Frankfurt Auto Show: 2009 Jaguar XF

Here you go kids, it's your brand-saving entry from Shag-you-are, the XF. Yeah, it's not as hot as the XF Concept, even though Mr. Cullum promised it would be. Still, this cat's got some good curves on her, even going so far as aping Aston's DB9 from behind. Dare we say that perhaps we were a bit too hasty in our initial verdict? Or does everything look simply snazzy under 17 coats of wax, professional lighting and 50 gallons of none-more-black paint? And have we shown you the interior? No, really, have a look at the gorgeous orange seats. You'll plotz. We did.

THE NEW JAGUAR XF

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 ambiance 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 navigation 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.