Extra foot space in a Chinese-produced XF

For years, China has eagerly scooped up long-wheelbase (LWB) variants of popular luxury sedans, including models from Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi. Now, Jaguar will join the fray with an extended version of its second-generation XF. It’s called the XFL, and per tradition, it adds extra metal and offers more space around the luxurious rear seat to accommodate well-to-do business types in their daily to-and-fro.

The XF was first introduced in 2007 at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Just last year, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) dropped cover on the second generation at the New York Auto Show, quickly following it up with a few revisions early into 2016. Unlike the standard XF, the XFL was created specifically for the Chinese auto market.

The XFL will be the third vehicle in less than two years from a joint venture between the U.K.-based (and Indian-owned) JLR, and the Chinese state-owned Chery Automobile Co., which together form the Chery Jaguar Land Rover Automotive Company Ltd. While designed and engineered in the U.K., the XFL is the first vehicle to be produced at the JV’s production facility in Changshu, China, making it the first Chinese-produced Jag.

“Jaguar Land Rover is a world-leader in the production of aluminum vehicles and is one of the largest producers of aluminum bodies globally,” says Murray Dietsch, President of Chery Jaguar Land Rover, in a press release. “The arrival of the all-new Jaguar XFL brings the best of this experience and technology to Changshu. It is an important milestone for the team at Chery Jaguar Land Rover.”

Updated 04/27/2016: The XFL just got a full reveal at the 2016 Beijing Auto Show, so read on for all the official details.

Continue reading to learn more about the Jaguar XFL.

Exterior

2017 Jaguar XFL
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With the XFL’s debut in China, our suspicions that Jag would carry over the regular XF’s aesthetic have been confirmed. Even without the spy shots and teaser image that preceded the reveal, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the look is more or less the same as before – the XF is already a good-looking car, and there’s really no point in deviating too far from the original for the XFL.

In back, the taillights are narrow, and the trunk terminates with a slight upward turn that pushes the whole thing forward.

That means you get curvaceous, LED-equipped headlights that hover above enlarged intakes in the front fascia. There’s a long hoodline with muscular creases that lead the eye towards a laidback windshield and gently curving roofline. In back, the taillights are narrow, and the trunk terminates with a slight upward turn that pushes the whole thing forward.

The standard XF also gets fantastic, coupe-like proportions and a slightly raked stance when viewed in profile. However, when applied to the extended XFL, some of the design’s “coupe-ness” seems lost, and the whole car takes on a more sedan-like appearance. And that’s perfectly acceptable for a model like the XFL, which obviously prioritizes comfort over sportiness.

Additional changes include more chrome, including new strips for the door handles, sill finishers and exhaust tips, all of which up the car’s inherent classiness.

Interior

2017 Jaguar XFL
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2017 Jaguar XFL
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2017 Jaguar XFL
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Like the exterior, the interior looks mostly unchanged compared to the standard XF. Up front is a three-spoke, multifunction steering wheel, InControl Touch Pro infotainment system with a “tablet-style” 10.2-inch touchscreen, and rotary control knob housed in the central tunnel. The chauffer will also get to enjoy a laser heads-up display and reconfigurable 12.3-inch virtual instrument cluster with a full-screen 3D map behind the steering wheel.

It’s the rear bench where all the magic happens, starting with an extra 157 mm (6.18 inches) of legroom and 116 mm (4.57 inches) of knee room as provided by the extended wheelbase

However, it’s the rear bench where all the magic happens, starting with an extra 157 mm (6.18 inches) of legroom and 116 mm (4.57 inches) of knee room as provided by the extended wheelbase. Anyone with a need for an on-the-go workspace will enjoy the XFL’s folding rear table and Wi-Fi hotspot with connectivity for up to eight devices. Entertainment comes courtesy of twin 8-inch screens mounted to the seat backs, wireless headphone connectivity, HDMI/MHL ports in the rear console, and a surround-sound, 825-watt Meridian stereo with 17 speakers (including a subwoofer).

