August 28, 2007 One of the most anticipated models in Jaguar’s history makes its public debut today. After a frenzied response to the recent C-XF concept car unveiled at the start of the year, the public can now catch its first glimpse of the new Jaguar XF luxury four-door sports saloon. Packed with nifty technology and kitted out as a proper luxury saloon, the question remains – will this be the start of a new era for the Ford-owned Jaguar brand, or has the production car’s styling been neutered too much from the C-XF concept to tempt buyers?
Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson recently commented that if the Jaguar XF rolled off the production line looking like the C-XF concept car, “I’ll saw my leg off and beat myself to death with it.” Well, after the much-abused press embargo on the XF lifted today, it seems Clarkson can breathe a sigh of relief. The XF’s styling has been subtly softened, notably around the bonnet and headlights, into a more conservative look for the production model.
The XF will be available from launch with a range of four engines, all featuring Jaguar's proven six-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel-mounted 'paddles' for manual gear selection (Jaguar Sequential Shift):
- 2.7-litre V6 diesel: 0-100kph in 8.2 secs and a top speed of 229 kph;
Driver Aids and Safety Features
The XF includes a vast array of driver safety aids including Electronic Brake Assist, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, Anti-lock Braking System, Dynamic Stability Control, Cornering Brake Control, and Engine Drag Torque Control. And, for the first time in a Jaguar, Understeer Control Logic which decelerates the car and helps to restore grip to the front wheels when required.
In a first for a Jaguar saloon, the XF has the marque’s new Pedestrian Contact Sensing System, which mitigates pedestrian injury by firing actuators that deploy the bonnet, resulting in a cushioned space between the bonnet and engine hardpoints.
Other driver assistance features include a Blind Spot Monitor, Front and Rear Parking Aids, Rear Camera Parking Aid, Adaptive Cruise Control, Automatic Speed Limiter and Tyre Pressure Monitoring System.
In keeping with the “out of sight until you need it” interior design philosophy Jaguar have tried to follow with the XF, a digital touch screen replaces a lot of buttons and switches on the dash, providing a wide range of control over interior and entertainment features such as the iPod-compatible stereo, sat-nav system, optional analogue/digital TV, and the ability to manage mobile phone calls via direct Bluetooth integration with the car. Another nice touch is the air conditioning/heating vents, which rotate out of sight when they’re not in use.
Sit in the driver’s seat and the large start button glows red to welcome you. Pressing it starts the car, and as the touch screen initializes, the start button rises up to become a rotary gear selector knob in what Jaguar refer to as the car-driver “handshake.” Diffused mood lighting highlights interior details like the door-mounted switches, header console and a very sexy illuminated blue dashboard.
Three interior trim levels will be offered, all featuring plenty of wood panelling. The Luxury level will be available with either petrol or diesel V6 engines, Premium Luxury (with the naturally aspirated V8), and SV8 (with the supercharged V8 petrol alternative).
Chassis and Body
The XF’s chassis features class-leading torsional rigidity, with unequal-length wishbone front suspension and multi-link rear suspension each mounted on subframes for maximal control. The goal here is to create a balance between a luxury ride and sports performance to match the car’s appearance.
The body shape has been developed using computer-simulated fluid dynamics at the CAD stage, with the resulting shape boasting the lowest aerodynamic drag of any production Jaguar and a front-to-rear lift balance of precisely zero. These aerodynamics contribute to impressively low wind noise, aid fuel consumption and strong high-speed stability and handling.
The XF is available to order now. The first cars will be delivered to customers in June 2008. Further details at the Jaguar XF Website.