Jaguar XF Wagon in the works

March 17th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Jaguar XF f

The Jaguar XF is looking fairly strong with its new diesel engine option in Europe and a new “R” performance model, the sport sedan is being asked to really carry the British brand. And if new speculation proves to be true, the XF will soon be able to carry a lot more thanks to a new wagon variant.

Jaguar is apparently preparing to unveil a thinly-disguised XF Estate concept car at September’s Frankfurt Motor Show, with a 2011 production model following about six months later. There may also be an XFR estate model to take on BMW’s M5 Touring and Audi’s RS6, and like its sedan counterpart, it is expected to be V8-powered with around 510 supercharged horsepower. More sensible V8 and V6 models will also be available, along with a pair of V6 diesel models.

Other XF variants, including a possible coupe and convertible are reportedly on the table. But most people are looking forward to seeing the new load-lugging super cat.

Jagaur to lay off 450 workers

January 15th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Just as things were beginning to look up for Jagaur and partner Land Rover, it has been forced to announce that 450 workers will be dropped from its global ranks. Hardest hit will be management, which will see its numbers drop by about 300 employees, with the remaining 150 coming from Jaguar’s hourly-rate staff. Sales have been down in 2008 due to the poor global economy and the general lack of available credit, and 2009 isn’t expected to go any better. Fewer cars sold means fewer workers are necessary to build them and a smaller cash reserve is available to pay from.

Jaguar, which is now owned by Tata Motors of India, still has four manufacturing sites in England and is hoping that the government in the U.K. will offer some form of assistance to the remaining automotive sector, but none has come so far.

Jaguar XFR shows its teeth at Detroit Show

January 13th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Jaguar XFR fq

The new Jaguar XFR has just been shown off for the first time at the Detroit Auto Show and it has some serious claws. Set to go head-to-head with the big dogs in the high-performance luxury sedan segment, the XFR draws its power from a new version of Jaguar’s AJV8 that’s larger at 5.0 litres of displacement and supercharged to produce 510 bhp and 460 lb-ft of torque. This will take the new Jag from 0-100 kph in just 4.7 seconds and to an electronically limited top speed of 250 kph. The XFR is also fitted with new 20-inch Nevis alloy wheels and larger brakes with calipers bearing the “R” logo.

The XFR features a number of exterior tweaks over the standard XF that emphasise its sporting nature, including a new front end with a new bumper design incorporating large, chrome trimmed air inlets on either side, hood vents, new fenders, side sills, a decklid spoiler, and a new rear bumper that houses four exhaust pipes.

The interior is also dressed up with new dark aluminum trim, sports seats bearing the “R” logo and a sport steering wheel. The new range-topping XF can be had in eight colors: Botanical Green, Indigo, Kyanite Blue, Liquid Silver, Lunar Grey, Porcelain and Salsa.

Jaguar XF V8 2008 Review

December 24th, 2008 by Darren Cottingham

Jaguar is motoring royalty, and like any royalty there are many who believe in some inherent goodness of all those within the family. During a rocky 17-year marriage to Ford, Jaguar lost many of its followers. Now, with an exotic new mistress in Tata motors and freshly styled offspring in the XF, Jaguar is making a bold move back to former glories. So will the XF be Jaguar’s legitimate saviour or merely a tangible connection between past mistakes and an uncertain future?

The XF has a regal but edgy beauty, with a bulging hood, raked-back glass and the shoulders of a prop-forward. It is a noticeable departure from Jaguar styling of old, with only the sparkling chrome front grill, and side vents clearly inherited. The XF has mixed blood, with rear-end styling that is stunning but strongly resembles classy rival Aston Martin. The front end sports an oddly shaped reclined headlight cluster and a toothy spoiler, which does detract from the Jag’s beauty depending on viewing angle. However, the XF’s coupe-like profile, premium paintwork, muscular stance and 19″ Auriga alloys mean it will turn heads rather than chop them off.

Inside, the XF is a mixture of opulence and technology on a grand scale. The understated leather dash is double-stitched, the walnut veneer trim perfectly polished, and the carpet is thickly plush. Once the pulsating start button is pushed air vents rotate into position and the transmission shifter wheel rises from the centre-console providing a memorable piece of theatre.

A low-set dash and moody blue lighting further enhance the interior atmosphere. The XF’s soft leather front seats simultaneously cosset occupants in luxurious comfort while still providing the necessary firmness for spirited driving. The stately interior appointments highlight the XF’s modern gadgetry, with an easy-to-use touch screen controlling all major functions including a rear-parking camera, and air filtered dual-zone climate control. Space is ample in the front, but in the rear the sharply sloping roofline can be confining for taller passengers. The boot is deep and with 500-litres of space its voluminous enough to stuff in a pack of corgis.

If being seated in the XF is like having high tea with the Queen, starting the engine is when she pulls out a bottle of tequila. Jaguar’s naturally aspirated 4.2L V8 offers commanding performance and will herald the XF from 0-100km in 6.5 seconds. The official numbers are 219kW of power and 411Nm of torque which sounds acceptable on paper but doesn’t hint at how much of a driver’s car the XF really is. Even with all the aristocratic trim and grandiose staring back at you in the cabin, when you open up the throttle the XF still becomes a leery lad. The V8 is nearly silent at idle but lets out a wild howl when pushed, it’s a very free-revving engine that can both cruise and challenge. The automatic gearbox serves the motor diligently and it would be hard to find a slicker or quicker shifting 6-speed conventional box. A manual shift option is available with paddles to offer total reign over the available power.

