What a great year 2014 was for Jaguar, when the F-Type Coupe arrived to prove yet again that the British mean business in the sports car segment. The year also brought the XE, the highly anticipated sedan aimed at the all-popular BMW 3 Series and the Audi A4. 2015 promises to be equally interesting now that the company has revealed its very-first crossover will carry the F-Pace name and take inspiration from the F-Type, but the Brits have a lot more things in store for the automotive industry. One of them is the 2016 Jaguar XF, which is currently being tested before its planned unveiling later this year.

Having already been tested in Southern Europe’s hot weather as well as on the demanding Nurburgring track in 2014, the midsize sedan returns before our eyes with Sweden’s wintery landscape in the background. This is the first time our spy photographers caught the new XF in the wild since October 2014, and strong indication that Jaguar didn’t waste any time these past few months. Now that its engineers have calibrated the sedan using everything they’ve learned in Southern Europe and at the ’Ring, the manufacturer is using Scandinavia’s harsh winter to ready the XF for the roughest climate conditions it might encounter in both Europe and North America.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Jaguar XF.

2016 Jaguar XF - spy shots

Spy Shots: 2016 Jaguar XF Caught Playing in the Snow Exterior
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Spy Shots: 2016 Jaguar XF Caught Playing in the Snow Exterior
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Spy Shots: 2016 Jaguar XF Caught Playing in the Snow Exterior Spyshots
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Unfortunately for the curious types, myself included, the XF is still wrapped in swirly camouflage, meaning there’s not an inch of bare metal for us to gaze upon. Be that as it may, I expect the sedan to boast a handful of exterior changes, including front and rear fascias inspired by the smaller XE. Don’t get your hopes up on roof-mounted lights, they are only fitted for testing purposes. Of course, the big news lies underneath the new XF in the form of an extended version of the XE’s aluminum platform. The new underpinning will make the second-gen sedan not only lighter, but stiffer and sportier than its predecessor as well.

For motivation, the XF will receive a wide range of engines including new 2.0-liter, Ingenium four-bangers, as well as 3.0-liter V-6s and supercharged, 5.0-liter V-8s for staggering performance. With the XE having been confirmed to come with a diesel option in the United States, we also expect the XF to get an oil burner when it crosses the pond to North America. A plug-in hybrid version is also likely, but not sooner than 2017.

Speaking of dates, the Jaguar XF will likely make its debut at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show in March, with European deliveries to commence by the end of the year.

Why it matters

Jaguar is elbows deep in revamping its lineup, and the XF is the first existing nameplate to receive a redesign since the Brits changed their approach. Looking back on the innovative XE, the XF looks great on paper. The company’s new integral-link, aluminum suspension system and the platform’s F-Type-sourced chassis components will make the XF lighter and sportier than before, two crucial feats with competitors such as BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class right around the corner.

By honing the XF at the Nurburgring, Jaguar seems ready to flex its muscles at the Germans in the performance department as well. And with a lightweight platform and a powerful, supercharged, 5.0-liter V-8 set to find their way into the production XF, it would be a shame not to do so. Still, this sedan isn’t just about power and speed. The Brits also aim to deliver class-leading fuel economy through their brand-new Ingenium family of engines. It remains to be seen whether the XF becomes a successful luxury fuel sipper, but the new four-bangers sound promising to say the least.

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