Jaguar Land Rover knows how to put on a good show.
Last year, the British luxury car maker created a full-blown musical to introduce the Jaguar XE compact sedan.
Before that, Land Rover rented out the USS Intrepid aircraft carrier and conducted a laser light extravaganza to introduce the Land Rover Discovery Concept.
Now, to debut its second generation XF, Jaguar sent the sexy luxury sedan across a pair of 787 ft.- long highwires over the waters of the Royal Docks in London’s Canary Wharf — setting the world record for driving a car on a wire.
The XF is very imporant to Jaguar. As the automaker’s answer to BMW’s standard-bearing 5 Series, Mercedes’ stalwart E-Class, and Audi’s stunning A6, the XF has quite a difficult battle ahead for market share.
Fortunately, this new car comes at exactly the right time. Although the current XF — on sale since 2007 — had a good sales year in 2014, the sedan’s competitiveness has begun to slip. Early 2015 numbers show sales have fallen significantly. In February, XF sales were down 22%, compared to the same period in 2014.
When the current XF first hit the market nearly a decade ago, it was unlike any Jag the we’d ever seen. The XF marked a sharp departure from the nostalgic, retro-themed dinosaurs that the brand had been selling.
Now, that groundbreaking car is getting a design makeover.
For 2016, the new XF gets a swoopy, coupe-like body. Designer Ian Callum and the Jag design team has accentuated the car’s shoulderline. It runs right beneath the side windows, giving the a XF a sportier stance. Up front, Jag’s signature mesh grille remains. As do the company’s narrow, feline headlights, which have been updated to follow the company’s new design theme — a theme that debuted with the compact XE sedan last year.
“The all-new Jaguar XF has a clear sense of calm and strength, both outside and inside — and I’m proud of my team for delivering that,” Callum said.
The XF’s new rear lights get curved LED highlights that evoke the brand’s award-winning F-Type sports car.
Bottom line: This is one sleek new cat.
Power for the new XF will come from a pair of the company’s trusty 3.0-litre supercharged V6 engines. The base model will generate 340 horsepower, while the top-of-the-range car will crank out 380.
As with other new Jaguar models, the XF will also feature strengthened, lightweight aluminium-intensive construction. With 75% of the car made of aluminium, the second-generation car will be as much as 265 lbs. lighter than its roughly 4,000-lb. predecessor.
Inside, the XF is all restrained style. It’s free of the gaudy touches that plague some of its competitors. The cabin is dominated by a large 10.2-inch touchscreen powered by Jaguar’s new InControl Touch Pro infotainment system.
The 2016 Jaguar XF will make its official world debut at the 2015 New York International Auto Show in April.
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