XF Jaguars

The big cat now has enough grunt to chal­lenge Mercedes and BMW per­for­mance cars, writes NEIL McDON­ALD

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Front Page -

IT MIGHT not look it from the out­side, but Jaguar has been qui­etly im­prov­ing its XF sedan, fo­cus­ing on per­for­mance, econ­omy and re­fine­ment for next year. Thank­fully, lit­tle about the XF’s classy lines has been changed.

The big news is that buy­ers have a choice of two all-new di­rect-in­jec­tion Gen III 5.0-litre V8s and a twin-turbo V6 tur­bod­iesel.

For Jaguar buy­ers hunt­ing in AMG and M ter­ri­tory, the com­pany also now has a high­per­for­mance su­per­charged XFR.

The new­est XFs are ex­pected to con­tinue the brand’s mod­est lo­cal resur­gence since the stylish sedan ar­rived late last year.

Since that launch the av­er­age age of a Jag buyer has dropped, ac­cord­ing to Jaguar Aus­tralia gen­eral man­ager Chris Lidis.

‘‘The av­er­age is 44 and this has helped drag down the tra­di­tional buyer pro­file, which has fallen from 55 to 49 across the brand,’’ he says.

More than 500 XFs have been sold and the car has sin­gle-hand­edly un­der­pinned Jaguar’s lo­cal sales.

The four-model line-up opens with the vol­ume-sell­ing 3.0-litre petrol V6. It re­mains largely the same, with much of the XF makeover re­served for the pow­er­trains.

All are mated to six-speed se­quen­tial au­to­mat­ics with the V6 petrol de­vel­op­ing 175kW at 6800 revs and 293Nm at 4100 revs.

The V8s are al­most all new. Just two car­ry­over parts re­main from the 4.2-litre, a cylin­der head bolt and su­per­charger tap­pet.

The XF’s chief pro­gram en­gi­neer, Kevin Stride, says the en­gines are solely Ja­guarde­signed and de­vel­oped and have noth­ing in com­mon with the lat­est V8 Fords in the US.

It is the 3.0-litre twin-turbo diesel S and the new V8s that are sure to ig­nite in­ter­est.

The 3.0-litre turbo diesel re­places the pre­vi­ous 2.7-litre en­gine. It is 33 per cent more pow­er­ful than the smaller diesel but also 10 per cent more eco­nom­i­cal, with a com­bined fuel econ­omy fig­ure of 6.8 litres for 100km.

Im­por­tantly, too, the en­gine emits 179g/km CO2 emis­sions, which is 10 per cent less than the 2.7-litre en­gine.

The diesel de­vel­ops 202kW at 4000 revs and 600Nm from 2000 revs, only 25Nm shy of the su­per­charged 5.0-litre V8.

Jaguar has man­aged to ex­tract the per­for­mance through two par­al­lel se­quen­tial tur­bos that de­liver seam­less power at both low and high revs. The aim is to elim­i­nate any turbo-lag at any speed.

The new 5.0-litre su­per­charged V8 XFR re­places the pre­vi­ous range-top­per, the su­per­charged 4.2-litre V8.

Both V8s em­ploy di­rect in­jec­tion. The nat­u­rally-as­pi­rated ver­sion de­liv­ers 283kW at 6500 revs and 515Nm at 3500 revs. The su­per­charged en­gine ups the ante to 375kW at 6000 revs and 625Nm from 2500 revs.

Ac­cord­ing to Jaguar, the nat­u­rally-as­pi­rated V8 de­liv­ers 11.1 litres/100km with a CO2 fig­ure of 264g/km. The su­per­charged en­gine de­liv­ers 12.5 litres/100km and 292g/km.

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