Jaguar's making a break with tradition: the replacement for the S-type is to be called the XF. It's a sign that the new car will be as different as the name – or at least that's what Jaguar hopes.
"The XF is a new sports saloon that will challenge people to think again about Jaguar as daring and different," said Jaguar boss Bibiana Boerio.
The current S-type has never been quite the success Jaguar would have liked. On launch it was criticised for its derivative retro styling and mediocre ride and handling. Much of the blame was laid on the S-type's shared underpinnings with the US-market Lincoln LS. A major revamp of the car in 2002 massively improved the way it drove, but the styling remained largely the same – even after a further facelift in 2005.
Initial design studies – such as the radical RD-6 concept car – have shown that Jaguar is keen to create a thoroughly different car to the old S-type. Unlike the XK and current XJ, however, the new S-type will not be made of aluminium, as this would have delayed the launch by up to 18 months.
The new XK has been met with near-universal praise. Here's hoping the new XF – designed and developed in Coventry and to be built at West Bromwich – has some of its sibling's magic when it goes on sale in spring 2008.