In an impressive effort to resuscitate struggling North American sales, Jaguar’s new XF model sedan has made its royal American arrival. Although by no means a replacement for the XJ upon which Jaguar has built its rich legacy, the XF is certainly a welcome departure from the expected. Initially introduced as the C-XF concept car at the 2007 Detroit auto show, the XF was quick to identify itself as the new, contemporary face of Jaguar.
Offered in 3 trim levels, only the premium trim, the XF Supercharged, is really capable of competing as a high performance luxury sedan. The XF’s “entry level” trim packages, the 4.2 V8 Luxury (MSRP $49,975) and the XF 4.2 V8 Premium Luxury (MSRP $ 55,975), do little to differentiate themselves in terms of performance, instead relying heavily on aesthetics. Although both the 4.2 Luxury and 4.2 Luxury Premium come well equipped with a powerful engine, 300-horsepower, and 310lb-ft of torque; the only notable difference between the two are the wheel choices of 18” or 19” (respectively).
Where Jaguar reallyhas a chance to flex its new muscle is with the XF Supercharged (MSRP $62, 975). True to its name, the XF Supercharged boasts an intercooled, supercharged V8 engine with a compression ratio of 9.1:1, displacement stats reading 256 cu in, 4196 cc., and 420-hp at 6,250 rpm. Additionally, the XF Supercharged comes equipped with Jaguar’s patented Sequential Shift (providing seamless, automatic shift in manumatic mode at redline), 4-wheel independent Computer Active Technology Suspension (CATS), TRAC DSC (Dynamic Stability Control), patented Jaguar Drive Control, and a tire pressure-monitoring system – to highlight a few. Encasing all that form and function is a body designed almost exclusively with the hip-hop mogul in mind. 20” alloy wheels immediately grab the eye while the sleek, stream-lined, high-strength steel exterior, keeps it there. Although larger than other luxury sedans of its class – the Mercedes E-series, BMW 5-series, etc – the XF Supercharged claims tighter handling and a smoother ride than its competitors. Although it’s too early to tell, the XF Supercharged certainly appears to might be exactly the breath of fresh air the tradition-rich Jaguar line needed.