Jaguar XF, 2009

Jaguar XF, 2009

The new Jaguar XF: a dramatic expression of a bold new Jaguar design language, with a driving experience that exceeds expectations created by the striking appearance: relaxed and confident, with outstanding ability and control.

The defining element of the new Jaguar XF as a true sporting Jaguar is its visual strength. Driven by a bold new design language, the Jaguar XF firmly emphasises contemporary and emotional themes while remaining unmistakeably a Jaguar. Targeting leadership in exterior and interior design, the Jaguar XF builds on already high standards of craftsmanship, quality and dynamic refinement, while improving packaging and aerodynamics even further.

The new Jaguar XF enters the range in the niche previously occupied by much-loved mid-sized Jaguar saloons such as the original XJ Series 1 (a car that was smaller than today's XJ). But unlike many D/E segment premium saloons, the new Jaguar XF pushes boundaries away from the 'three box' style and creates a four-door, five-seat saloon with strong, coupe-like lines. Jaguar's new design language, which debuted with the new XK sports car, is applied to a saloon car for the first time in XF. The visual step forwards is as significant as it is obvious - the Jaguar XF's proportions, for example, are so closely matched to those of the XK that the screen rake angles are the same on both cars.

Having the space and practicality of full five-seat accommodation was a programme imperative, so the Jaguar XF is proportioned to provide interior space and levels of comfort that challenge for best-in-class honours. At 4961mm long and 1877mm wide, on a lengthy 2909mm wheelbase, the Jaguar XF is 45mm longer and 25mm wider than its nearest 'dimensional' competitor, the Audi A6 - with even greater advantages over the BMW 5-Series, Lexus GS300 and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

The Jaguar XF's visual emphasis is sporty, muscular and dynamic - a character defined by a sweeping silhouette inspired by the XK, a powerful grille, dramatic side window graphics and, of course, strong Jaguar 'shoulders'. The look, however, does not come at the expense of efficient packaging. The Jaguar XF's waistline rises to meet the roof rather than the roof coming down to meet the waist, which improves interior space. This rising waistline gives the Jaguar XF a higher tail than any previous Jaguar, providing the twin benefits of much improved aerodynamic performance, together with substantially increased luggage volume. At a maximum of 540 litres (500 with a spare wheel) the Jaguar XF's boot is the equal of anything in the class and betters most rivals.

The Jaguar XF's Jaguar character is defined by its face - centred around a bold intake grille which provides a focal point for the feature lines which stream back over the bonnet and cabin, it has inherent visual strength. The grille's mesh pattern is itself an important element of external jewellery, the woven pattern an emotional design signature that is quintessentially British, with strong sporting connotations.

The headlamps further emphasise the way in which Jaguar's design language has progressed. The one-piece clusters have a wide aspect ratio and wrap around the corners of the body onto the front wings. Closer inspection of the headlamp internals reveals twin round elements incorporated within the overall shape; a subliminal reminder of the Jaguar saloon 'quad lamp' signature.

The exterior details of the Jaguar XF have been designed as if they are finely crafted items of exquisite jewellery. The distinctive bright aluminium finisher around the side window, for example, is unusual in being a single-piece pressing and is an unmatched piece of craftsmanship. The side power vents have the Jaguar name embossed on an 'ingot' bar across the centre, while the 'venturi' shape below the tail - which hints at the Jaguar XF's sophisticated aerodynamics - is positioned above large, stylised twin chrome tailpipes.

The Jaguar XF is unmistakably a Jaguar and its badging unequivocally identifies it as such: a large 'growler' badge is prominent on the front grille, while adding the Jaguar 'leaper' to the rear boot lid is an emotional statement - a powerful signature that customers associate strongly with the most sporting Jaguars.

From launch, the Jaguar XF offers three trim levels: Luxury, Premium Luxury and SV8. Externally, with the exception of wheel styles and a badge on the SV8, all cars will look the same - a customer is buying an XF, rather than an XF in a particular trim level.