On the comfort side of things, the XFL offers electric side window blinds, cabin air ionization technology (a Jaguar first), four-zone climate control, and seats covered in perforated Windsor leather upholstery. Rear passengers also get heating, cooling, and massage seat functions, plus four-way adjustable lumbar support. Above is a twin aperture panoramic roof.

Drivetrain

2017 Jaguar XFL
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As expected, the XFL’s drivetrain lineup is unaltered from the standard Chinese-spec XF. Starting things off is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder offered in two states of tune – 197 horsepower for base models, and 237 horsepower for higher specs. Range toppers get a supercharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder offering 335 horsepower. Each powerplant is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission from ZF and sends output exclusively to the rear axle.

The most important update here is obviously the lengthened wheelbase, which gains an extra 140 mm (5.51 inches) for 3,100 mm (122 inches) total.

With JLR’s heavy focus on lightweight, aluminum-intensive construction, it’ll be interesting to see how the XFL stacks up against other LWB rivals when it comes to performance and economy. Of course, specs like lower emissions, decreased fuel consumption, and improved handling all make sense for the standard, sporty sedan, but it’s not the sort of thing I’m used to seeing on a LWB luxury cruiser. Still, a lower curb weight is almost never a bad thing, and it should help the XFL stand out amongst the competition.

Chassis And Suspension

The most important update here is obviously the lengthened wheelbase, which gains an extra 140 mm (5.51 inches) for 3,100 mm (122 inches) total.

Handling is improved thanks to something called All Surface Progress Control, which comes into play in situations where traction can be an issue. Jaguar also calls it a “low speed cruise control,” which basically translates as advanced traction control that can maintain a pre-set speed over low-grip surfaces.

Safety And Convenience

2017 Jaguar XFL
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The XFL gets Jaguar’s latest safety features, starting with autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go traffic assist, lane-keep assist, rear traffic monitor, and parking assist. The LED headlights are also adaptive.

Making its debut on the XFL is a new tech called Clear Exit Detection, which can identify traffic approaching from the rear and warn passengers attempting to step out of the vehicle.

Prices

The XFL will be offered in five different trim levels – the XFL Pure, the XFL Prestige, the XFL Prestige Lux, the XFL Prestige Lux +, and the XFL Portfolio.

There is currently no official pricing information, but based on the competition, I’d wager a figure between 450,000 and 650,000 Yuan ($69,629 and $100,576 at current exchange rates, 04/11/2016) depending on the given trim level and options.

Sales are slated to begin exclusively in China in the second half of 2016.

Competition

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Long

2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class High Resolution Exterior
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Essentially unmodified from the regular E-Class, the E-Class Long adds around 5.5 inches of legroom in back, all while keeping the usual ritzy Mercedes touches, such as LED headlights and copious high-end cabin materials. Engine options include the choice between a 204-horsepower four-cylinder, 245-horsepower six-cylinder, and a 333-horsepower six-cylinder.

Read the full review here.

BMW 5 Series Li

2017 BMW 5 Series Exterior Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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Packed to the gills with technology, the BMW 5 Series Li increases space for rear passengers by around 4.5 inches. There are four trim levels available, including the 520Li, 525Li, 530Li, and 535Li. The first two employ a 2.0-liter four-cylinder for motivation, while the latter two get a 3.0-liter six-cylinder.

Read the full review here.

Audi A6 L

2015 Audi A8 L W12 High Resolution Exterior
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Unveiled in 2012, the A6L was also specifically tailored to the Chinese market. Matrix LED headlights are up front, while sumptuous leather covers the interior. Power comes from a 1.8-liter TFSI engine, which produces 188 horsepower. A seven-speed automatic transmission routes it to the front axle.

Read the full review here.

Conclusion

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Jaguar seems to be following the same formula as the Germans when it comes to offering a Chinese-market LWB-variant of the XF. And while the economic wizards are predicting a lower growth rate as we get deeper into 2016, that isn’t putting a damper on the automakers’ enthusiasm when it comes to investing in this potentially lucrative market.

