If there are two cars like this, it must be the start of a trend. And what’s the trend? Covering the top half of the dashboard in leather – and double stitching it with impressive precision – to heighten the impression of luxury.
There are already cars out there that have this feature of course, but they’re mostly high-end machines like Maseratis and Ferraris. What’s new here is applying this technique on a more mass-produced scale, specifically to the new Jaguar XF, and also to the Cadillac CTS (left), which is already in production. Both are premium cars, and both you’d expect to have a soft-feel facia, finely crafted, but ultimately surfaced with plastic. All CTSs and XFs will get this leather treatment though, and very impressive it looks too. After all, leather is what the plastic surfaces of many an upmarket dashboard is mimicking.
Moulding dashboards from soft-feel plastics is an expensive business, not least because the tooling is costly, a cost that’s reduced for the Caddy and Jag dashboards. That’s because the quality of the structure beneath the leather merely needs to be smooth, rather than finely textured, which offsets the extra cost of sheathing the upper half of the facia in hide.