From styling, to attitude, to performance, to image… the Jaguar XF shows with its pre-Frankfurt Auto Show unveiling that it waits for nobody. The XF’s leap from concept to production car in 2009 will mark the end of the S-Types unheralded run. Panned by some for being more Ford Taurus than Jaguar the S-Type failed to satisfy many of the Jaguar enthusiasts. The XF may show some signs of the design times with some Lexus and Mercedes-Benz influences but this new Jaguar will be looking to make a name for itself all on its own.
The 2009 Jaguar XF is stretched for comfort and fueled to move. The body of the XF is a bit stretched over the old S-Type’s size and that cabin capacity is filled with creature comforts for the occupants of the car. The dash contains the touch screen with navigation available along with boxy air vents that are closed over by aluminum doors when the car is off. Upon starting the car the vents openÂ andÂ vent-out the stale airÂ inside the car before switching to regulating the temperature.Â From the front and back head room andÂ leather seatsÂ to the simply styled dash with its aluminum strip that lines the entire cockpit the XF provides stylish comfort with simple sophistication. Even the gear selector has been modernized.
While the car is in park the gear selecter lays flush with the center console, but once you use the push-button-start to ignite the engine the gear selecter extends to allow the driver to rotate through the automatic gears. Jaguar even goes as far as to give you an extra gear selection after drive: “Sport.” Sport mode does just what it sounds… provides the car with high revving shifts and prepares the car for aggressive driving. Also, while in Sport mode you get to make use of the full-sequential paddle shifters bound to the steering wheel. There is also a winter button that can be selected while in drive that lowers the rpm shift points and provides slower accelerations for slick surfaces.
Powering the American release of the Jaguar XF will be one of two versions of a 4.2 liter V8. The base engine will be putting out 300-hp while the supercharged version of the same engine will have 400-hp. But if that is not enough for you there is expected to be an R version of the XF in a couple years that will be producing 500-hp. Jaguar is attempting to keep their eye on the prize with the XF but I wonder if BMW and the 5-series M class knows they are wearing a ribbon around their neck.
As with any vehicle there are some pros and cons and design tweaks that may or may not service each drivers tastes. One big change for Jaguar with the XF will be the iconic symbol of the sprinting jaguar. The hood ornament has been replaced with the face of a growling cat while the jaguar in stride has been moved into a profile position on the trunk. While it might be a break from tradition the rear symbol does have a certain style to it. But you will have to decide for yourself on that one.
One feature that I can absolutely do without is faux wood anywhere on a modern vehicle. Some may consider it a dash of sophistication, especially when paired with aluminum accents. And I am presuming those “some’s” are in the majority because every car that comes out as a high end luxury car seems to want to have some wood grain accents. If it were up to me though I would prefer more metal, leather or even plastic usage over the faux wood. Jaguar goes all-out and all-in by providing a buyer of the XF three wood trim options: American walnut, burled walnut, or the top-shelf rich oak. Â
Just as the Jaguar is nearing an eminent split from the Ford Motor Company the new style of Jaguar seems to be seeking a styling road of its own. With a luxury exterior that is both bold and simple and a sophisticated interior that is intelligent and spacious the Jaguar XF could make a bold move up the luxury sedan market. As always there will be detractors of these latest design steps by Jaguar, but I personally cannot wait to see the Jaguar XF in person.