With a stiff body and a wide track the XF relishes twisty roads, body roll is minimal and the Jag feels eager when cornering. Sharing the suspension set-up from the XF’s sportier XK sibling really works, providing finely tuned damping and strong grip regardless of conditions. Steering is accurate, but far too light and a bit vague around the middle, and detracts from the overall driver’s experience. Cornering at speed the XF stays compliant, and while its nose can get pushed wide, it remains easily controlled. The Dynamic Stability Control is highly intuitive slowing the car before the driver even knows there is a potential problem. The ride quality on the XF is relaxing even refreshing, managing to isolate occupants from poor road surfaces and any wind noise.

The XF is a bold modern representation of Jaguar’s distinguished heritage, it wisely doesn’t reflect this aesthetically, but does in its refined performance and crown jewel interior. The XF V8 may not be quite enough to return Jaguar to the pinnacle of luxury motoring, but that’s understandable, as the pinnacle is at least another hundred grand more. It has a sense of occasion and enough flair to send many European rivals to the gallows. Extract the XF’s blue-blood and underneath it’s a very good mid-large-sized, which shows Jaguar’s intent to roll up the sleeves and make great cars again, not just for loyal subjects but for the masses.

Click through to the next page to read the specifications of the Jaguar XF

Price: $139,990

What we like:

  • Exquisite interior, with plenty of toys
  • Effortless cruising with a turn of speed
  • Free-revving V8 engine
  • Smooth automatic transmission

What we don’t like:

  • Rear passenger space
  • Steering feel
  • Grille styling is an acquired taste

Words and Photos, Adam Mamo

Jaguar XF V8 (2008) — Specifications

ENGINE 4.2 litre V8 petrol

POWER (kW / bhp @ rpm) 219 / 298 @ 6000

TORQUE (Nm @ rpm)  411 @ 4100

0-100km/h (sec) 6.5

COMB. FUEL CONSUMPTION 11.1 (l/100KM)

ENVIRONMENTAL CLASSIFICATION Euro IV

TRANSMISSION, SUSPENSION & BRAKES

Jaguar Sequential Shift with steering wheel mounted paddles (CATS)

6-speed ZF electronic automatic transmission

Traction control

Trac Dynamic Stability Control (DSC)

JaguarDrive Selector

JaguarDrive Control – winter mode

Variable ratio speed sensitive power steering

Electronic Park Brake (EPB)

Vented disc brakes front and rear

EXTERIOR

Chrome grille surround with bright mesh grille

Bi-Xenon headlights with cornering

Halogen headlights with automatic on/off lights, washers and automatic (TPMS)

Rain sensing windscreen wipers levelling

Heated exterior mirrors with electric adjustment

Power-folding, auto dimming

Side window surrounds with chrome fi nish exterior mirrors with ground (TPMS)

Rear parking aid with touch screen visual indicators illumination

LED rear tail lights

Front parking aid and rear parking camera

WHEELS

19″ Auriga Alloys

INTERIOR

Burr Walnut veneer

Softgrain leather seats (10 x 10 way)

Softgrain stitched and tailored instrument panel and door

Memory function with 2 settings for drivers seat, top rolls exterior mirrors and steering column

Jaguar Smart Key System with keyless entry

Leather 3-spoke steering wheel with remote controls for audio, cruise control, phone and JaguarVoice

Electric sunroof

Auto dimming interior rear view mirror

Electric rear window blind (where fitted)

Steering column with electric adjustment for height and reach with entry and exit tilt-away

Jaguar Smart Key system with keyless entry

Cruise control with Auto Speed Limiter (ASL)

Jaguar Smart Key system with keyless start

Automatic climate control with air filtration and dual zone temperature control

One touch electric windows with anti-trap

Driver information centre with dual function trip computer

Interior mood lighting

JaguarSense

Triple front and twin rear cup holders

Folding 60/40 split rear seats

Carpet mat set

AUDIO/COMMS

Jaguar Premium Sounds System 320W, 6CD, 8-speaker, subwoofer, MP3 compatibility; Bluetooch Telephone connectivity; 7-inch touchscreen, 3.5mm auxiliary input socket

SAFETY AND SECURITY

Driver and passenger front and side airbags

Side curtain airbags

Pedestrian Contact Sensing & deployable bonnet system

Front seat whiplash reduction system

Front and rear seat belt pre-tensioners

High level rear stop light

Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)

Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD)

Emergency Brake Assist (EBA)

Cornering Brake Control (CBC)

Drive away locking and dead locking

Valet function

Engine immobiliser and perimeter alarm

Jaguar updates XJ for 2009

December 5th, 2008 by Darren Cottingham

Jaguar XJ 2009 fq

Rumours of a new Jaguar XJ are around but for the 2009 model year Jaguar is pushing ahead with its current top cat. The Jaguar XF has proved that the decades old styling can be reworked with good results, so the 2009 XJ may be the final example of the classic looks before a total re-fit. It is hard to fault the all-aluminium sedan which sports V8 power in an old school measure. For 2009 Jaguar has added more standard content to the XJ, includng newly designed seats that improve leg and footroom for rear passengers, and seat heaters are standard in all models. The XJ Soverign model gets a cooling functionality added to the seats, as well as 20″ wheels, soft grain leather, Jaguar branded sills and the traditional wool rugs in the rear. Navigation is standard in Executive and Soverign trim levels, along with parking radar, and bi-xenon lighting.

