After changing drivers from American to Indian, Jaguar releases its new XF on the market: but can it retain that understated British flair? asks Adrian Ion
Replacing the old S Type in the Jaguar range, the highly awaited XF is a major step forward for a classic car brand in possession of one of most significant milestones in automobile design. Moving away dramatically from everything the brand meant to its fans, the new design not only brings the Jag up to date, but pushes it into the future with innovative features and spectacular gadgets.
The XF was developed under Ford’s ownership, and under new proprieter TATA, the Jaguar hopes to become profitable and survive. Is this the right way forward? Some reviews of the car have called it ‘strikingly beautiful’ while others have stated it has a ‘modern elegance that still retains its Britishness’.
The Jaguar XF four-door sport saloon is a choice that stands out from the crowd and is both visually and technically a competitor for strong German models such as the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Audi A6.
The coupe styling of the XF gives a muscular appearance to the body, being crafted by the designers with dynamism and sleek power in mind.
The interior is sophisticated. Touch sensitive controls are present all over the inside of the car. From the start button that pulses red to the cylindrical gear selector that rises into the palm of the hand and rotating vents that switch coolly from their closed to open position. Special features will open the glow-box or illuminate the interior lights with the touch of a finger. This is impressive and elegant.
The XF is currently available with a range of four engines all combined with automatic transmission and steering wheel paddles for manual gear selection. The engine choices are a 2.7-litre V6 twin-turbocharged diesel with 204 hp, a 3.0-litre V6 petrol unit with 235 hp and a 4.2-litre normally aspirated V8 petrol engine with 300 hp as well as a more powerful 4.2-litre supercharged V8 petrol engine with 420 hp.
The XF is priced competitively throughout the range, if we take into account the list of specifications included as standard. Prices start at 48,195 Euro with VAT included for the 2.7 diesel Luxury version and continue to 80,325 Euro for the supercharged 4,2 version.
The XF tries to capitalise on its image of refinement and elegant quality, but manages to be a new breed in the Jaguar family.
■ V6 Diesel 2.7 litre: 0-100 km/h in 8.2 sec - price starting at: 40,500 Eur+VAT
■ V6 petrol 3.0 litre: 0-100 km/h in 8.3 sec - price starting at: 40,500 Eur+VAT
■ V8 petrol 4.2 litre: 0-100 km/h in 6.5 sec - price starting at: 51,500 Eur+VAT
■ V8 petrol 4.2 litre: 0-100 km/h in 5.4 sec - price starting at: 67,500 Eur+VAT