Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

XF Evolved and Improved

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

XF Evolved and Improved

Article excerpt

Byline: Andy Enright

JAGUAR'S XF is back. If you thought the Big Three German brands had the executive car sector sewn up, think again. Lighter, more spacious, better looking and a whole lot more efficient, the XF range throws down one enormous gauntlet.

Stay with us here. The XF range hinges around 2.0-litre diesel four-cylinder engines and while that doesn't sound too exciting, it's where the big sales are.

These engines are offered in 163 and 180PS guises and are built around the company's latest aluminium architecture, which it calls 'Ingenium'. Shared with the smaller XE, these engines are backed up by a 300PS twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre diesel V6 and a 380PS supercharged 3.0-litre petrol V6.

The diesel cranks out 700Nm and can rocket to 62mph in just 5.8 seconds. The 180PS four-cylinder diesel takes 8s to get to 62mph and runs out of steam at 136mph.

The petrol engine has been purloined from the F-TYPE sportster and is reserved exclusively for the racy XF S. Matched to an eight-speed automatic transmission, this model is capable of covering the 0-62mph sprint in 5.1s on its way to an electronically-limited maximum speed of 155mph. The chassis delivers near perfect 50:50 weight distribution and huge strides have been made to improve refinement.

The XF shares its suspension set-up with the smaller XE model, which means struts with double wishbones at the front and an 'integral link' independent set-up at the rear.

The steering uses the same electric power-assisted set-up as the Jaguar F-Type and XE, while active dampers are on the options list. The styling of the XF has been subtly massaged to give it a more purposeful look.

The curves have been retained but they now look more muscular. The front end borrows styling cues from sporty Jaguar coupes to give it a more dynamic look.

The aluminium-intensive design shaves up to 190kg off the kerb weight. The 163PS diesel model weighs fully 80kg less than its nearest competitor. …

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