Loved by European motorists for their practicality, versatility but car-like characteristics, the sports wagon is making a comeback with the new Jaguar XF Sportbrake.
These are the first photos ahead of the car’s public debut at the Geneva Auto Show. This new model shares the foundations of the XF sedan. In fact, the overall length only grows by 5mm, and its weight increases by less 70kg. So the Sportbrake should closely match the acclaimed handling of the XF sedan but is able to offer a large and practical load space.
Every panel from the B-Pillar back is new. The strong silver signature line running the length of the car is extended, while the C-Pillar is finished in gloss black – a trait borrowed from the XJ sedan.
Slim rear light units extend into a strong chrome crossmember that dominates the rear of the car. The result is a car that blends style and function with the rear seat occupants benefiting from 2” of extra rear headroom.
The large tailgate can be specified with power struts, opening to reveal a wide load space. The trunk is also framed by useful storage compartments.
Remote levers are mounted in the trunk area to lower the rear seats – negating the need to stretch into the trunk or access the side doors.
Powerful LED lights illuminate the ground when the trunk is open, while the tailgate itself features a soft close function, meaning it doesn’t need to be slammed nor will it slam shut in winds.
Set into the trunk floor is a panel that splits into three sections to allow smaller loads to be wedged, avoiding cargo being thrown about. A tray mounted under the floor helps conceal valuable items.
The car gets extensive changes to the rear suspension. Self-levelling air suspension ensures the driving dynamics are retained, allowing the Sportbrake to serve as a tow vehicle.
Powering the XF Sportbrake will be a range of diesel engines in 2.2-liter four cylinder and 3.0-liter six-cylinder form, each directing drive through the rear wheels via an advanced eight-speed automatic gearbox.
Prices and specifications will be announced nearer the launch, set to take place in the third quarter of 2012. Like previous Jaguar wagons, we shouldn’t expect to see the Sportbrake on sale in the US any time soon.