Now that the Jaguar XE is tucked, taped and ready to take on the BMW 3 Series, the company’s focus turns towards the second-generation XF, the larger sedan aimed at the BMW 5 Series and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Although not yet ready to hit the stage, development of the XF is well underway, with the executive sedan being put through its paces around Europe. After doing some hot-weather testing in Southern Europe in September, the XF has now hit the Nurburgring for some proper chassis tuning.

Jaguar is getting those handling dynamics just right before throwing the XF into the lions’ den.

The sedan our spy photographers caught on the "Green Hell" is still wrapped in swirly camouflage, so there’s not much to gaze at, but the wrap pattern and the license plate suggest Jaguar is now using a different prototype. There is the possibility this mule is a performance version of the XF, which would better explain its presence on the ’Ring, but none of the body panels appear to boast aerodynamic tweaks.

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

Spy Shots

Spy Shots: 2016 Jaguar XF Hits The Nurburgring Exterior Spyshots
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Spy Shots: 2016 Jaguar XF Hits The Nurburgring Exterior Spyshots
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Spy Shots: 2016 Jaguar XF Hits The Nurburgring Exterior Spyshots
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Although we don’t expect for the new XF to be a major departure from the current one in terms of styling, the sedan will arrive with a handful of changes starting with a brand-new platform. The XF will ride on an extended version of the XE’s platform, which means the second-gen vehicle will be lighter, stiffer and sportier than its older sibling. The sheet metal will also borrow several cues from the XE, so expect the XF to carry similar front and rear fascias.

Powering the new XF will be the JLR family 3.0-liter V-6 and the supercharged, 5.0-liter V-8, as well as a number of 2.0-liter four-cylinders from Jaguar Land Rover’s new family of Ingenium engines. A diesel will be offered outside the U.S. as well, with a plug-in hybrid likely to be introduced later in the sedan’s life.

Why It Matters

The XF’s presence on the Nurburgring suggests Jaguar is elbow’s deep into creating a potent competitor for the BMW 5 Series. Sure, we’ve seen all sorts of vehicle hit the ’Ring for all the wrong reasons, but Jaguar’s latest vehicles have proven the Brits mean business in just about any segment. This is just one more piece of evidence to show that they are ready to take the fight to the Germans.

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