The Cat pounces

Jaguar un­leashes a keenly priced turbo petrol XF

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News - STU­ART MARTIN stu­art.martin@cars­

FIND­ING more Aus­tralian homes for big cats will be­come a lit­tle eas­ier for Jaguar with the XF ‘‘ vol­ume-seller’’ now sport­ing Ford forced-in­duc­tion.

The In­dian-owned Bri­tish mar­que has new vari­ants to lower the en­try price and has moved away from nat­u­rally as­pi­rated V6 and V8 petrol en­gines fall­ing by the way­side.

The 2013 XF range now has stan­dard sat­nav and eight­speed au­tos. The new en­trylevel petrol model is $68,900, pow­ered by the 2.0-litre turbo four also in the Ford Fal­con and Range Rover Evoque.

Jaguar Aus­tralia brand man­ager Mark Ee­dle says it un­locks sub­stan­tial sales po­ten­tial for the XF.

‘‘ About a quar­ter of the XF seg­ment is four-cylin­der petrol and we haven’t had one pre­vi­ously so it’s a big moment for us,’’ he says.

‘‘ We’ve been talk­ing about a 25 per cent in­crease in XF sales as a re­sult— a year ago we only played in half the seg­ment.’’

The XF range will also get the su­per­charged V6 to re­place the nat­u­rally as­pi­rated V8, the same en­gine (al­beit in a less fre­netic tune) in the F-Type when it ar­rives here mid-2014.

Sales aren’t ex­pected to re­turn to the vol­umes of a decade ago, when the X-Type sedan bol­stered num­bers, but Ee­dle says cur­rent trends are en­cour­ag­ing: ‘‘ This is a brand that has shown how well it can stand with three models, when you get the en­gines and po­si­tion­ing right as we have done now . . . we’ll be into four fig­ures with the F-Type.’’

The 2.0 Petrol Pre­mium Lux­ury model will be priced from $75,500. The 2.2 diesel XF has fallen from $78,900 to $69,900 and the Pre­mium Lux­ury model has been cut to $76,500 (it was $86,100).

The new su­per­charged V6 petrol XF models start from $96,650 for the Lux­ury and the Port­fo­lio starts from $112,650. The ex­ist­ing V6 turbo diesel range has been cut by about $10,000. The su­per­charged V8 XFR per­for­mance sedan drops from $210,400 to $189,900.

Ee­dle says the brand has tried to soften the blow for those who bought cars in the lead-up to the pric­ing changes.

Af­ford­able lux­ury: Jaguar ex­pects a surge in in­ter­est in its XF vari­ants

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