2016 Jaguar XF Takes Heritage Into The Future
When the 2009 Jaguar XF launched at the 2007 Geneva Auto Show, I sat down to talk with Jaguar Design Director, Ian Callum. Besides being a talented designer, Cullum is articulate and whimsical.
He mentioned, “It’s those small, intuitive touches that many people may not notice but we feel make a Jaguar a Jaguar.”
That still holds true for the 2016 Jaguar XF.
“We’re now creating modern iconic Jaguar cars we can celebrate and take inspiration from. This wasn’t the time to revolutionize XF. It was the time to take the XF onto the next level and mature it," said Callum.
Following are ten ways that the 2016 Jaguar XF is maturing while it is still hanging on to its roots.
- Jaguar’s XF takes cues from the original Jaguar Mark 2 sedan, a medium-sized saloon car built from 1959 to 1967 in Coventry, England. The Mark 2 was known as a beautiful, fast and capable saloon. In 2012, the XF had a major revamp to align with the new-generation XJ design. And for 2016, both classic Jaguar cues from the 1960s and the dramatic modern design language started by the original XF in 2007 inspire the second generation XF.
- Redesigned from the ground up using Jaguar aluminum-intensive architecture, the second-generation Jaguar XF has better proportions, more interior space, and a highly streamlined form. The 75% aluminum structure makes it 11% lighter and 28 percent stiffer.
- The more vertical front end, shorter front overhang, longer wheelbase, and a sixth light identify the evolution of the Jaguar design language from the original 2007 XF. These additional features help to reinforce the car's status and prestige, and also allow for a clearer view out from the rear seats.
- A longer wheelbase means the second row sits farther away from the rear wheels, improving refinement. The wheelbase has been increased by 2 inches while the overall length of the vehicle decreases by 0.3 in.
- The mesh grille is more vertical than before, helping to reduce drag and delivering a more mature look to the newer model.
- New technology, including a 10.2-inch touchscreen, is combined carefully with materials that reinforce the calming cabin.
- The layered instrument panel, now with the Jaguar signature 'Riva Hoop' design inspired by the Jaguar XJ, continues into the door, creating a more cosseted cabin feel. The interior is enhanced by veneers such as gloss-figured ebony and textured aluminum trim such as Dark Hex.
- The optional soft close for the doors is specially engineered with a sound that matches the premium materials inside the sedan.
- The rear bench features a 40:20:40 split, making it easier to through-load bulky items such as skis or snowboards.
It is all these small articulations that make Jaguar so unique. Consider touches like two artfully shaped blades of chrome in the area where the fog lamps would sit: They are fashioned after a Philip Stark knife. Callum also pointed out that the XF’s skin is “stretched to maximum efficiency” for a simple and seamless profile, and drew my attention to special effects like ingots (a jeweler’s term for a shape that looks like a tie pin) on the front haunches; the Jaguar growler on the front and the leaper on the rear.
- The headlights are flush with the surrounding panels, improving aesthetics and aerodynamics. They also feature the signature Jaguar J-Blade LED daytime running lights and a 'modern quad' design.
- To deliver the flush fit of the light clusters and perfect integration of the chrome blade, the trunk lid is made from two steel pressings joined by laser brazing. As well as being energy-efficient, this process was selected for its precision and neat, clean finish.
- The surprise and delight factor. Thus, touches like the smallest Jaguar logos ever produced that adorn the dash, the trendy Lambretta insignia on the glove box.
- A start/stop button lights up and beats red when you power up the car. The goal was to retain that sense of occasion. Pulsing with a heartbeat creates an emotional connection between driver and machine.
- The phosphorescent blue lighting that puddles in soft halos around the switches and under the front door handles was inspired by a mobile phone. The dash, inspired by a Bang & Olufsen stereo, combines clean lines with high-tech controls. And the three 44 oz. cup holders are large enough to house a kidney shaped glass case -- the type that holds designer glasses.
- To finish off edges of the wood surfaces, technicians use a finely tuned saw to ensure that there would be no gaps.
The all-new 2016 Jaguar XF sedan is offered with a choice of rear- or all-wheel drive, in five trim levels including XF 35t Premium, starting at $51,900; XF 35t Prestige, starting at $56,550; XF 35t R-Sport starting at $60,650; and top-level XF S starting at $62,700 (excluding $995 destination/handling charge). Choosing all-wheel-drive on any trim level adds $3,000 to the purchase price.
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by Holly Reich
HOLLY REICH is a regular contributor to AskPatty and has been writing about automotive and travel since 1982. She has reported on the automotive industry for television and radio broadcast stations including; Fox News, SPEED, Car TV and Autolab. Reich has also contributed to publications such as RIDES, Edmunds.com, kbb.com, Elite Traveler, automotiverhythms.com, The New York Daily News and The Washington Post. Holly is based in New York City.