This is it then, the new Jaguar XF, viewed by many industry observers as the final roll of the dice for the troubled car-maker. And the first thing to say is that, having viewed it in the metal on several occasions, it has way more presence in the metal than any photos we’ve yet seen. It also looks and feels more expensive than any recent Jag, inside and out.
At launch early next year there will be a V6 diesel, a V8 petrol and a range-topping (for the moment) 420bhp supercharged V8 with a claimed 0-60mph time of 5.1sec and a limited top speed of 155mph. It’ll be known as the SV8 but it’s not really a true M5 rival, rather a luxury saloon with some extra grunt to make life interesting. We’ll have to wait for the proper R version to arrive later next year, with a new, 500bhp, supercharged, direct injection V8 engine.
All XFs will come with the terrific new Sequential Shift, Jag-speak for the rotary gear selector on the centre console and the slick, steering wheel-mounted paddles offering manual control over the six-speed autobox. All versions will have leather interiors, keyless-go entry, a pulsating starter button(!) and trick dash air-vents that open up when the car starts. Prices start at £33,900, rising to £54,900 for the SV8.
Expect the car to drive very similarly to the outgoing S-type, so that means very well indeed. We’ll know for certain in a few weeks’ time when we get to drive the car ourselves.