The one thing that’s truly bothered me about Jaguar’s XF is its front-end design. When the XF-Concept first appeared at the North American International Auto Show in 2007, it was widely hailed as a stunning return to form and arguably the best looking executive saloon ever produced by the brand.
Nine months later at the Frankfurt Motor Show, Jaguar revealed the production XF and left many of us aghast at the emasculation of its front lights, especially since these were such a strong visual feature of the XF-Concept.
The 2007 Jaguar XF-Concept
Well, it’s taken nearly 4 years but finally the XF reflects the beauty of the original concept. Jaguar’s reasoning at the time, for the dramatic change in design between concept and production XF, was that the concept car’s headlights would be impractical for series production, but advances in lighting technology have now enabled the XF-Concept to be fully realised.
Sheetmetal revisions to the grille, bonnet and front wings incorporating new triangular side vents give the car a more muscular, purposeful appearance. The range-topping XFR receives its own unique, overtly assertive design to underline its performance potential while an alternative ‘Aerodynamic’ option is available on all other derivatives for a total of three dramatically different styling options.
The headlamps now incorporate bi-function HID xenon technology that allows them to be much slimmer and more compact while still providing excellent beam resolution. They also incorporate LED daytime running lights arranged in a distinctive Jaguar ‘J-Blade’ signature pattern for instant recognition on the road.
The tail lamps have been redesigned and now extend onto the central portion of the boot lid. These new units are now full-LED for stop, light and indicator functions and give the XF a distinctive night-time rear signature. Separating them is a revised boot lid finisher with a gloss black lower edge for a cleaner appearance. The boot now features power closure on all models.
The interior of the XF has been given a subtle refresh with a restyled steering wheel joining revised switchgear for the ventilation systems and all-new colour central and dial-mounted screens relaying reprogrammed navigation and entertainment software. Redesigned seats offer a new look and greater support while fresh trim finishes ensure the XF’s award-winning interior remains the benchmark in its class.
Significant changes take place under the skin of the new XF with a four cylinder engine available for the first time. The 2.2-litre common rail diesel unit, installed in a north-south configuration, develops 187 bhp and 332 lbs ft of torque and is linked to a new eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox and an innovative Stop-Start system – marking the first time such a device has been fitted to a Jaguar. The result is combined economy in excess of 50 mpg and CO2 emissions of 149 g/km.
The 3.0-litre V6 diesel engines continue in 237 bhp standard and 271 bhp Diesel S form, while the petrol range comprises a pair of V8 engines developing 380 bhp and, in supercharged XFR form, a substantial 503 bhp.
High performance Diesel S models benefit from a host of upgrades including full aerodynamic styling, adaptive dynamic suspension (as on XFR) and an ‘R’ performance interior.
The range-topping XFR takes the new look adopted by the XF a step further with a trio of deep airdams dominating the front of the car with a set of cooling vents set into the bonnet either side of the power bulge. New sill extensions run down the side of the car framed by redesigned 20-inch wheels. At the rear the new lights sit above a redesigned bumper complete with a subtle diffuser.
Across the new XF range advances have been made in refinement with active engine mounts (diesels) and new sound deadening material featuring on the car as well as redesigned wing mirrors to reduce wind noise. Three new paint colours and an expanded alloy wheel selection have been added, ranging from 17 to 20-inches and which round off the XFs revised styling.
The new XF will go on sale in September with prices starting at £30,950 for the 2.2-litre diesel engine rising to £65,350 for the XFR.
At a Glance
|0-62 / max
|2,179 cc, 16-valve, 4cyl,
|187||332||8.5 / 142||52.3 / 149||£30,950|
|2,993 cc, 24-valve, V6,
|237||369||7.1 / 149||44.8 / 169||£36,950|
|2,993 cc, 24-valve, V6,
|271||442||6.4 / 155||44.8 / 169||£42,950|
|5,000 cc, 32-valve, V8||380||380||5.7 / 155||25.4 / 264||£49,950|
|5,000 cc, 32-valve, V8, supercharged||503||461||4.9 / 155||22.5 / 292||£65,350|