Jaguar Design Director, Ian Callum, is a genius. Maybe not literally, but in the design world, the man can’t be beat. With great results, Callum has redesigned the Jaguar product line for the new millennium. One can tell that the XF was simply the beginning of a grand reshaping that has taken over the company. The new XJ and XK are just some examples for the XF’s revolutionary design.
It took a team three years to create the car you see in the photo above. At the time, the launch of the car was overshadowed by the worrisome future of the company itself. That meant that the XF was important for more reasons than one might think. If the car was a hit - which it was bound to be - it could save the brand and give the business a new value.
There is no need to get into the company’s business plans. We all know that once Ford let them go, an Indian company bought them. The company is called Tata and although it’s not a very flattering name, they have helped turn Jaguar into the company you see today.
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With that out of the way, we can focus on the XF itself, as a highly desirable car that has earned praise from the automotive world. Those of you thinking about buying a Mercedes-Benz E-Class or an Audi A6 should think twice. We all know that people are interested in Jaguar, but up until now, many have thought about the company and then walked off the lot.
As good as the S-Type was by the end of its life, not one person could put up with that massive grille and poorly designed interior. In 2002, the S-Type featured things like an R version, a new cabin, and even a ZF six-sped transmission. Did that work? Nope. These were merely cosmetic changes that couldn’t save the car. The terrible styling never changed and no matter what the company did, it just wasn’t going to sell.
Some might say the S-Type was before its time, but we say that time might never come. The mouth looked like a gawking moron looking at a pretty lady and underneath it all, the car was just a Ford. Where as the XF is radical, it has more appeal than the S-Type could ever have.
When the XF was on the drawing board, designers flipped through the pages of the company’s history books and saw the MK2 and the XJ6. At the time many of us were worried that the horrific retro look of the S-Type would carry over to the - at the time - new XF. Perhaps it was paranoia, as we couldn’t deal with another ugly Jaguar. Thankfully, our fears were put to rest when we first saw the car.
The MK2 and the XJ6 were, for their time, revolutionary, and that’s what the design team were after. It wasn’t just styling that the team wanted; it was an idea. A Jaguar sports sedan is about beauty and getting everything just right with a pinch of modern touches, and that’s why those two machines did so well. Following in their footsteps was what the XF would hope to do.
The XF has a face that many won’t ever forget. The classic twin headlights flank a massively gorgeous grille. It’s aggressive in every way shape and form and many, without the badges on every side the car, won’t realize that it’s a Jaguar. The look of the car is nothing like Jaguars of the past, but we never cared in the slightest. The XF was gorgeous.
It’s clear that the front of the car is extremely aggressive and very upright. It’s a part of the car that many love to just stare at. Around the sides, you can see the minimal front overhang and the forms that press into the wonderfully sculpted hood. The windshield has a steep slant to it and actually, it’s at the same angle as the one on the XK. Around back, the trunk sits up high, which is needed to optimize cargo space to compete with the Germans.
Getting the best view of the car is left to the onlookers opinion. We like the view staring at the front of the car. That massive grille looks as if it could suck in air by the gallon. The stunning Jaguar logo that sits in the center of the grille is menacing to say the least, and the sculpted hood just seems to rise perfectly to the base of the windscreen.
Around back, onlookers will get a perfect view of the brilliant LED taillights and the classic Jaguar logo, positioned above a stainless steel blade. The dual exhaust system tops off the overall look of the car quite well.
While it might appear to share the same couple-like features of the Mercedes-Benz CLS, the XF is a fully functional five-seater. While it might not be as massive on the inside as the BMW 5-Series, there is plenty of room for a family. Is the XF’s interior volume the best in class? No, but it’s surely good enough for most people throughout the world.
Sit in the backseat of the car - as we did for quite some time - and you’ll find more than enough headroom and legroom. Yet, that won’t be the topic of discussion. One look around and it will is hard not to think about the wonderfully laid out interior that is unlike anything that has come before it. The blue ambient lighting, the start-stop button that pulses like a heartbea,t and the air vents that rotate to open, followed by the gear selection knob that rises out of the center console.
This device has to be one of our favorites. How many times have you thought that the gear shifter was too big and looked too gaudy? Most cars don’t even need those massive shifters, as gear selecting is a fly-by-wire. With that massive shifter gone, driver and passenger can sit deeper in the car, helping them to feel cocooned inside.
Living under the gorgeous hood are a bevy of engine options. Most are V8 motors, but buyers can also choose a 3.0-liter V6 with 235 horsepower. The motor is solid, but to get the most out of the car, a V8 should be onboard. There are 4.2-liter options and naturally aspirated 5.0-liter motors, but if you want to feel a real rush in the brain, opt for the 5.0-liter supercharged with 503 horsepower and 461 pound-feet of torque.
How can you not love the XF. In 2008, it won the WhatCar Car of the Year award, as well as taking away the prize in the executive car category. In 2009, it once again won the award for the best executive car.
A cracking design can pass down from model to model and that’s just what the XF did. Take a peek at the XJ and you will undoubtedly see cues from the XF in the style. It worked for the XJ, as we thought it was one of the best luxury cars on the market today for its pure beauty and the way it drives. The XF was no different, it drives like a winner and it looks like one too.