Jaguar’s sleek people carrier is in for a new face and tweaked internals

Despite being busy adding the finishing touches on the refreshed F-Pace and F-Type, Jaguar isn’t forgetting about the XF Sportbrake. The sporty wagon is also in line to receive a mid-life revamp, and chances are Jaguar will go for the same approach it used on the XE: a comprehensive exterior redesign coupled with cabin tweaks and some changes in the powertrain department.

Our carparazzi have spotted the XF Sportbrake in test mule form, hiding under a lot of camouflage, but we can still tell you a thing or two about what’s in store for Jag’s executive wagon, despite the fact that the interior remains a mystery for now. Here’s everything we’re are expecting from the facelifted 2021 Jaguar XF Sportbrake.

Exterior

  • More creases on the hood
  • New headlight and taillight design
  • Tweaked front and rear bumpers
  • Redesigned grille
  • Will retain the slightly sloping roof
  • Aero coefficient of 0.29Cd
2021 Jaguar XF Sportbrake Exterior Drivetrain
- image 862450
The facelifted Jaguar XF Sportbrake is likely to follow in the footsteps of the XE and go for an evolved design with a lot of focus on sharp, modern cues.

It’s not that the current XF Sportback is a sore to look at - quite the opposite, actually - but with Germany’s trifecta sporting tech-y design examples, it’s only natural for Jaguar to adapt and look at ways to counteract its rivals. As you’ll see, the pre-production prototypes we spotted during testing are wearing heavy camouflage below the glassed area, which hints that this is where most of the changes will take place, including the headlights and taillights.

The refreshed XE could be a good indicator of what’s in store for the XF Sportbrake, which we believe will receive redesigned headlight and taillight clusters that might feature sharper LED graphics, as well as a new front bumper that will further accentuate the wagon’s sportiness claims, together with a slightly modified front grille. A similar treatment is expected in the rear, where the bumper has to fall in line with the front end’s new identity. Although not quite visible at first, the hood seems to feature more creases running from the windshield towards the car’s nose, adding a more muscular vibe into the mix.

2021 Jaguar XF Sportbrake Exterior Drivetrain
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As far as the car’s profile is concerned, there are no changes and we don’t think Jaguar will make any. This means the revamped XF Sportbrake will retain the slim windshield pillars and the long yet sloping roofline, which helps the wagon achieve an aerodynamic coefficient of 0.29.

Interior

  • Higher quality materials
  • More tech could be on offer
  • Will retain some physical buttons
  • 12.3-inch instrument cluster
  • 10-inch central touchscreen
  • 31.7 cubic feet of cargo space
2017 - 2019 Jaguar F-Pace High Resolution Interior AutoShow
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Not much to discuss here, as our spy photographers weren’t able to provide photos of the test mule’s cabin. However, based on what Jaguar is offering inside its other models, we can forecast the new things to come for the XF Sportbrake. As you know, Jaguar is also working on a revamped F-Pace SUV, which coincidentally or not takes a lot after the XF and XE when it comes to interior topography.

We’ve said it before and we’ll keep saying it: visually, there’s nothing wrong with how the cockpit is laid out; instead, it’s the quality of use materials that Jaguar should bump up.

What we would like to see is the infotainment screen sitting higher up on the center console and nicer-texture materials on the median tunnel and especially in the lower areas of the cabin.

Harsh plastics should not be found inside a luxury executive sedan, it’s as simple as that.

2017 - 2019 Jaguar F-Pace High Resolution Interior
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Mind you, it’s not all rainy days and cloudy skies. We particularly love how the steering wheel feels touch-wise and we also appreciate that Jaguar decided not to poach every physical button and knob inside the cabin… yet. We also expect the XF Sportbrake’s interior to retain the full-color 12.3-inch instrument cluster and the 10-inch central touchscreen, as well as the cabin ionization setup, and the heated seats. On the practicality front, the current XF Sportbrake offers 31.7 cubic feet of trunk space that can be expanded to 69.7 cubic feet by folding down the rear seats. We don’t expect these figures to change with the facelift.

Drivetrain

  • Could pack an RDE2-compliant diesel
  • A 48V mild-hybrid powertrain is also a possibility
  • The current powerplants might get tweaked
  • 2.0-liter turbo with 296 hp and 295 lb-ft
  • 3.0-liter V-6 with 380 hp and 332 lb-ft
2021 Jaguar XF Sportbrake Exterior Drivetrain
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It’s not exactly clear what sort of tweaks will the facelifted XF Sportbrake get in terms of engines. There are some reports out there saying that an RDE2-compliant diesel powerplant will make its way into the XF Sportbrake, but in all honesty, we’re taking those with a pinch of salt, at least as far as the U.S.-bound model is concerned. Still, it could happen, especially if we consider the fact that the current XF sedan can be had with a diesel unit in the U.S.

The 2.0-liter turbodiesel powerplant is fitted with a single variable-geometry turbocharger that helps it produce 180 horsepower at 4,000 rpm and 318 pound-feet of torque between 1,750 rpm and 2,500 rpm.

A ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic transmission sends these resources to either the rear wheels or all four.

A more logical move for Jaguar would be to fit the XF Sportbrake with one of its mild-hybrid powertrains. One such MHEV (mild-hybrid electric vehicle) setup is already available under the hood of Jaguar Land Rover’s flagship SUV, the Range Rover, where it makes 394 horsepower and 368.7 pound-feet of torque courtesy of a straight-six ICE (internal combustion engine) assisted by a 48-volt electric system.

2021 Jaguar XF Sportbrake Exterior Drivetrain
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If Jaguar decides to leave the XF Sportbrake’s engine lineup untouched, then the wagon will continue to offer a choice of two mills. The entry-level XF Sportbrake makes do with a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder turbocharged gasoline unit good for 296 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque.

