Jack Rix, Auto Express, 23rd March, 2009
The XF is going XL! Jaguar is poised to expand its range with an estate version of the award-winning XF saloon at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. There’s been no shortage of new metal from the Coventry-based firm of late, with hot R versions of both the XF and XK breaking cover, as well as the new high-performance XF Diesel S. And the family is set to grow further when the wagon joins the fray.
Auto Express has learned that the car at Frankfurt will be a thinly disguised production model, albeit referred to as a concept. And if the reaction from the public is sufficiently positive, it could arrive in dealers here next spring. Whispers of an estate variant have been circulating since very early in the XF’s development.
It was always the plan for a more family oriented version to be the first new bodystyle spawned from the XF’s platform. With the saloon proving a sales hit, as well as winning numerous awards – including Auto Express’ Car of the Year title – the British maker has clearly decided that the time is right to expand the XF range. Engine choices are likely to mirror those offered on the saloon.
That means the new 3.0-litre twin-turbo diesel will be available in two guises: the S, with 271bhp and 600Nm of torque, or a toned-down version delivering 238bhp and 500Nm. The more powerful car should complete the 0-60mph sprint in around six seconds. The real fireworks come in the petrol line-up, though. Customers will be able to pick from a 238bhp 3.0-litre V6 or the all-new 5.0 V8. The latter delivers 397bhp in naturally aspirated form or an incredible 503bhp when fitted with a supercharger in the XFR.
This flagship takes Jaguar into uncharted waters. It will rival established class leaders such as the hugely powerful Audi RS6 Avant and BMW M5 Touring, as well as Mercedes’ imminent E63 AMG estate. The XFR wagon promises 0-60mph in under five seconds and a 155mph top speed – so it’s as fast as it is practical. Under the skin, besides a few suspension tweaks to compensate for different weight distribution, the estate will share the same wheelbase and mechanicals as the XF saloon.
That should enable it to deliver a similarly strong combination of cruising ability and cornering agility. According to Jaguar, the four-door XF is selling extremely well. Dealers worldwide are shifting around nine per cent more than they did at the same time last year, bucking the trend for the market as a whole. So company bosses are clearly keen to capitalise on this showroom success. They are also said to be considering producing coupé and cabriolet versions of the XF, completing the range in style.
However, concept versions of these cars aren’t expected to appear until sales of the estate are well underway next year. Appearing alongside the XF estate in Frankfurt will be another major new Jag: the XJ Concept. Chief Designer Ian Callum has promised it will be the most radical interpretation of the luxury model ever.
[Source: Auto Express]
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