Jaguar XF Sportbrake announced
Wednesday 29 February 2012
• Its 1,675-litre boot is on a par with the BMW 5 Series Touring and Audi A6 Avant, but way behind the 1,950-litre Mercedes E-Class
• Only offered with diesel engines at launch
• Self-levelling rear suspension
The long-awaited Jaguar XF Sportbrake estate has been announced ahead of its Geneva Motor Show debut in March.
Owners will have the choice between using its five seats and boot, or dropping the 60:40 split rear seats using remote-fold levers to make use of its maximum 1,675 litres of luggage space.
The interior will be more comfortable for taller passengers than the XF saloon too – there’s 48mm additional rear headroom.
A series of rails and nets will be available to compartmentalise the load space and an official Jaguar towbar is on the options list. It will stow away in the boot, with a covering panel disguising its exterior mounting point.
Reflecting its exterior design, both practical and performance engines will be offered. Similarly to the saloon, there’ll be 2.2-litre and 3.0-litre V6 diesel options with power outputs ranging between 161bhp and 271bhp, all mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox.
Unlike the saloon, there will be no petrol engine offered at launch, making the XF Sportbrake the first exclusively-diesel powered Jaguar in the marques history. Perhaps not for long though, there are already rumours a hot XFR version could be on the horizon.
It also differs from the regular XF in its chassis, as unlike the saloon, the Sportbrake is fitted with self-levelling air suspension at the rear, designed to keep the handling dynamics of the vehicle balanced while carrying a heavy load.
The Sportbrake also benefits from the availability of Jaguar’s Adaptive Dynamics System, which monitors the suspension at all times and can adjust its stiffness 500 times per second.
Two styling kits will be available: an Aero pack and Black pack. The first offering a body styling kit and the second a replacement for the chrome exterior brightwork with black exterior trim and dark alloy wheels.
No pricing has been announced yet, but the Sportbrake will cost £2-3k more than the equivalent saloon, and is expected to make up one in four Jaguar XF sales.
By Andy Goodwin, senior web journalist