The engine range is limited to the manic 400bhp 4.2 litre supercharged petrol V8 and the well recieved 2.7 litre V6 twin-turbo diesel. If these are the last XJs before the model is redone then they will be well equiped final examples for collectors of the future.

Jaguar gets another life

November 11th, 2008 by Darren Cottingham

Jaguar XF fq

Now that Tata Motors is the proud owner of the Jaguar brand it’s looking to move quickly to expand Jaguar’s range of saloons, a smart move considering the rich legacy of sports cars and sleek sedans to draw from. Jaguar became a household name due in large part to racing successes with such cars as the legendary XK120, C-Type and D-Type. More recently in the ’90s, the British automaker has tested the exotic waters with its power house XJ220 supercar. Rumors of a less expensive sports car like the Porsche Boxster are currently filtering out from dealerships that have spoken with the marque’s new management, along with convertible and coupe versions of the popular XF sedan, which has already sparked fresh interest in the brand.

Don’t expect the X-Type to be brought back anytime soon or any crazy crossover concepts, Tata also owns Land Rover and doesn’t want its two iconic British automakers to compete with one another.

New Jaguar XKR-S rocks Paris

October 3rd, 2008 by Darren Cottingham

Jaguar XKR-S fq

Day one of the Paris Motor Show has seen many manufacturers eagerly roll out their latest offerings and among them was a new Jaguar XK. Easily the hottest XK to date, the XKR-S with a beastly 420-hp 4.2-litre V8 packed under the bonnet, waits for no one. Power is delivered to the rear wheels through a six-speed automatic gearbox equipped with Jaguar’s Sequential Shift system. The XKR-S can sprint to 100km in 5.2 seconds and tops out at 280 Kph, making it the fastest Jag since the XJ220 supercar.

But the XKR-S is not all about grunt. The revised suspension features new springs, dampers, a larger rear anti-roll bar and a recalibrated CATS (Computer Active Technology Suspension), while an active exhaust, revised aerodynamic aids (including one funky but functional spoiler) and massive, 400mm (front) and 350mm (rear) Alcon R Performance brakes balance out the package.

The Jaguar XKR-S will be limited to only 200 cars in both left- and right-hand-drive, the Americans won’t be getting any of them and we will be very lucky to see any here in NZ.

Jaguar XJ diesel takes award for best towcar in class

June 23rd, 2008 by Darren Cottingham

jaguar-xj-diesel-fq

Jaguar has claimed the 2008 Towcar Award for the XJ 2.7 litre Diesel in the 1725-1899kg category.  The award was presented by What Car?, Practical Caravan, and The Camping and Caravanning Club.

The cars were put through their paces for their towing ability and a host of other qualities including driving performance when not towing, practicality, value for money and safety.

The judging panel comprising industry experts, motoring journalists and caravanning enthusiasts were particularly impressed with the way that the XJ performed.  The judges chose the XJ as the winner because: “Stability and ride comfort don’t always go together. Cars with rear suspension that’s firm almost to a fault in normal driving are often the most composed when towing. But the XJ combines unflappable stability with limousine comfort.  The suspension’s alchemy was worth its weight in gold through the lane-change test. The XJ changed direction quickly, gripping hard and holding the intended line. However much the caravan slid behind it, the Jag wouldn’t budge. Data from the ATC shows how much G-force was generated in the van, but the smooth curve of the graph speaks volumes as to how undramatic the Jaguar made this manoeuvre.”

Managing Director of Jaguar in the UK, Geoff Cousins said: “What this award does is demonstrate the breadth of capability of the XJ.  It is already renowned for its all-aluminium body construction, state-of-the-art technologies and outstanding craftsmanship and build quality.  I am delighted we have won this award; it really demonstrates the diverse appeal of the XJ.”

This is the latest in a number of awards for Jaguar’s flagship model.  Most recently, the XJ 2.7 litre Diesel was named Britain’s greenest luxury car in the Environmental Transport Association’s 2008 Car Buyers Guide.  Earlier in the year, the XJ Long Wheelbase was voted ‘Chauffeur Car of the Year’ by Chauffeur Magazine, while What Car?, Auto Trader and Auto Express all voted the XJ ‘Best Luxury Car’ in their various Used Car Awards towards the end of last year.

Since its launch in 2003, the XJ model line-up has been enhanced to include the XJ long wheelbase, the special edition XJR Portfolio, the XJ armoured vehicle and most recently the XJ 08 Model Year, featuring a revised exterior design and significantly upgraded interior.