As well as facilitating packaging excellence, the Jaguar XF's new design language has another significant functional advantage: for the first time on any Jaguar, the entire body was developed using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) before the car ever saw a wind tunnel. Every area from the outer skin to the lightweight, composite undertray to the cooling airflow (even the shape of the exterior mirrors) was optimised using this process. The higher, squarer tail is more efficient aerodynamically than a lower, rounded one, and the Jaguar XF's coupe-like roofline and subtle, raised bootlid lip improve airflow over the rear of the car. As a result, the Jaguar XF has the best aerodynamic performance, in terms of drag, of any production Jaguar ever and is better than the race-bred, limited edition XJ220 supercar.

The Jaguar XF's drag coefficient is just 0.29 and the front-to-rear lift balance is precisely zero. This aerodynamic performance contributes to impressively low wind noise, aids fuel consumption and strong high-speed stability and, of course, is vital in ensuring ideal handling balance through optimising drag and lift forces.

Relax inside the Jaguar XF and you are in a very special place indeed. There is space - more than many will imagine given the Jaguar XF's sports saloon design - but also the sense of being in a perfectly proportioned, agile car. There is also comfort - of course - but it is the craftsmanship, materials and attention to detail that impress. Consider, too, the generous equipment specification - the features that empower rather than overpower the driver - and the strengths of the Jaguar XF are readily apparent.

The interior design maximises the feeling of space, with driver and passenger seating positions, the relationship of seats to window areas, and the volume and versatility of stowage options all contributing. New thinking on seat design - the front seats are deliberately sculpted and reduced in size (but not comfort) - liberates space and makes access easier, too. The increased track and best-in-class rear seat width means tall adults can sit in complete comfort. And while the Jaguar XF roofline might say 'coupe', the rear headroom says 'saloon' better than many rivals.

Just as the Jaguar XF's exterior defines a new design direction, its interior moves from traditional themes to contemporary, sporting luxury - emphasised by 'surprise and delight' features such as the JaguarDrive SelectorTM and the rotating vents; through the use of sophisticated new materials; and by all-new graphics and interior lighting systems.

The line defined by the soft-trimmed dashboard top and aluminium finisher runs continuously through the front and rear doors, making the interior feel more spacious, and especially making it seem wider from the front seats.

With the JaguarDrive SelectorTM, automatic transmission functions are selected simply by turning the control with the fingertips. As an example, Drive to Drive Sport selection is accomplished with a simple push and turn action. Returning from S to D, the rotary control operates with spring-assistance, which eliminates the need to pull the Selector. It couldn't be simpler.

Phosphor blue mood or 'halo' lighting echoes the ambience you might find in a favourite contemporary bar or restaurant. This same lighting technology is also used in MP3 players and mobile 'phone handsets to illuminate keypads and controls. On the Jaguar XF, halo illumination around the switch panels and JaguarDrive SelectorTM console, the start-stop button and Electric Parking Brake gives a soft glow that indicates their positions without distracting the driver.

Mood lighting is also incorporated into the header console, bathing the centre console in a cool blue light, while lights under the front door releases softly illuminate the door-mounted switches.

Soft, phosphor blue illumination is also used on the instrument dials, highlighting the sporting feel of the aluminium-coloured dials. As well as being soothing, blue does not conflict with any of the green, yellow or red alert or warning signals on the car.

To say that luxury comes as standard on the Jaguar XF is an understatement. Front seats are electrically adjustable, with a minimum of eight-way seat adjustment for the driver and front passenger, while the SV8 offers 16-way driver's seat and 12-way passenger's seat adjustment with 4-way power lumbar and cushion length adjustment for the driver. The new Jaguar XF also introduces the option of active heated and cooled ventilated front seats, with fan-assisted whole seat heating, whole seat cooling, or just squab heating or cooling. And because the Jaguar XF cleverly separates seat and cabin temperature controls, it gives the option of a warm cabin with a cool seat, or vice versa. And all of this with a new climate control system that is also the most efficient Jaguar has ever offered.

