2012 Jaguar XF at the New York Show

Jaguar used the New York Auto Show to unveil the latest model XF , which as expected, looks better than the model it replaces.
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Design director Ian Callum has taken critical design cues from the flagship XJ, such as the lower profile headlight assembly with Bi-Xenon lamps and LED daytime running lights for what actually appears to be slimmer version of the ‘J-Blade’ design.

On display was the powerful XFR supercharged model, looking even more aggressive with new styling treatments, which enhance the more aggressive nature of the car. It’s still a ‘beautiful fast car’ only this time around, the extra performance intentions of this variant are a touch more overt than before.

If you look closely enough, you’ll also notice that the rear taillights now incorporate LED in the rear light assembly and give the car a distinct night time signature.

The XF is evolving nice and slowly (tweaks if you will) and like all three Jaguar models, this is the standout car in the segment. Callum and his design team have the design language pretty well spot on now, but what they need are more models and more variations within the current line-up, in order to grow volume.

Jaguar Land Rover global boss, Dr Ralf Speth, believes that it’s more important to exploit current models with additional drivetrains be they diesel or some other propulsion system that can still provide both a ride and performance that is synonymous with Jaguar’s brand expectations.

Indeed, Dr Speth is quick to point out to us that over the next five years no less than 40 new models or variants will be produced by the Jaguar land Rover group, with around one billion dollars per annum budgeted for these actions.

That’s exactly what they have delivered too in the form of an all-new super efficient small displacement diesel engine for the XF. It’s a technology rich 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel with a stop/start system, which is a first for Jaguar. While fuel efficiency is a key driver for this powertrain with a combined fuel consumption of a staggering 4.5L/100km (52.3 mpg) and an equally impressive CO2 emission output of 149g/km, performance for a Jaguar is mandatory.

Despite this engine’s rather modest capacity, power and torque figures of 140 kW and what should be a class leading 450 Nm of torque on tap, the least powerful XF probably won’t be short on ‘grunt’ despite it’s green credentials

Credit must go to the new eight-speed ZF automatic transmission, which will be standard fitment on all diesel models in the XF range.

The XF has a long life ahead of it and don’t be surprised to see an aluminium body XF (or should that be XFR-S?), which would mean a massive step up in performance if the same powertrains were employed or in the other direction, smaller engines that would use less fuel, but offer similar performance to the more powerful cars. Whichever way it goes, you can guarantee that with Ian Callum at the design helm, Jaguar will continue to build ‘beautiful fast cars’.