Jaguar has some pretty close ties with South Africa – besides being brand legends like the glorious XJ220, the XK180 and the F-Type, they were all penned by a local lad Keith Helfet (now designer of SA’s electric car project, Joule).
After a few of the leaner years in terms of ‘true’ Jaguars, the launch last year of the XF catapulted the marque back into the limelight with a car that embodied all the spirit of the Jaguars of previous generations – indeed a careful look at the styling cues shows some D-Type influences, the rear hatch an updated version of the E-Type and so on.
“Challenging the rules and standing out from the crowd, the new XF fuses sports car styling and performance with the refinement, space and sophistication of a luxury saloon. It is a defining example of Jaguar’s dedication to creating beautiful fast cars – and with magnificent new engines that are quite simply our best ever the XF sets new standards across the board,” says Mike O’Driscoll, Managing Director, Jaguar Cars.
What? A new XF?
Indeed – the XF has been updated just a year from its local launch, with two all-new direct-injection 5,0-litre V8 engines, new 3,0-litre V6 twin turbo-diesel engine, available in two power outputs and the first in the series to get the ‘R’ badge.
The new XFR shifts the balance even further towards dynamic performance while still retaining the XF’s core values. Power comes from an all-new 5,0-litre direct-injection supercharged V8 engine delivering 375 kW and 625 Nm of torque. Immediately recognisable thanks to unique new 20-inch wheels, a new front end design with revised chrome air intakes, ‘Supercharged’ bonnet louvres, four polished exhaust tailpipes, an aerodynamically functional boot lid spoiler and side sills, the new XFR also sports discreet ‘R’ badging.
The new XFR features Active Differential Control and Adaptive Dynamics – technologies being introduced for the first time on this and the XKR sports car. The electronically controlled differential and suspension system work together to optimise traction under hard acceleration and cornering –appropriate for a car that reaches 100 km/h from standstill in just 4,9 seconds.
“The new XF challenges the rules and redefines Jaguar sporting luxury. Our designers and engineer work together to develop elegant, inspired solutions to complex technical challenges. It’s a simple but very effective philosophy and the result is great new products like the XFR and new 3,0-litre diesel XF,” says O’Driscoll.
Jaguar fans wanting to take it right to the limit should look to the new Portfolio specification (in South Africa XF Portfolio available by special order only). Available with either naturally aspirated V8 petrol or 3.0 V6 diesel engines, the Portfolio model includes ultimate craftsmanship details such as contrast stitching on leather trim, Jaguar Suedecloth Premium headlining, deep-pile carpet mats with contrast edging and embroidered logos, wider veneer and trim colour choices and ventilated heated and cooled seats.
The new 3,0-litre turbo-diesel engines are available in either 202 kW / 600 Nm ‘S’ or 177 kW / 500 Nm form. Featuring parallel sequential turbo-chargers to help deliver the high levels of power and torque seamlessly and with effortless flexibility, this engine is matched to Jaguar’s six-speed ZF 6HP28 automatic transmission. The more powerful 202 kW engine in the Diesel S gives the XF a 0-100 km/h time of 6.4 seconds, 1,8 seconds quicker than the 2,7-litre model it replaces. Maximum speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h.
The 177 kW engine also offers new levels of performance, allowing the XF to reach 100 km/h in 7,1 seconds – a full second quicker than the 2.7-litre model. Maximum speed is 240 km/h. Jaguar claims a combined average fuel consumption in both models of 6,8 l/100km – an improvement on the 2.7-litre engine of more than 10% – and a CO2 emissions rating of only 179g/km.
“Every XF is distinguished by its dramatic styling, flowing lines and coupé-like appearance but the new XFR is the ultimate sporting execution of that design language. It has superb proportions, better than any of its rivals, with a wide track and confident stance,” says Ian Callum, director of design, Jaguar Cars. The exterior styling of the XFR features a unique front-end design with larger, lower grille with new black-finished mesh, plus chrome outboard air intakes. The upper mesh grille retains XF’s bright finish, while the XFR’s unique bonnet carries bold and distinctive louvres, like those on the XKR. XFR also boasts new sill extensions, while the rear bumper adds a unique body-coloured lower valance panel incorporating the ‘R’ signature of four large, bright-finished tail pipes. The XFR’s sporting character is heightened by the 20-inch Nevis alloy wheels that are fitted as standard – the only car in its class to offer this size of wheel as standard specification.
The interior features a full soft grain leather interior as standard, with four colours choices – Warm Charcoal, Warm Charcoal/Red Zone, Warm Charcoal/London Tan, and Ivory; and a new Dark Oak veneer is the standard finish for the XFR’s wood-trimmed areas. All engines transmit power through an enhanced version of Jaguar’s electronically controlled, six-speed transmission. Additional clutch plates and an uprated torque converter have been added for the supercharged V8 to facilitate the extra power.
“The new parallel sequential turbocharger system on our new V6 diesels delivers V8 levels of performance from very low revs. The engines can deliver 500 Nm torque from standstill in just 500 milliseconds and it is a power unit that delivers superb flexibility and remarkably low fuel consumption and emissions,” says Group Chief Engineer, Powertrain, Ron Lee. “
As well as tackling CO2, the new 3,0-litre meets the forthcoming EU 5 regulations, due to come into force at the start of 2011 in the European Union.
A key feature of the new engine is the parallel sequential turbo-charger system, the first of its type to be fitted to a V-engine anywhere in the world. For most day-to-day driving, including motorway cruising, a responsive, variable-geometry primary turbo-charger does all the work while the smaller, fixed-geometry, secondary turbo is dormant. When the engine revs climb above 2 800 r/min, the secondary turbo is brought on line within 300 milliseconds. Source: SACarfan Pics: Quickpic