Overview: Jaguar XF
For the 2012 model year, Jaguar has restyled the XF to give it more of a family resemblance to the bigger XJ. There are significant technical changes, not least the introduction of Z.F.’s eight-speed 8HP automatic transmission on diesel models. That’s a plural, because there are two diesels now, both using the PSA 2179cc four-cylinder unit — one offers 190PS, the other 163PS. They deliver the same overall NEDC fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, with the latter model simply offering a lower purchase price.
The XF’s headlamps now incorporate bi-function HID xenon technology that allows them to be much slimmer and more compact; they also incorporate LED daytime running lights. The tail lamps have been entirely renewed and now use LEDs for all functions: brakes, marker-lights and indicators.
The most significant change to the XF is the introduction of the 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine, sourced from PSA and internally designated AJ-i4D. Initially available in a single derivative, offering 190PS, a lower-powered version with 163PS will soon be made available. The unit features low-friction pistons and a water-cooled turbocharger, plus active engine mounts and modifications to the sump and block to reduce NVH. Jaguar claims that refinement is on a par with the previously-fitted 2.7-litre V6 diesel. Refinement of all models has been tweaked by additional acoustic shielding and the use of computational fluid dynamics to smooth exterior airflow.
Power output from the new diesel is 190PS, with torque peaking at 450Nm. Jaguar claims a standing-start acceleration figure to 100km/h of 8.5s, with a maximum speed of 140mph. The overall NEDC fuel economy return is 52.3mpg, equating to a CO2 yield of 149g/km. The unit is Euro V compliant.
While petrol XFs retain the earlier Z.F. 6HP six-speed automatic, the new diesels use the same company’s eight-speeder. The 8HP is capable of swapping cogs in 200ms, which is excellent for an ‘old-fashioned’ epicyclic box. The driver can perform multiple downshifts using the shift paddles. The overall installed weight of the 8HP is the same as the earlier six-speed gearbox, while improved pump design and gear control elements increase efficiency.
Also making its début with the 2.2-litre diesel engine is a new ‘intelligent’ stop-start system. The system automatically shuts down the engine in 300ms when the car comes to rest; fuel economy improvements of five to seven per cent. are claimed. Unfortunately, the stop-start system requires the driver to hold the car on the foot-brake while it is stopped. A tandem solenoid starter with a dedicated secondary battery instantly restarts the engine as soon as the driver’s foot leaves the brake pedal. The gearbox features hydraulic impulse storage, which supplies oil pressure to actuate the shift elements.
For the first time, all diesel variants of the XF are available with Jaguar’s Adaptive Dynamics.
Jaguar’s in-house three-litre V6 diesel, familiar from the XJ, is also available. This offers 240PS and 500Nm, with NEDC consumption and emissions at 44.8mpg and 169g/km: crudely, 11.1 per cent. more torque for 8.6 per cent. more fuel.
The XF’s interior has also been revised. Familiar ‘whizz-bang— features — that rather divide opinion — include the drive selector that rises from the centre console and air vents that rotate to their open position when the starter button is pressed. On a more sensible level, revised front and rear seats incorporate a ‘hoop’ feature on both squab and backrest that improves support by making the seat’s profile more marked.
The car’s lesser functions are controlled using a central 17cm touch-screen, which now has a polarising filter to increase contrast in bright sunlight. Additional controls have been added below the touch-screen. The main driver instrument cluster is now a full-colour TFT unit — another rather controversial feature.
All audio systems can be specified with a hard-drive based satellite navigation system that incorporates a ‘virtual’ CD multichanger, allowing the owner to ‘rip’ 10 CDs at a time into the car’s memory and play them as if they were a physical music medium. The system also now offers a number of different options for connecting MP3 players; two USB ports, one of which is specific to the iPod, and Bluetooth connectivity that allows music to be streamed from a smartphone.
The majority of the XF’s functions can be controlled from the driver’s seat by Jaguar’s Interactive Voice functionality.