Jaguar has revealed details of the XF Sportbrake, a truly versatile derivative of the multi award-winning XF saloon, which will make its public debut at the Geneva Motor Show this month.
Entirely new from the B-pillars backwards, the XF Sportbrake represents a compelling combination of muscular yet elegant design, dynamic ability, contemporary interior luxury and, with a load-space capacity of up to 1675 litres, a no-compromise approach to practicality.
The XF Sportbrake extends Jaguar’s design leadership in a new direction to create a desirable, premium estate with remote-fold levers dropping the 60:40 split rear seats (with integral ski-hatch) to create up to 1675 litres of load-space.
It is a full five-seater with an additional 48mm of rear headroom compared to the XF sedan. New rear air suspension allows for self-leveling while load carrying with no dynamic penalty.
Jaguar’s Adaptive Dynamics System – which continuously monitors the suspension and can adjust damping rates accordingly up to 500 times a second – is available on all XF Sportbrake derivatives.
The tailgate features ‘soft-close’ as standard, and can be specified with fully powered open/close functionality while acclaimed premium-quality interior materials used in the cabin are also a feature of the load-space.
The XF Sportbrake will be available with both Aero and Black styling packs from launch for additional on-the-road presence.
Jaguar’s refined, powerful and efficient range of four- and six-cylinder turbo-diesel engines will drive the Sportbrake, which matches the XF saloon for aerodynamics, torsional stiffness and dynamic handling ability.
A range of accessories – both internally mounted by floor rails and externally by roof rails – extends the versatility of the XF Sportbrake still further.
No decision has been made yet whether the XF Sportbrake will be launched in New Zealand.
“The XF epitomizes the Jaguar sporting dynamic with its combination of innovative, seductive design and performance. In the XF Sportbrake this is complemented by a no-compromise approach to practicality and versatility,” said Adrian Hallmark, Jaguar’s Global Brand Director.
The XF Sportbrake builds on the extensive refresh received by the XF saloon for the 2012 model year which saw it adopt a more assertive appearance in line with the flagship XJ model – including striking new lightblade headlamp technology.
Befitting the XF Sportbrake’s perfect balance between usability and beauty, it is powered exclusively by Jaguar’s range of powerful, refined and efficient diesel engines, driving the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox. The 2.2-litre engine is fitted with Jaguar’s Intelligent Stop-Start system, making it the company’s most efficient powertrain to date, while the 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 is available in two states of tune, with 202 kWs and 600 Nm of torque in the range-topping Diesel S.
The Jaguar design philosophy is based on the smooth, uninterrupted flow of lines that lead the eye along and around the vehicle and this is readily apparent in the XF Sportbrake which, despite sharing an identical wheelbase with the saloon, is imbued with even greater presence.
The first of these elegantly simple feature lines begins in the propeller-inspired blades fitted to the side air intakes, leading the eye into the lower wing crease and then along the sills of the car and around the rear bumper. The second feature line runs up from the outer edge of the same intakes, defining the edges of the front wings before wrapping the entire way around the car, creating the XF Sportbrake’s muscular shoulder line.
Sharing the same new lightblade headlamp technology as the saloon, the XF Sportbrake also adopts the new, more upright grille and purposeful bonnet, giving it an enhanced ‘rear-view mirror’ recognition factor. The lights themselves feature bi-function HID xenon technology and LED daytime-running lights arranged in a distinctive Jaguar ‘J-Blade’ pattern.
From the leading edges of the grille, strong feature lines rise over the bonnet, then seamlessly into the A-pillars and over the roof, defining the load area before flowing down to form the slope of the tailgate and rear bumper. The roofline itself is echoed by polished roof rails (when specified) that add both functionality as well as a strong feature element. The signature Jaguar side window graphic is here seen in its most elegant and elongated form stretched backwards to the rear windscreen like a taut bowstring and highlighted with a brightly polished finish.
The XF Sportbrake is also available with two optional exterior design packages that serve to further strengthen the assertiveness of its appearance. The Aero Pack (standard on the ‘S’ model) adds a deeper front bumper, side sills and rear valance plus a rear spoiler enhancement – a tailgate spoiler being standard on all models. The Black Pack replaces the exterior bright finishes with gloss black and pairs them with similarly finished alloy wheels to create new colour combinations that are subtly distinctive and eye-catching.
