Driving through the roads of Spain in the second-generation XF tells us how well Jaguar has evolved since the first-generation model.
What is it?
In 2007, just as its ownership was being dangled in the wind by Ford, Jaguar announced its new step towards the right direction. In the form of the XF, the company paved a way with its raked ambition and forward thinking. The car was the starting point for a planned dynasty, which, with Tata’s help, is now being actualised.
A new XJ, F-Type and, most recently, the XE, have all followed, and the F-Pace SUV is just round the corner. But in this time, Jaguar has been able to completely overhaul its pioneer. Our sister magazine, Autocar UK wasted no time in getting to know this second-generation model. The new XF is purposely familiar, but entirely different. Although you might need some help spotting it, the latest model is larger, partly to distinguish it from the XE, but mainly to allow it to compete with the space offered by its rivals.
The chief gain here is on the wheelbase, where 51mm has been added to the betterment of those in the back. Despite this, and the noticeably longer rear deck, the design shrinks the model by 7mm, owing to a front overhang that has retreated towards the front axle by 66mm.
The result flirts with visual imbalance, and the more horizontal waistline doesn't help much. Jaguar has made efforts to ensure that the XF’s nose has become ever more honed and closer to the ground — the bonnet line descending by 35mm and the roofline by 3mm.
This new model is significantly lighter, too. The old platform, a mostly steel affair from Ford, has now been replaced by the latest version of the mostly aluminium modular architecture that also underpins the XE.
Jaguar claims a 190kg reduction in mass. Around 24kg of this drop in weight can be attributed to the XF’s new globally engine line-up, now featuring the latest four-cylinder Ingenium units. In diesel form, it’s available in either 161bhp engine mated to a six-speed manual or a 177bhp guise.
There will also be six-cylinder diesel and petrol engines, developing 296bhp and 375bhp respectively. But both will be overshadowed in volume by the more powerful Ingenium motor, which mated to the eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox, is the one tested here in the mid-spec R-Sport trim.