A Jaguar never simply keeps pace. Introduced just three years ago, the Jaguar XF lineup of midsize luxury sedans has already undergone several stages of improvements including the switch to a pair of more powerful V8 engines for the 2010 model year. The 2012 XF family receives significant enhancements both inside and out,
Jaguar took special care in undertaking its enhancements of the 2012 XF, the best-selling model line in the carmaker’s stable. According to Wayne Burgess, lead designer on the new XF, the purpose behind the changes was to bring the sedan closer in appearance to the original C-XF concept car, the original XF prototype, which won the hearts of the automotive press at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit back in 2007. There are also design and technology touches that bring the new 2012 XF further in line with its premium-luxury sibling, the stunning XJ sedan.
The greatest styling change is found in the nose where the fascia, fenders and grille are all new. The most obvious homage to the C-XF concept is found in the new headlight treatment. Gone are the prominent eyebrow bulges over the outside lamps, replaced by an uninterrupted rising arc line, anchored at prominent diagonal creases flanking the grille and flowing out to the fenders. The lamps themselves are High-Intensity Discharge (HID) bi-xenon units underscored by a “J”-shaped strip of LED signature lights.
By smoothing out the upper planes of the headlamps, Burgess was able to remove the framing bulges in the hood, which is made of lightweight aluminum. Reflecting the diagonal creases in the front bumper are hood creases that fan out and back toward the A-pillars. Centered between those creases is a power bulge that is wider and taller than last year’s. Follow the power bulge back to its trailing edge and you will find an upraised lip that guides airflow over and away from the windshield wipers to eliminate buffeting.
The bold mesh grille is now set deeper in the nose and stands slightly more vertically, mirroring the grille design found on the XJ. The lower front fascia features intakes bisected by chrome blades with a subtle arch at their outer edges. Last year’s vertical front-fender vents give way to a triangular design, topped by a chrome strip bearing the Jaguar script. The overall effect of the new nose is one of restrained menace, reminiscent of a big cat eyeing its prey.
In back, larger taillights now incorporate LED bulbs and reach farther into the trunk lid. A thinner chrome blade with a gloss-black lower edge runs between the taillamps. The bar serves as an underline to the Leaper emblem, and houses the rearview camera (when fitted) and the locking mechanism for the trunk. The lower rear valence features oval tailpipe finishers, replacing the trapezoidal units of the 2011 model. New choices in aluminum-alloy wheel styles and exterior paint colors also join the mix.
The 470 hp XF Supercharged and 510 hp XFR receive a few additional styling cues with both models sharing louvers set back farther on the aluminum hood. Up front, the XFR gets a stronger, jutting lower valence with much larger side air intakes. A spoiler graces the rear deck while a new lower rear valence with sports vanes to help increase downforce at high speeds.
Inside, the XF range continues to offer supple leather and polished wood befitting an English manor house. For 2012, the interior boasts even more personalization choices including new interior colors and veneer choices. New seat frames and more pronounced bolsters help improve support and comfort for the driver and passenger.
Technology also takes a leap forward for 2012 with an upgrade to a hard-drive-based navigation system and a "say what you see" voice control system. Shared with the XK is a new full-color, thin-film transistor (TFT) information display mounted in the gauge cluster behind a brand-new steering wheel. Console buttons do away with last year’s silver finish in favor of soft touch black surfaces.
Sound connoisseurs are sure to appreciate the three new audio systems, ranging from a standard 400-watt system to a mighty 1,200-watt, 17-speaker system designed by Bowers & Wilkins.
The British have a saying: “Never do anything by halves.” Jaguar clearly abided by that bit of wisdom when it set about reinventing its bestselling model line. To experience all the revisions found on the new 2012 Jaguar XF midsize luxury sedan, be sure to contact us to schedule a test drive.