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Jaguar reveals XF Sportbrake ahead of Geneva

by Gareth Dean on 01/03/2012

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It’s been a while since Jaguar’s last crack at a luxury station wagon- the largely unloved X Type Estate of 2004 – but the company is now giving it another go with a more practical take on its stylish XF; the Jaguar XF Sportbrake.

The Sportbrake shares its front with the XF saloon but is all-new from the B-pillars back with a new roof that frees up an additional 48 mm or rear headroom and new rear door frames. Design cues such as the ovoid taillamps bisected by a chrome trim bar and blacked-out C-pillar have been carried across from the saloon. Despite the new body shape and sizeable rear hatch, the Sportbrake is purported to be just as torsionally rigid as the XF saloon.

Much like the exterior, the cabin is also stock XF fare with its distinctive facia and sporty front seats. The rear seats are all-new items that can be dropped via a lever in the load by and feature a 60:40 split-folding action and ski hatch.

In terms of actual load capacity, Jaguar’s latest offering is more of a sportwagon than an outright station wagon. With the rear seats in place, the Sportback serves up 550 dm3 of load space – marginally less than rivals such as the Audi A6 Avant and Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate. Fold the rear pews, and the utility space swells to 1 675 dm3 – more than the Audi, but still marginally less than that of the Mercedes.

For added versatility, the Sportbrake’s load floor features two hidden storage bins and can be divided into separate compartments via folding flaps. Full-length aluminum roof rails and a detachable tow bar can also be specified. The load hatch is crafted from composite materials to keep weight down and can be specified with a powered door.

Jaguar has replaced the XF’s coil spring rear suspension with a self-levelling air suspension set-up. Vehicles specified with a tow bar also receive a trailer sway mitigation system that utilises both the ABS and stability control to reduce the risk of trailer snaking.

The Sportbrake will be a solely diesel-powered model offered with a choice of a 2,2-litre, four-cylinder (140 kW/450 N.m) unit and turbocharged 3,0-litre V6 in two states of tune (177 kW and 202 kW), the former being coupled with the company’s newer 8-speed automatic transmission and the latter getting a 6-speeder.

Jaguar currently does not have any plans to introduce the XF Sportbrake to the South African market.