2015 Jaguar XF 35t and S AWD first drive


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Jag preps its subsequent entrance in opposition to established German sedan rivals

What’s it?

Pitched towards the 5-Collection/A6/E-Class luxurious set, the second-technology Jaguar XF 35t and S introduce the corporate’s aluminum-intensive platform to North America for the primary time.

The platform is shared with the upcoming F-Pace SUV, splits roughly seventy five/25 p.c aluminum/metal and makes use of double-wishbone entrance/multilink “Integral Hyperlink” rear suspension. The XF is as much as 265 kilos lighter than its all-metal V6 predecessor, torsional stiffness rises 28 % and there’s close to 50/50 weight distribution — although upcoming 4-cylinder fashions get closest to the latter.

Slimmed down, the modular structure can also be shared with Jaguar’s XE 3-Series rival. Jaguar launched the XE earlier than the XF in Europe earlier this 12 months, however delayed its North America debut till the 2017 mannequin 12 months when all-wheel drive bows. The XF goes on sale with each rear- and all-wheel drive beginning this fall, leapfrogging its barely older and smaller sibling into U.S. seller showrooms.

Costs begin from $fifty one,900 for the 35t, $sixty two,seven-hundred for S, and the two.0D 4-cylinder turbodiesel drops the worth “considerably under” $50K when it arrives in mid-2016, Jag says.

Autoweek received an early drive within the XF 2.0D final month, however that is our first shot within the 35t and S. Each use the identical three.zero-liter, direct-injection supercharged V6 because the F-type, are available 340-hp and 380-hp variations, and shift with an eight-velocity paddleshift auto.

We examined the 340-hp 35t on Spanish autoroutes and mountain roads, the all-wheel-drive S on Circuito de Navarra.

Photo: 2015 Jaguar XF 35t and S AWD Photo 14

XF three-spoke steering wheel with Jaguar Sequential Shift. Picture by Jaguar

 

What’s it wish to drive?

The XF’s refinement on autoroutes impressed us. Our 35t check automobile had elective adaptive dampers (customary for S) and lulling, nicely-managed vertical actions characterised the supple trip at 70 mph — it’s extra pillowy than the two.0D Sport’s passive dampers, that set-up being is particular order solely within the U.S.

Wind- and highway noise are effectively contained and the graceful V6 emits a characterful half-throttle warble. Speed up and the eight-pace auto drops gears shortly and easily whereas the versatile V6 builds velocity with respectable urgency, with out the F-Sort’s rowdy aural drama.

Total, it’s effectively fitted to the luxury sedan market, and a pleasant companion for just a few hours’ regular-state cruising.

Stray off the primary routes and into the mountains and the Jag’s persona shifts, particularly for those who swap to dynamic mode; it companies the adaptive suspension, ups steering weight and will increase throttle response.

The sharper throttle is especially noticeable: on and off the fuel by means of corners, the accelerator responds with crispness, heightening the connection between driver and automotive. Preserve the throttle pinned, and you discover this a quick — if not significantly fast — machine.

Use the paddleshifters if you want — an engineered-in thunk of engagement signifies the adjustments are getting “dynamic” — however they’re final-gen low cost to the contact and S mode is mainly psychic; no disgrace in admitting the electronics are higher than you.

In both mode, the steering has extra weight than the primary-gen XF, and does dynamic with out straying into the below-assisted stickiness that defines sportier German settings. The helm’s quick, correct, and properly weighted, although lacks the previous hydraulic rack’s really feel; Jag cites the electrically assisted system’s three-p.c gasoline saving as recompense.

Thread collectively corners and also you’re unaware of any experience-high quality deterioration. As an alternative, these leisurely vertical actions turn out to be extra rapidly curtailed and the physique stays extremely composed, flicking from apex to apex. Once more the composure and responsiveness stands out, particularly by means of quick route modifications; the XF’s entrance finish follows steering inputs like a pet attempting to outwit its reflection.

Photo: 2015 Jaguar XF 35t and S AWD Photo 15

The 2015 Jaguar XF 35t and S AWD go on sale this fall. Picture by Jaguar

 

After we drove the XF 2.0D, we mentioned it didn’t fairly have the XE’s agility as a result of it didn’t have the facility to really work the chassis. The V6-powered 35t solves this, however solely partially. Sure there’s that satisfying feeling when the rear finish guides you thru corners, although it’s not tail-pleased, and you are feeling the additional weight over the nostril from two further cylinders — the entrance pushes broad for those who lean on it as onerous as you’ll be able to within the XE. In reality, we’d say the XF 2.0D has the sharper entrance finish, so that you want persistence in gradual- to mid-velocity corners.

The 20D’s weight distribution with the V6’s is the unimaginable candy spot based mostly on our drives thus far. Within the achievable world, it’s the smaller XE three.zero V6 that’s the extra pleasurable, sharper steer.

After all, the XF is a bigger, much less wieldy bundle and the payback is much extra rear-seat room than each XE and the final-gen XF. That’s regardless of the XF being 1 / 4-inch shorter and an eighth of an inch decrease than its predecessor. Intelligent packaging and a 2-inch wheelbase-stretch equals an inch extra kneeroom, a half-inch extra legroom, and an inch further headroom. It’s a snug place for six-foot-tall adults to spend an extended journey.

On the racetrack within the 380-hp S, the midrange efficiency instantly feels fuller, extra versatile, and greater than the forty-hp bonus would possibly counsel. And that’s even with an additional a hundred and ten kilos from this automobile’s all-wheel drive. It’s an up to date system in contrast with even the simply-launched F-Type AWD, switching from gears to chain drive; it’s sixteen % lighter and 10 % extra environment friendly. Quieter too, says Jag.

The AWD S retains a rear-drive really feel via sooner turns, and proves much more adjustable than the F-Sort, as a result of an extended wheelbase and softer suspension. It’s not wild, simply satisfying, and it means you’ll be able to level the nostril on the apex with little lifts off the throttle.

Speed up onerous from slower corners and you are feeling the automotive working laborious, pulling you ahead and, sure, feeling some understeer; impressively, steering corruption is minimal. On a moist-dealing with circuit, the all-wheel-drive V6 proved certain-footed, if in the end a gently cussed understeerer. Not a lot enjoyable, however succesful and positive-footed in tough situations.

Photo: 2015 Jaguar XF 35t and S AWD Photo 11

The luxurious XF cabin is each spacious and sporty. Photograph by Jaguar

 

Do I would like it?

There’s so much to suggest the brand new XF 35t and S fashions: on adaptive suspension they’re clean, refined and comfy, all matched to a silky powertrain that fits this luxurious sedan much better than the comparatively uncultured 2.0D we first tried.

The brand new XF can be a major step over its predecessor on the subject of rear-seat lodging: what was as soon as marginal and cramped is now spacious and ethereal.

Swap to dynamic mode and the XF is an interesting, pleasurable steer on a difficult highway. It’d lack the XE’s outright poise, but it surely’s nonetheless enjoyable and proves extra involving than its German opposition. That’s necessary. Our selection? A rear-drive three.zero V6 S.

 

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