After what seems like years of waiting, Jaguar’s life-changing XF, its first truly avant-garde sports saloon for well over three decades, is finally here. This new four-door Jaguar is available for UK customers to order now; the first deliveries will be made on March 1 2008. And it'll be priced from just £33,900, which will buy you either 3.0-litre V6 petrol power or 2.7-litre V6 turbodiesel power.
A new look for the big cat
Unofficially, the team behind the XF called it “the new Mk2”, both to differentiate it from the S-type and XJ, and to associate it with the charisma, the compact shape and the fine driving qualities of that enduring '60s icon.
This new rival to the Mercedes E-class, Audi A6 and BMW 5-series certainly doesn't need a collection of outmoded styling cues. After the failure of successive retro designs, Jaguar, under the guidance of design director Ian Callum, has found a new look; see it in detail in our gallery.
The XF ditches both the “shield” grille of the old Mk2 and recent S-type saloons, and the “mouth” grille of the XK. Instead, it uses a new “ovoid” shape, related (albeit faintly) to the grille of the first XJ6.
Its stance is low-nosed and confident, full of latent power, with the grille countersunk into the body in the manner of the original XJ, not merely stuck on.
In the cabin
The interior is a confection of simple planes, graceful lines and quality materials. But lest anyone think traditions are being chucked overboard, Jaguar designers point out that the the XF cabin nevertheless contains more wood than any Jaguar since the Mk2.
Front occupants sit low, separated by a high centre console to give the familiar Jaguar feeling that you’ve located securely in a “tub” of your own.