Whether or not JLR will decide to bring the XFL stateside remains to be seen, but odds are low considering the marque’s current lineup and the fact the XFL will be built in China. Still, U.S. consumers should be interested in the new features revealed with the XFL’s debut, such as cabin air ionization and Clear Exit Detection, because it’s more than likely some of that good stuff will show up here, too.

  • Leave it
    • Nothing major that’s unique to the LWB model (besides the space)
    • No shortage of competition
    • Probably won’t be offered in the U.S.

Press Release

The all-new Jaguar XFL delivers unparalleled passenger luxury and technology to the business segment; this is a luxury long-wheelbase saloon that is as good to be driven in as it is to drive. Jaguar’s peerless design discipline, together with class-leading dynamics, offers a unique and compelling alternative to the Chinese business customer.

2017 Jaguar XFL
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Building on the success of the new XF saloon, this long wheelbase version has been developed exclusively for the Chinese market, and provides all of the space and refinement expected in the segment without compromising the outstanding proportions and elegant lines which distinguish Jaguar design from the competition.

Passenger comfort has been a key consideration and increasing the wheelbase by 140mm to 3,100mm delivers exceptional legroom and kneeroom in the rear seats. The extra length has been perfectly integrated into the XFL’s form, preserving the elegance and sporting profile of the roofline.

Whether for work or for relaxing, the all-new XFL’s row-two is designed to be the perfect environment, made all the better by four-zone climate control and - in a Jaguar-first - cabin air ionisation for greater comfort. The amount of natural light flooding in through the extensive glasshouse with characteristic sixth-light is enhanced by the opening twin aperture panoramic roof.

With the state-of-the-art InControl Touch Pro infotainment system, the all-new XFL offers rear seat entertainment through 8-inch screens and digital wireless headphones. Capable of showing two concurrent TV channels, the screens can also display media from devices connected through the HDMI/MHL port in the new rear console. InControl Touch Pro is also available with the outstanding Meridian Surround Sound System with 17 speakers (including subwoofer) and 825W of pure digital audio throughout the interior.

Rear passengers will also benefit from enhanced safety technology with the debut of Clear Exit Detection - a segment-first technology which makes it easier and safer for rear seat passengers to step out of the car by warning them of traffic approaching from behind.

Jaguars are always defined by proportion, and the standard wheelbase XF is proof of this. The Design team did not want to compromise that when creating the all-new XFL - it too had to be the best looking car in its segment.

The result is a car which maintains all of the muscularity and balance of XF while delivering extra space and luxury. New features such as the chrome strips in the door handles and the sill finishers, together with the integrated chrome tailpipe finishers in the rear valance, provide further subtle distinctions that this is the all-new XFL.

2017 Jaguar XFL
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Since the first-generation XF was launched in 2007, the interior has always set the standard for luxury, craftsmanship and innovative technologies such as the rotary gear shifter and the rotating air vents. These elements still feature, but the all-new XFL takes the row-two experience to a completely new level: the exceptional ride quality delivered by the all-new XFL’s Lightweight Aluminium Architecture and class-leading suspension design is more than matched by the comfort delivered by seats available with heating, cooling and massage functions, and perforated Windsor leather.

The Jaguar XFL will be the first Jaguar produced at Chery Jaguar Land Rover’s state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Changshu and heralds the opening of China’s first purpose-built aluminium body shop. The body shop is almost 50,000m2 and contains a fully flexible production line including more than 300 robots.

Sales of the Jaguar XFL will commence in China in the second half of 2016.

Range summary

The all-new XFL range will consist of: XFL Pure, XFL Prestige, XFL Prestige Lux, XFL Prestige Lux +, XFL Portfolio

The powertrain range will consist of: 200PS 2.0-litre petrol automatic; RWD, 240PS 2.0-litre petrol automatic; RWD, 340PS 3.0-litre petrol automatic; RWD

Designed and engineered in Britain, the all-new XFL is the first Jaguar to be made in China, and is manufactured at Chery Jaguar Land Rover’s state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Changshu.

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