Jaguar's XF Sportbrake promises a practical luxury vehicle


February 29, 2012

The Jaguar XF Sportbrake

The Jaguar XF Sportbrake

Image Gallery (22 images)

The trend toward ever more practical vehicles continued overnight with Jaguar releasing images of the new XF-based Sportbrake, that we'll see next week at the Geneva Motor Show. In times past, when wealthy folk needed an upmarket vehicle for the estate, the tastefully modified, coachbuilt practical upmarket vehicles were referred to as "shooting brakes."

The Jaguar is unquestionably a "brake" - a slightly longer, far-more-practical XF with an advanced eight-speed auto and self-leveling air suspension, earmarking it as a potential tow vehicle for those who need to drag horse-floats to the polo, take the boat with them, relocate the entourage and the like.

The Sportbrake will offer a range of diesel engines from a 2.2 liter four through to a 3.0 liter six, each driving the rear wheels via an advanced eight-speed automatic gearbox.

Jaguar claims that the handling characteristics of the XF have been duplicated with the longer and heavier Sportbrake, which means you'd best tie things down tightly in the back, because the XF is a very sporty beast in the swervery.

The interior has a large, easily-accessible and versatile load space of 1,675 liters (442.5 US gallons) with the rear seats down, and on either side of the rear load space are a series of small compartments which seems like a long-overdue move.

For many people, such caches can be really useful - safe places for critical gear - the "sick bag" for when junior or friends vomit after their 37th cupcake and fifth glass of chocolate milk, the emergency change of clothes stash, a spare pair of heels or flats, an overnight bag with cash and a false passport ... and may the automotive designers of the world take note that there are never enough places to put stuff in cars.

There are, however, countless dead spaces in an automobile's construction where it would be useful to secret away emergency supplies of something, or store something that is useful and needs a convenient spot. Glove boxes are a quaint notion, but I've never yet seen one suitably capacious to carry all the stuff one needs. Indeed, I am sure that a substantial part of my fondness for the original Mini were those door pockets.

Technologically, the car is an XF in most respects and no doubt will carve a handsome niche with this upmarket but versatile variant.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, (Australia's largest Telco), (Australia's largest employment site),,, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon

Nice to see the return of the Station Wagon now lets make it more useful by squaring off the rear instead of that silly space reducing slope & it will no doubt be able to replace some of those SUV's that never go off road but do need to carry lots of stuff.

Facebook User

That silly space reducing slope is one of the design elements that distinguishes between a station wagon and a shooting brake. Look back in design history and most, if not all, shooting brakes from the late fifties on have that feature.


re; Clive Edmead

The CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standers is what killed the Station wagon and because light trucks didn't fall under it the SUV was born. The green fascists caused the increase in fuel consumption.


That would be "sportbreak", not "sportbrake".

Joris van den Heuvel

oh sori, I was looking for the new Jag, not a Volvo.


Station wagons died because nobody wanted to be seen in them. Same as hatchbacks. Hell, anybody with half a brain can recognize that SUVs and CUVs are just fancied up renamed station wagons and hatchbacks anyway.

The Japanese companies had no problem meeting those CAFE standards. Finally American companies are gonna start competing in fuel economy instead of whining.

Mark Keller

re; Mark Keller

SUVs (including minivans) replaced full sized station wagons. Comparing full sized station wagons to what the Japanese offered is ludicrous. Non of the manufacturers of full sized station wagons had intended to discontinue production until the stupid CAFE standards artificially raised the cost of producing not only the Full sized wagons but the entire fleet.

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