2009 Jaguar XF: Why We Broke The Embargo

So here's the 2009 Jaguar XF. It represents a new design direction for Ford's up-for-sale luxe brand. Since it was shown as the CX-F concept in Detroit earlier this year, the concept crystallized into the Dodge Intrepid-like four-door XF you see here. All that need be said about it — at least at this juncture — is in the press release (see it after the jump). Perhaps more important is the tortured process that lead to our publication of the picture you see above. Its a sordid tale familiar to those operating inside Eight Mile. Yet again an automaker decided to provide limited embargo access to "trusted" media outlets that have proven less than worthy of that title. It started with a teasing side-shot from Road & Track, then a set of low-resolution shots that arrived on the internet late last week — shots that worked their way through the forums until finally reaching more heavily trafficked international sites and then next to the Road that is ever-Winding and some of the other smaller automotive blogs. Normally we'd have jumped into the breach of the embargo dike along with our fellow internet breathren, handing you the dregs and drippings from another automaker.





But we, and Autoblog decided individually we'd hold off on running the leaked shots. Instead, we'd...



...attempt to color within the lines, using the event as a case study. We'd work with Jaguar, following their instructions to the letter, and in return we'd get high-resolution shots. We understood our readers would be the ones penalized by our decision to hold off, but felt the eventual quality of the materials provided would make up for the initial lack. Then, we stood back and watched the process unfold, taking notes on how a company with the resources of Ford would handle the Internet auto press. Remember, this is nearly a year after the C-XF's launch was marred by embargo breaches ahead of the Detroit Auto Show. The XF's design dummy showed up weeks early on the pages of Car und Driver, while online publishers were denied the same access.

Same story, different car. Judging from Road and Track disembargoed tease of an XF shot, and the subsequent spillage of the majority of shots onto the rest of the web it's clear Jaguar's continuing the same illusory embargo process. Both we and Autoblog have offered to help automakers revamp their product launch process for the digital-distribution age, yet we've received exactly zero response from Jaguar or any brand from the big blue oval. Therefore, while the Jaguar XF embargo doesn't end officially until midnight tonight, we and Autoblog have decided we're running all the embargoed shots and their press release together at the same time today — a few hours earlier than the embargo time — at a time of our choosing. We're handling it this way because the process continues to be stupid and onerous and represents a lack of respect for the millions of auto enthusiasts who get their automotive information online. Because we respect our readers, we figure you'll know the best way to handle things with Jaguar and Ford. We've always said, we won't be the first to break an embargo, but we won't be the third. Lucky for us this embargo's been broken for days now and that's where we're going to stand. Oh, yeah, the release is below. [via and in coordination with Autoblog]

THE NEW JAGUAR XF

INTRODUCTION

Challenging convention and setting its own rules, the new Jaguar XF fuses the style and performance of a sports car with the refinement, space and sophistication of a luxury saloon. This is the beginning of a new era for Jaguar.

The new XF: a dramatic expression of a bold new Jaguar design language, with a driving experience that exceeds expectations created by the striking appearance: relaxed and confident, with outstanding ability and control.

Resolutely true to the Jaguar philosophy of creating Beautiful, Fast cars, the XF goes further, adding a new dimension to the marque. The four-door XF has the visual excitement of a coupe, but room inside for five adults to enjoy an interior wholly contemporary in style yet uniquely Jaguar.

As well as space, the new XF's interior ambience is enriched by crafted, luxurious materials, sophisticated instruments and calm interior mood lighting. Engineering excellence and attention to detail mean the XF's interior matches the best-in-class for refinement, while Jaguar's intelligent use of technology and driver-friendly Touch-screen controls add new layers of comfort and ease of use.

Every XF model has shift-by-wire transmission control, with Jaguar's class-leading sequential shift system - its popularity already confirmed by feedback from XK sports car customers - used for the first time in a saloon. Shift-by-wire replaces manual shift linkages with electronic commands and gives every XF rapid and very smooth gearshifts - faster, even, than the acclaimed XK's transmission.

The Jaguar Sequential ShiftTM System gives the driver the option of one-touch manual gearchange control via steering-wheel mounted paddles. There are also multiple JaguarDrive ControlTM transmission modes, including Dynamic and Winter settings, which interact with throttle progression, Dynamic Stability Control thresholds and shift strategy to match mood and conditions.

But the most exciting feature of the XF's transmission control is the all-new JaguarDrive SelectorTM - an industry-first rotary shift interface that combines precise, intuitive control with space-saving packaging, to allow maximisation of interior storage options.

Other innovative functional features add more 'surprise and delight'. Air-conditioning vents present a flush dashboard surface until the ignition is switched on, at which point they elegantly rotate to the open position. Another new technology - JaguarSenseTM - introduces touch or proximity-sensing control for overhead console lights and the glovebox release.

Every level of audio system features at least eight speakers, with a premium system designed in association with highly respected audio specialist Bowers & Wilkins available on range-topping models. Radio options now include a Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) system and Sirius Satellite Radio for the North American market, while the XF technology count includes Bluetooth® communications technology, plus optional iPod® and MP3 player connectivity with full-function control through the Touch-screen - and an auxiliary port on every car for other portable audio devices.