“Creating the Sportbrake was a great opportunity for us to extend the XF’s design aesthetic. The flow and connection of lines that lead the eye around the car result in an entirely practical estate car consistent with Jaguar’s reputation for drama and elegance,” says Wayne Burgess, Studio Director, Jaguar Design.
As with the exterior, the cabin of the XF has been upgraded to ensure it retains that essential Jaguar appeal, creating a sense of sporting luxury by using the finest combinations of premium quality, crafted materials, complemented by the use of intuitive technology.
A centrally-mounted touch-screen offers control of the navigation system and a range of other functions, while the switchgear features new soft-touch matt black paint and a soft phosphor blue illumination theme throughout. The metallic Aurora finish to the majority of the brightwork complements new aluminium and veneer accents. More sculpted, heavily bolstered front seats introduced for the 2012 model year hint at the dynamic potential of the car and feature a ‘racetrack’ design device that creates a sporting bucket seat aesthetic.
For the XF Sportbrake, entirely new rear seats, which allow generous seating for five features an integral ski hatch and a 60:40 split. Rear passengers also enjoy an additional 48mm of headroom.
Remote-fold levers allow the rear seats to be folded down with just one touch to provide an uninterrupted load surface that is 1970mm in length. The practicality of the XF Sportbrake’s load-space is further enhanced by its width which allows, for instance, sideways stowage of golf clubs.
The load-space displays Jaguar’s typical attention to detail as it is trimmed in materials identical in quality to the XF Sportbrake’s cabin. The central portion of the load-space floor can be lifted to reveal an extra, hidden storage compartment and can also fold and lock into position to quickly and easily divide up the bay.
The practicality of the load-space is extended through the inclusion of a floor rail system, which allows the quick fitment and release, for example, of optional nets and retaining bars to compartmentalise the space. A wide range of accessories engineered for the XF Sportbrake will allow owners to extend its versatility still further by organising or extending its carrying capacity.
A tow bar can also be specified – when not needed the tow-hitch can be removed quickly, stored in a dedicated stowage space inside the boot, and replaced with a rear valance cover to disguise its mounting point. When fitted with the tow bar, the XF Sportbrake’s Trailer Sway Mitigation system is activated. This uses the car’s Anti-Lock Braking and stability control systems to reduce the risk of ‘snaking’ when towing.
“Jaguar is rightly praised for its design-led products but in creating the XF Sportbrake we were careful to ensure that this was balanced with the engineering integrity required to create an estate car that is as usable as it is enjoyable,” said Andrew Whyman, Chief Programme Engineer, Jaguar XF.
Every derivative of the XF Sportbrake is fitted as standard with self-leveling air suspension at the rear to replace the coil springs fitted to the saloon. This system has been developed and tuned by Jaguar’s chassis engineers to offer the same linear responses and ensure the XF Sportbrake offers identical dynamic attributes in terms of ride and handling as the saloon while keeping the car level even when fully laden.
The intuitive use of driving technology is also evident in the XF Sportbrake via safety features including Adaptive Front Lighting, which deflects headlamp beam into corners, while intelligent high beam functionality automatically switches between low and high beam when appropriate.
Adaptive Cruise Control enables the XF Sportbrake to monitor vehicles around it, automatically braking should a slower vehicle be ahead, then resuming set speed once the road is clear. Operating in conjunction with Adaptive Cruise Control is an Intelligent Emergency Brake system which, in the event of detecting the necessity for a severe stop, applies maximum optimal braking force.
“The XF Sportbrake matches the saloon in both aerodynamics and torsional stiffness. The use of air suspension has allowed us to create a car that captures the unique Jaguar combination of refinement and outstanding dynamic abilities regardless of its load,” says Mike Cross, Chief Engineer, Vehicle Integrity.
XF SPORTBRAKE DIMENSIONS
Width (inc. mirrors): 2077mm
Width (exc. mirrors): 1877mm
Front track: 1559mm
Rear track: 1605mm
Load-space maximum length: 1970mm
Load-space minimum width: 1064mm
Load-space maximum volume: 1675 litres
Load-space volume behind rear seats, under tonneau: 550 litres
Permitted trailer load, braked: 1850kg