Following yesterday’s leak Jaguar has come up trumps with a series of images showing off its brand new XF Sportbrake, that’s station wagon to you and me. From the B-pillar back it’s all new metalwork. We like it. A lot.
The only drawback we can see from an aesthetic point of view are the ghastly Dame Edna Everage-like LED day time running lights. They’re part of the recent XF facelift. It’s true the pics supplied are all about showing the back of the car, but maybe Jaguar regrets the styling update too. Only one of the 14 pics supplied shows the front of the car.
Compared to the XF saloon Jaguar say the Sportbrake is 5mm longer and 70kg heavier. That’s not too bad really and they’re also at pains to point out the handling characteristics from the sedan have not been lost in translation to practical load lugger.
Maybe we’ve got this wrong, but looking at how steeply raked the rear boot lid is when open, we suspect there’ll be a few XF Sportbrake owners who quickly discover their garage isn’t tall enough to fully open the boot.
With the rear seats up there’s 550 litres of cargo space. Press the easy access remote button to lower the rear seats and the load area expands to 1675 litres.Â The Mercedes E Class has the XF Sportbrake comfortably covered with 1950 litres of space when the seats are down, but take one look at the E Class and you’ll quickly see there’s a market for the new Jag, even with its nasty LED eye liner.
The new Jaguar XF Sportbrake
- First images of the new XF Sportbrake unveiled ahead of the Geneva Motor Show
- New variant based on the XF platform â€“ maximum load volume of 1,675-litres
- Small increase in weight and footprint and a chassis structure that equals the rigidity of the saloon means the handling characteristics of the conventional XF are retained
- UK sales to commence later this year
The new Jaguar XF Sportbrake has been unveiled ahead of its public debut at the Geneva Motor Show and promises to be the most versatile Jaguar ever created.
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 benefitting 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 1,675-litres.
Practical touches are prevalent â€“ and standard equipment â€“ on the XF Sportbrake. Remote fold levers are mounted within the boot area to lower the rear seats â€“ 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.