Other available features include JaguarVoiceTM control to operate audio and telephone functions, Blind Spot Monitor, Front and Rear Parking Aids and Rear Camera Parking Aid, Adaptive Cruise Control, Automatic Speed Limiter, Tyre Pressure Monitoring System and Electronic Parking Brake.

Mick Mohan, XF Chief Programme Engineer comments:

"The interior of the XF is a combination of style and substance. It bristles with innovative, industry-leading features. From the smart technical solution of the JaguarDrive SelectorTM, through the seamless efficiency of rotating vents, to the simplicity of Touch-screen control, the XF proves aesthetics and function can work together in perfect harmony."

Engineering excellence and class-leading structural rigidity are at the heart of the new XF's construction. The advanced body structure, which comprises high-tech materials and new-generation design techniques, maximises strength and minimises weight to give the XF superb performance, refinement and efficiency across its range of V6 and V8 engines. These engines include the quietest diesel engine in its class and a supercharged V8 that delivers outstanding levels of performance.

The new XF is best in class for torsional stiffness, and with a wide rear track displays excellent handling characteristics. These elements underpin a dynamic ethos that is driver-focussed yet supremely comfortable and refined. Just as its looks promise, the new XF excels across the board, in every role from a sports car to a luxurious long-distance cruiser.



AT A GLANCE

- The XF is a four-door Jaguar that fuses the style and performance of a sports car with the refinement, space and sophistication of a luxury saloon.

- The exterior styling of the XF is the first expression of Jaguar's new design language in a saloon car. With interior design that is the equal of the exterior in terms of crafted execution and visual excitement, the XF offers a truly contemporary, luxury environment.

- The coupe-like lines of the XF belie the amount of space inside: there is room for five adults in comfort, generous interior stowage and a boot capacity of up to 540 litres* (plus the opportunity to fold the rear seats and add a further 420 litres).

- Jaguar craftsmanship adopts a sharp new edge on the XF. Sophisticated instrumentation, a Touch-screen, modern materials and graphics complement new 'surprise and delight' features. On entry to the XF, the start button pulses red, like a heartbeat. Start the engine and the JaguarDrive SelectorTM rises into the palm of the hand, while rotating vents turn from their flush, 'parked' position to their functional open position.

- The best torsional stiffness in class delivers both refinement and dynamic performance - underpinning the driver-focussed yet remarkably comfortable driving experience.

- The XF will be available from launch with a range of four engines,** all featuring Jaguar's proven six-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel-mounted 'paddles' for manual gear selection (Jaguar Sequential ShiftTM):

- 2.7-litre V6 twin-turbocharged diesel: 0-60mph in just 7.7 secs (0-100kph in 8.2 secs) and a top speed of 143 mph;

- 3.0-litre V6 petrol: 0-60mph in 7.9 secs (0-100kph in 8.3 secs) and a top speed of 148mph;

- 4.2 n/a V8 petrol: 0-60mph in 6.2 secs (0-100kph in 6.5 secs) and a top speed electronically limited to 155mph;

- 4.2 s/c V8 petrol: 0-60mph in 5.1 secs (0-100kph in 5.4 secs) and a top speed electronically limited to 155mph.

- Key driving aids on the XF include Electronic Brake Assist, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, Anti-lock Braking System, Dynamic Stability Control, Cornering Brake Control, and Engine Drag Torque Control. And, for the first time in a Jaguar, Understeer Control Logic which decelerates the car and helps to restore grip to the front wheels when required.

- The new XF has a wide portfolio of driver assistance features including a Blind Spot Monitor, Front and Rear Parking Aids, Rear Camera Parking Aid, Adaptive Cruise Control, Automatic Speed Limiter and Tyre Pressure Monitoring System. Bluetooth® compatibility, iPod®/MP3 player interfaces, JaguarVoiceTM, Digital radio and a single or six-disc CD player ensure owners can listen and talk as they choose.

- XF offers three levels of audio system, all controlled through the Touch-screen. The top-of-the-range Bowers & Wilkins 440w Premium Sound System option offers extraordinary clarity and faithful sound reproduction. Designed and tuned for the XF by Bowers & Wilkins, the surround-sound system delivers a powerful and vivid performance.

- In a first for a Jaguar saloon, the XF has the marque's new Pedestrian Contact Sensing System. This can mitigate pedestrian injury by firing actuators that deploy the bonnet, resulting in a cushioned space between the bonnet and engine hardpoints.

- Three trim levels will be offered, depending on market. The Luxury level will be available with either petrol or diesel V6 engines (and naturally aspirated V8 models in the US), Premium Luxury (with petrol or diesel V6, or naturally aspirated V8), and SV8 (with the supercharged V8 petrol).

- The XF is available to order now, depending on market. The first cars will be delivered to customers in March 2008. Pricing is available from individual markets depending on the start of customer orders.



All performance figures are manufacturer's estimates.

* With Jaguar Tyre Repair System fitted. Volume with spare wheel is 500 litres.

** Dependent on market choice.