All-paw XF option on backburner

An action plan for the all-wheel-drive edition of the soon-to-land Jaguar XF is not being disregarded by the brand’s representative.


UNAVAILABLE to New Zealand for now, but potentially on the books if and when circumstances change.

That’s the reaction from Motorcorp Distributors, which holds Jaguar distribution rights for New Zealand, to the British brand having added an all-wheel-drive ingredient to the latest XF that launches here in traditional rear-drive format within a fortnight.

Jaguar Land Rover NZ product manager Paul Ricketts agrees the new model is of interest, given their first taster of this set-up – with the an all-paw F-Type R that has been here for eight months - has gone well. But for now it’s a semantic.

“All-wheel-drive is not available to us for launch,” he told Motoring Network.

And when, or if, it is given the green light for export to New Zealand?

“We will have to do the analysis when it becomes available.”

The extra-grip XF is a four-cylinder first for a model that leads Jaguar’s sales here and might be reasonably expected to find new traction now that it is arriving in a much-changed and updated new generation.

The XF uses the same Intelligent Driveline Dynamics (IDD) system as the F-Type R, which accrued 12 of the 18 sale registered for the supercharged V8 derivative in 2015.

In the United Kingdom the system is available to order with the 132kW 2.0-litre diesel and automatic gearbox that is the smallest of two oiler options coming to New Zealand.

IDD can shuffle power to the front wheels when slip is detected to maximise the performance of the car. Jaguar claims the system helps preserve the XF’s agility.

Rear-drive XFs are hardly under-equipped for slippery conditions anyway, as these now take what Jaguar calls its ‘all-surface progress control.’

The key elements are torque vectoring control that maintains constant speed of the outer driving wheel when the car is cornering, dynamic stability control and an engine drag torque control that mitigates the chance of wheel lock-up caused by strong engine braking in slippery conditions (it acts by briefly increasing torque to the wheels as appropriate).

It also adds an ‘adaptive surface response’ mode to the Drive Control system to help in wet conditions, which the maker is promising will result in superb composure even in the most adverse weather conditions.

Meantime, Jaguar NZ has committed to five engine choices consisting of two diesels and three petrols, four specifications levels – Prestige, Portfolio, R-Sport and Sand a wide range of customisation options for the new XF.

It’s a big effort for a car that registered just 46 new sales in 2015, the same count as for the F-Type, and 20 units below the sales count accrued by the XE in its period of 2015 sale, essentially the last six months of the year.

Though pricing will not be announced until the February 1 launch, Jaguar NZ has provided full detail of the model lineup on its website, a pitch to raise interest in the car, Ricketts agreed.

Alongside the Ingenium four-pot diesel will be a 3.0-litre 221kW V6 diesel for the XF S, while the second XF S of the line-up will be the performance flagship with a 280kW supercharged 3.0-litre petrol V6 – the same unit under the bonnet of the F-Type V6 S sportscar and the XE-S compact sedan.

Variants under the XF R-Sport banner starting with the 2.0-litre diesel 20d, a 25t 2.0-litre petrol four-cylinder with 177kW, and a more performance focused 3.0-litre 35t with 250kW – from the supercharged V6 used in the standard F-Type – and a $104,800 price tag.

Sitting above the mid-range R-Sport options are two Portfolio variants that share the 25t and 35t engines.

For now, there is no mention of a fiery V8 version to replace the supercharged XFR and XFR-S of the previous generation.

The line-up will be eight-speed automatic across the board with no manual gearbox on offer.

Jaguar says the all-new construction has saved 190kg of weight over the previous generation, boosting fuel efficiency and driving enjoyment, while the new layout has freed up 15mm more legroom, 24mm extra kneeroom and 27mm more headroom in the back.

Double wishbone suspension up front and a unique multi-link system at the back, combined with near 50/50 weight distribution maintains interior comfort as well as rewarding dynamics according to the car-maker.

Depending on the specification level, the Jag gets up to a 10.2-inch touchscreen for accessing InControl Touch Pro systems such as the door-to-door navigation and 17-speaker 825W Meridian sound system, while a second 12.3-inch screen replaces gauges in the cluster and is customisable for driver preferences.

Extra information is also relayed to the driver via the laser head-up display, which projects vital information such as road-speed onto the inside of the windscreen.

Overall, the new model has a 51mm longer wheelbase, but a 66mm shorter front overhang, and at 4954mm long, measures 7mm shorter than the outgoing XF.

In addition to all the customary safety systems, the XF has a forward-facing stereo camera which monitors traffic and can apply brakes autonomously as well as lane keeping and active cruise control, which operates down to stop and go speeds.

Adaptive full-LED headlights feature for the first time in any Jaguar model and have automatic dusk-sensing and self-dipping functions.