Currently reading: Geneva motor show 2012: Jag XF Sportbrake
The new Jaguar XF Sportbrake makes its debut at the 2012 Geneva motor show

The new Jaguar XF Sportbrake has been revealed at the Geneva motor show. Jaguar will launch the rear-drive XF Sportbrake with volume-selling diesel engines for UK sale starting in November.

The Sportbrake is entirely new from the B-pillars back and is said to be just as torsionally stiff as the XF saloon, despite the tailgate opening. Jaguar’s distinctive and sometimes controversial black C-pillar detail has been carried over from the Jaguar XJ saloon. A new roof design and modified rear door frames and windows release an extra 48mm of headroom for rear-seat passengers. The rear seats are a new design, featuring a 60/40 split and an integral ski hatch. Levers in the load bay allow the seat backs to be dropped while accessing the luggage area through the tailgate opening.

With the seats up, boot volume is a roomy 550 litres, although its main rivals all possess more load space. The Audi A6 Avant and 5-series Touring each offer 560 litres and the Mercedes E-class estate has a 696-litre hold. With the seats down, the Sportbrake boasts 1675 litres of load space. That’s slightly bigger than both the A6 and the 5-series, which both have a 1670-litre capacity. However, the E-class still tops the class for all-out load-carrying ability, with 1765 litres.

Seats down, the XF Sportbrake also scores with a 1.97m long and 1.06m wide load bay — sufficient for bags of golf clubs to be stored sideways, Jaguar claims.

The central section of the boot floor is hinged into three sections and can be used as a divider to stop smaller items of luggage from rolling around. There’s also storage space under the floor and two full-length aluminium floor rails to which nets and retaining bars can be attached. Jaguar says the load area is trimmed in the same high-specification carpet as the front of the cabin. If the detachable towbar is specified, there is a dedicated space under the boot floor in which to store it.

The tailgate is made partly from SMC (sheet moulded composite) to save weight and it has a soft-close action. It can also be specified with power-operated opening and closing. Self-levelling rear air suspension is standard on all versions of the Sportbrake, replacing the standard-issue coil springs of the saloon. This, says Jaguar, ensures that the car’s handling characteristics remain unchanged even when the car is laden. Using the towbar activates Jaguar’s Trailer Sway Mitigation system, which uses the anti-lock braking and stability control systems to “reduce the risk” of a trailer snaking.

Adrian Hallmark, global brand director said: "It opens up the XF to a whole new market. It's for families who want dynamics and luxury, as well as practicality."

Ian Callum, design director said: ""It's the most versatile Jaguar ever, but it's still very much a Jaguar. It's a segment we've never been in before.

"Designing an estate car gives you more possibilities. We've extended the roofline, and given a dramatic side window graphic. There's 48mm more headroom for rear passengers and up to 1675 litres boot capacity with 60/40 rear seats folded. The load space is also trimmed with the same premium materials as the front."

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When the Sportbrake is launched, there will be a choice of four diesel engines: the 2.2-litre, four-cylinder unit in 161bhp and 187bhp guises, and the twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6 in two states of tune: 237bhp and 271bhp.

Two exterior design packages will also be available. The Aero pack (which is standard on the S model) adds a deeper front bumper, side sills and rear valance. The Black pack replaces the exterior brightwork with gloss black trim and dark-coloured wheels.

Jaguar won’t hint at the likely showroom price for the Sportbrake, but an entry-level 2.2-litre diesel model should come in at about £32,500 and a range-topping 3.0D S about £44,300. 

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supermanuel 5 March 2012

Re: Jag XF Sportbrake: official pics

Tom Chet wrote:
Are you listening, car makers?

At least one manufacturer is. The Tesla Model S (sedan) comes with 5+2 seating.

If Tesla can do it....

Tom Chet 1 March 2012

Re: Jag XF Sportbrake: official pics

Supermanuel, you're right and the situation you accurately describe is infuriating. Amidst ALL the nichification of an industry that can produce utterly pointless things like the Audi A7, the Mini Clubman, the BMW 5 GT, the Renault Wind etc etc etc etc, family buyers required (rightly) to put kids in baby seats, boosters and seatbelts are reduced to Mazda 5s, Ford S-Maxes and Volvo XC90s. Why can't Jag, Merc or BMW design something other than the R-class (or perhaps the BMW 5 GT) or a massively expensive SUV that can fit a couple of boosters and one child across the back seat?

We have one car, 3 kids and also frequently carry friends or grandparents so need a 7 seater. Last year we sold our VW Touran and bought an XC90 because it had more boot space than anything else on the market once the third row of seats were up (this was pre-new Sharan), has very comfortable front seats, was available with a manual gearbox, is available with massive discounts and satisfied the wife's not-so-covert badge snobbery. Bad rear visibility & lack of boot space in 7-seater mode killed the S-Max in her eyes.

The XC90 has met all our practical expectations and the wife and kids absolutely love it (she drives it 80% of the time). I appreciate it for that - it has undoubtedly made my life easier - but it is sooo dull to drive (though it does mean the kids sleep happily on long drives). Roll on the moment when we can fit into something that weighs less than 2 tonnes and acknowledges movement of the steering wheel.

Are you listening, car makers?

supermanuel 1 March 2012

Re: Jag XF Sportbrake: official pics

Tom Chet wrote:
Hamp's point, I believe, is that given the small proportion of the population that play golf it is interesting how many car companies, on launching a new model, state that golf club bags can fit in their car one way or another. Obviously golf players are considered a disproportionately important subsector of the target market for this car.

Well Tom, I think that it is more likely that wealthy, retired Golf playing individuals actually do represent a disproportionately high percentage of the people that buy large premium cars new with their own cash. Manufacturers wouldn't be concerned with golf bags if it weren't a real consideration for many of the people buying the cars. My brother-in-law and father-in-law will routinely reject cars if their golf bags don't fit in the boot.

I, like you, am a young(-ish) family man with 3 kids who likes a nice wagon (had a 9-5 aero estate until recently) and I can't stand Golf, so I understand your rant and I agree that the practical side of things should be prioritised. However, it is likely that family men with more than 2 kids will end up in an MPV or an SUV by default and are far less likely to buy one of these new anyway.

These cars are so much more about 'lifestyle' and so much less about lugging wardrobes from antique fairs. We expect them to look sleek and sexy and sporty and lithe and when they are not we berate the styling as boxy and crude. Shallow side windows and high waistlines are a necessary part of that, whether it's practical or not.

My kids are growing fast and two of them are now off boosters so it is getting easier for us to squeeze them onto a rear bench of a normal car (thank heavens) so cars like this are becoming possible for us in a way that they weren't before now. The SAAB was a definite compromise in terms of packaging as the two boosters either end meant that our eldest son was squished into the middle. We ended up back in an MPV after 2 years. If I was in a position to get rid of our Mazda 5 (sigh) then a car like this would be much less of a compromise for us now.