The new Jaguar XF Sportbrake has been unveiled ahead of its public debut at the Geneva Motor Show. Sharing its underpinnings with the XF saloon, the Sportbrake’s overall length grows by just 5mm, its weight by less 70kg and its chassis structure matches the strength of the conventional XF. These characteristics mean the Sportbrake can closely match the acclaimed handling of the XF saloon yet offers a large and highly practical load space.
Every panel on the XF Sportbrake, from the B-Pillar rearwards, is new. The strong silver signature line running the length of the car is extended while the C-Pillar is finished in gloss black, a trait shared with the XJ saloon. Slim rear light units extend into a strong chrome crossmember that dominates the rear of the car. The result is a car that blends style and function with the rear seat occupants benefiting from 48mm of extra rear headroom.
The large, practical tailgate can be specified with power struts, opening to reveal a wide and highly versatile load space. Measuring 550-litres with the rear seats up, the boot is framed by a set of useful cubby compartments. With the seats folded, the total volume grows to 1675-litres.
Practical touches are prevalent – and standard equipment – on the XF Sportbrake. Remote fold levers are mounted within the boot area to lower the rear seats – negating the need to stretch into the boot. Powerful LEDs throw a pool of light onto the ground when the boot is open while the tailgate itself features a soft close function, avoiding any requirement for it to be slammed. Set into the boot floor is a panel that splits into three sections to allow smaller loads to be neatly wedged and avoiding a precious or fragile cargo being thrown about. A tray mounted under the boot floor helps protect valuable items.
Beneath the car there are extensive changes to the rear suspension. Self-levelling air suspension aids driving dynamics and means the Sportbrake can serve as an accomplished tow vehicle. Powering the XF Sportbrake will be a range of efficient yet powerful diesel engines in 2.2-litre four cylinder and 3.0-litre six-cylinder form, each directing drive through the rear wheels via an advanced eight-speed automatic gearbox.
Prices and specifications will be announced nearer the time of the launch of the Sportbrake, set to take place in the third quarter of 2012.
Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...
Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.