the production car,” Mr Goult told GoAuto.

The new headlights feature a horizontal LED daytime running strip across the bottom.

The refreshed XF models also get a new front bumper, a redesigned bonnet, a new rear bumper, LED tail-lights and a new boot garnish, while the high-performance XFR also has new-look wheels, chrome side vents and larger front bumper vents.

More upgrades for the interior including a hard-drive based satellite navigation system, new steering wheel controls and soft-touch black plastic buttons for the sound system and climate control.

Jaguar has also replaced the glovebox touchpad system which drew several complaints from customers. It has been replaced by a more obvious small chrome button.

No major mechanical changes have been included in the 2012 model year, besides some suspension setting tweaks to improve the balance.

It certainly does not need any more power, as the supercharged 5.0-litre quad-cam V8 under the bulging bonnet already pumps out 375kW and 625Nm of torque.

Likewise, no changes were required for the six-speed ZF torque-converter automatic transmission, which is the only gearbox choice.

The engine matches the promise of the exterior and allows for explosive acceleration. Its official 0-100km/h time is 4.9 seconds, but it feels faster when accelerating hard.

In performance mode, which allows for more wheelslip than normal, careful acceleration is advised to avoid an unplanned sideways moment.

The exhaust has been tuned to deliver a deep and rich V8 note, but is not intrusive.

Jaguar has done an excellent job with the suspension revisions – comfortable for a high performance model, but retaining excellent body control for flat cornering.

The interior upgrades give it a lift, although the carbon-fibre cross-hatch pattern dashboard and dials appear a little cheap. Naturally, the XFR can’t match the luxuriant interior of the more expensive Jaguar models, such as the XJ.

The 2012 model-year XFR isn’t radically different, but is still an excellent prestige blaster than can be happily driven every day.

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