Jaguar launches the XF sedan at the 2007 Frankfurt auto show.
Wayne CunninghamManaging Editor / Roadshow
Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET's Roadshow. Prior to the automotive beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine.
We were surprised that Jaguar got its production XF ready in time for the 2007 Frankfurt auto show, as the c-XF concept was just unveiled at last season's auto shows. Concept to production usually takes a couple of years, and you lose most of the cooler features from the concept. But not in the case of the Jaguar XF. Even though its exterior received plenty of criticism on the Internet for being too bland once photos were released, the production XF looks just like its concept predecessor. The XF is the first sedan in Jaguar's new design language, a style initially used in the new and widely acclaimed XK coupe.
The XF will be available March, 2008, with four engine choices. It can be had with a 2.7-liter twin-turbo V-6, a 3-liter V-6, a 4.2-liter V-8, and a supercharged 4.2-liter V-8. The diesel probably won't be available in the U.S. The production car keeps many of the interior touches seen in the concept, such as a start button that pulses red when you get in the car. It also has the dial-type transmission mode selector for its six speed automatic. Yes, Jaguar is doing away with the J-gate in favor of a rotary system. The dial is a space saver, however, and it's all you really need with a modern automatic transmission. You can manually select gears with steering-wheel-mounted paddles.
The dashboard electronics use the same cool interface as the Jaguar XK. The LCD touch screen has well-designed buttons in a row along the left. Touch one, and the buttons slide out of the way to reveal whichever function you've chosen. Jaguar brings iPod integration, a USB drive port, and a simple auxiliary audio input into the XF's array of audio sources. The top-end stereo system available for the XF is a Bowers & Wilkins premium surround-sound system with 440 watts of power.