The Jaguar XF's class-leading torsional rigidity has significant benefits for refinement and provides the perfect platform for a suspension system that is a further development of the Jaguar XK sports car, and delivers a ride/handling balance and steering characteristics absolutely in line with the Jaguar XF's sporting looks. Unequal length wishbone front suspension with weight-saving aluminium components, and multi-link rear suspension are both subframe mounted for maximum control, including excellent straight-line stability and strong anti-dive characteristics under heavy braking, with minimum road noise and vibration.

The new Jaguar XF will be available with a choice of four engines - 2.7-litre V6 turbodiesel, 3.0-litre V6 petrol, 4.2-litre naturally aspirated V8 petrol, and 4.2-litre supercharged V8 petrol (depending on market). Both petrol and diesel V6 engines are offered in Luxury and Premium Luxury models; the naturally aspirated V8 will be Premium Luxury only (and Luxury for US models) and the supercharged SV8 has its own unique specification, for a very logical, easily understood range with only six major variants.

The Euro IV compliant twin-turbocharged 2.7-litre 24-valve V6 diesel delivers high efficiency, high performance and class-leading refinement - its headline figures including 207PS (EEC) and 435Nm (EEC) of torque. With its Compacted Graphite Iron (CGI) cylinder block and aluminium cylinder heads it is the lightest diesel engine of its type and size - making a significant contribution to the new Jaguar XF's power-to-weight ratio, performance and fuel economy.

The V6 diesel features the latest generation high-pressure Common Rail direct-injection, 'multiple pilot' injection, and piezo-electric injection control, allowing sophisticated management of the injection patterns to make combustion smoother and quieter. Four valves per cylinder and advanced combustion chamber shapes contribute to high combustion efficiency with low combustion noise, alongside very low mechanical noise levels.

Emissions are further reduced by using twin variable-geometry turbochargers with electronic control, exhaust gas recirculation, and a variable-swirl intake system. Using two small turbochargers, with 'drive-by-wire' throttle control, rather than one larger unit, also gives a quicker, smoother response.

The 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine is another compact, lightweight, all-aluminium design with four overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, VCP Continuously Variable Cam Phasing and variable geometry air intakes. It produces 240bhp (SAE)/238PS (EEC) and 221lb ft (SAE)/293Nm (EEC) peak torque - with more than 80 percent of peak torque from below 1500rpm to maximum engine speed at 6800rpm.

Variable Camshaft Phasing produces faster response and performance at all engine speeds - with more torque at low speeds and maximum power at high speeds. It also provides internal exhaust gas recirculation, reducing both hydrocarbon and NOx emissions.

The 4.2-litre V8 comes in naturally aspirated or supercharged versions. With a ribbed aluminium block and cylinder heads it is very light but extremely strong, and its superb structural stiffness minimises radiated engine noise and increases mechanical reliability. The V8's exhaust system has also been completely retuned to remain quiet at cruising speeds but deliver a substantially more purposeful V8 roar under hard acceleration.

In naturally aspirated form it develops 300bhp (SAE)/298PS (EEC), and 310lb ft (SAE)/411Nm (EEC) of torque. The supercharged version uses a highly efficient rotor-type supercharger, belt-driven from the crankshaft. It develops 420bhp (SAE)/416PS (EEC), and 413lb ft (SAE)/560Nm (EEC) of torque from low engine speeds. Just as important as the supercharged engine's peak torque is the way the usable torque is spread across a wide rev range - with at least 86 percent of the peak from 2000rpm to maximum engine speed.

A superior six-speed automatic transmission - renowned as one of the best in the world and already proven in other Jaguars - is used on all versions of the new Jaguar XF. There is no manual gearbox option. The transmission is a key element in the Jaguar XF's sporting character, its adaptive gear-changing strategies responding both to road conditions and the way the car is being driven, giving the smoothest shifts and optimum performance. Adding another layer of driver focus, the transmission is controlled by the new JaguarDrive SelectorTM with the option of manual selection through Jaguar Sequential ShiftTM. The JaguarDrive SelectorTM is also used to access the Jaguar XF's Sport mode which uses shift-by-wire technology pioneered on the XK.
Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More