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by George Skentzos

Jaguar has released the new four-door Jaguar XF, a car which fuses the style and performance of a sports car with the refinement, space and sophistication of a luxury saloon.

With it’s coupe-like roof line and sporting credentials the XF you could be forgiven for thinking practicality neglected, however the XF can comfortably seat 5 adults and with an ample boot capacity of 500 litres, the new XF defies sports car stereotypes.

From launch the XF will be available with a choice of four engines; a fuel efficient 2.7-litre V6 diesel, 3.0-litre V6 petrol, 4.2 n/a V8 petrol and range topping 4.2 s/c V8 petrol.

Every model will feature Jaguar’s six-speed sequential shift system with steering wheel-mounted ‘paddles’ for manual gear selection capable of changing gears quicker than even the acclaimed XK’s transmission.

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Performance wise, the range topping 4.2-litre supercharged V8 petrol produces 306kW and 560Nm with at least 86 percent of the peak from 2000rpm to maximum engine speed. All this adds up to a 0-100km/h time of 5.4 secs and an electronically limited top speed of 250kph.

Driver’s aids on the XF consist of Electronic Brake Assist, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, Anti-lock Braking System, Dynamic Stability Control, Cornering Brake Control, and Engine Drag Torque Control. And, for the first time in a Jaguar, Understeer Control Logic which decelerates the car and helps to restore grip to the front wheels when required.

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Whilst driver luxuries include a Blind Spot Monitor, Front and Rear Parking Aids, Rear Camera Parking Aid, Adaptive Cruise Control, Automatic Speed Limiter and Tyre Pressure Monitoring System. Bluetooth compatibility, iPod / MP3 player interfaces, JaguarVoice and a six-disc CD player ensure owners can listen and talk as they choose.

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Continuing the enhancement or driver experience is the choice between three levels of audio systems, all controlled via a touch screen – featuring the top-of-the-range Bowers & Wilkins 440W Premium Sound System – as well as three trim levels. The Luxury level will be available with either petrol or diesel V6 engines, Premium Luxury (with the naturally aspirated V8), and SV8 (with the supercharged V8 petrol alternative).

The XF also features a first for Jaguar saloon’s with the new Pedestrian Contact Sensing System. This can mitigate pedestrian injury by firing actuators that deploy the bonnet, resulting in a cushioned space between the bonnet and engine hardpoints.

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The car is available to order now and should reach customers by June 2008.