The king of the hill is represented by a 3.0-liter V-6 unit available in the S model, delivering 380 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque, enough to propel the XF Sportbrake from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 5.3 seconds.

Both engines are twinned to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Jaguar XF engine lineup
Engine 2.0-liter turbodiesel 2.0-liter, four-cylinder turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6
Horsepower 180 HP @ 4,000 RPM 296 HP 380 HP
Torque 318 LB-FT @ 1,750-2,500 RPM 295 LB-FT 332 LB-FT
Transmission ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic eight-speed automatic eight-speed automatic
2021 Jaguar XF Sportbrake Exterior Drivetrain
- image 862445

Since the V-6’s power and torque figures are somewhat similar to what the mild-hybrid setup offers inside the Range Rover SUV, Jaguar could even drop the V-6 altogether and offer the greener and theoretically more fuel-efficient powertrain instead. Then again, we’ll have to wait and see how things pan out, but with Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW already dropping similar mild-hybrid tech inside its cars (wagons included), Jag would be better off if it started doing the same.

Prices

2021 Jaguar XF Sportbrake Exterior Drivetrain
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It’s obviously too early to come up with any sort of numbers, although one thing you can be sure: whatever price tag Jaguar sees fit for the XF Sportbrake will reflect the changes and tweaks offered by the revamped model. That said, we can at least guesstimate that the revised XF Sportbrake will be a tad more expensive than the current lineup.

Speaking of which, the XF Sportbrake 30t, powered by the 2.0-liter turbo four-pot starts at $65,150, while the V-6-motivated XF Sportbrake S asks for at least $71,800.

Also worth mentioning is that both models come as standard with all-wheel drive, which is something Jaguar will surely keep in place for the facelifted version.

Competition

Before we get to the point, a small mention: BMW isn’t offering the 5 Series wagon in the United States, which means we will leave it out for now. That said, there’s plenty of apt competition Stateside for the XF Sportbrake, as you are about to see.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Wagon

2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Wagon High Resolution Exterior
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One competitor that’s likely to generate a lot of headaches for the XF is the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Wagon.

Merc’s people carrier is offered in the U.S. under the E 450 4Matic moniker, which translates into a 3.0-liter bi-turbo V-6 good for 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. Power goes to all fours via Merc’s nine-speed 9G-Tronic automatic transmission and 4Matic all-wheel drive. The setup allows the E-Class Wagon to zap from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 5.1 seconds.

Practicality-wise, the Mercedes E-Class Wagon offers 35 cubic-feet worth of cargo space that can be further extended to 64 cubic feet by folding down the rear seats. The E-Class Wagon starts at $66,100 in the U.S. Then there’s the AMG E 63 S Wagon, which sells for almost double the money: $111,750. The Merc-AMG-imbued wagon uses a handcrafted 4.0-liter bi-turbo V-8 packing 603 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque. It can sprint from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 3.4 seconds and yeah, it can also make your kids throw up.

Read our full review on the 2019 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Wagon

Audi A6 Allroad and RS 6 Avant

2019 Audi RS6 Avant Exterior
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Although a beefed up, off-road version of Audi’s A6 Avant sold in Europe, the A6 Allroad is going to make it to the U.S. as well

. It wasn’t yet available at the time of writing, but as of 2020, according to Car and Driver, you’ll be able to get it Stateside as well, most likely powered by a 3.0-liter V-6 and sport a price tag in the region of $60,000. However, America will also get the RS 6 Avant for the first time ever. Just like the Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Wagon, the RS 6 Avant employs monstrous amounts of power and torque coming from a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 good for 591 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. Quattro all-wheel drive is included into the mix, together with Audi’s eight-speed Tiptronic transmission (with Launch Control).

Read our full review on the Audi A6 Allroad and RS 6 Avant

Volvo V90

2017 Volvo V90 High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
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The Volvo V90 is available to U.S. customers in two guises: T5 FWD and T6 AWD. Both versions use a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder turbocharged unit, but the T6 is also supercharged. In T5 guise, the unit makes 250 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, while the T6 ups the ante with 316 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. The entry-level, front-wheel-drive T5 Inscription model starts at $53,450, while the all-wheel-drive T6 Inscription will demand at least $59,000. On the hauling front, the Volvo V90 offers 54 cubic feet worth of cargo space.

Read our full review on the 2019 Volvo V90

Conclusion

2021 Jaguar XF Sportbrake Exterior Drivetrain
- image 862445

We also know from Autocar that the revamped XF is the “next priority” for Jaguar after the facelifted F-Pace. These words belong to Jag’s senior product planning manager Wayne Darley, and can only suggest that Jaguar is poised to stay competitive in a market where wagons of the German, luxury ilk are making a comeback. The most important name that didn’t make it to the U.S. at the time of writing is the BMW 5 Series Touring, although there’s still time for that to change. That doesn’t mean the XF Sportbrake won’t have to face stiff competition - Audi, Volvo, and Mercedes-Benz are lining up highly competent products that will force the XF Sportbrake to mature in order not to lose ground sales-wise.

  • Leave it
    • We hope the interior gets a quality bump
    • Doesn’t have a performance variant like some of its rivals
    • Expensive for what it offers
Tudor Rus
Assistant Content Manager - Automotive Expert - tudor@topspeed.com
Tudor’s first encounter with cars took place when he was only a child. Back then, his father brought home a Trabant 601 Kombi and a few years later, a Wartburg 353. At that time, he was too young to know how they worked and way too young to drive them, but he could see one thing – each of them had a different ethos and their own unique personality. As time went on, he started seeing that in other cars as well, and his love for the automobile was born.  Read More
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