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2016 Jaguar XF is one svelte, high-tech cat (pictures)

Jaguar's XF is all new for 2016, and it arrives packing a supercharged heart and an optional high-power infotainment system.

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Chris Paukert
Following stints in TV news production and as a record company publicist, Chris spent most of his career in automotive publishing. Mentored by Automobile Magazine founder David E. Davis Jr., Paukert succeeded Davis as editor-in-chief of Winding Road, a pioneering e-mag, before serving as Autoblog's executive editor from 2008 to 2015. Chris is a Webby and Telly award-winning video producer and has served on the jury of the North American Car and Truck of the Year awards. He joined the CNET team in 2015, bringing a small cache of odd, underappreciated cars with him.
Chris Paukert
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Notice how the large lower air serve to underline this XF S' performance potential.

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These oversized 20-inch wheels lend the XF a planted stance.

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The second-generation XF's nose features a more upright grille for added aggression.

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A longer wheelbase yields more room for rear-seat occupants despite the XF's shorter overall height and length.

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Jaguar's midsize sedan looks at home in a racetrack paddock.

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The XF's rear three-quarter view looks a lot like its XE kid brother.

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Twin exhaust pipes sit inboard a bit, looking (and sounding) a bit too meek for an S performance model.

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This all-black interior scheme is rich, if a bit dour. Lighter and brighter leathers and trims are available.

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Not the way the wooden "Riva loop" gracefully and subtly encircles the dashboard, blending into the doors.

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While this car features analog gauges and a smaller multifunction screen, the optional InControl Touch infotainment system swaps the binnacle out for a beautiful reconfigurable TFT display.

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Jag's InControl touchscreen infotainment returns here with numerous updates, but you'll want to hold out for the late-availability InControl Touch Pro system and its much larger and more capable screen.

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Jaguar's now-signature rotary gear selector rises theatrically out of the center console upon startup.

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Remember when special engines looked special? Jaguar's 380-hp supercharged V-6 is a great powerplant, but it's covered by a boring plastic shroud.

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These headlamps are all-LED, from the daytime running lamp "swoosh" to the main beams.

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The XF's taillights feature double-dip light pipes for added character.

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These thin-spoke alloys look sensational, and the S model's red calipers play nicely off the red Jaguar center caps.

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This Jaguar-head logo design disappeared for a number of years, but it's nice to see it proliferating anew.

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These Jaguar side vents break up the front fender's visual mass and serve as the origin point for a character line.

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The sideview mirrors integrate turn signal repeaters and a camera for the bird's-eye view system.

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Note the small forward-facing camera hidden above the Jaguar logo.

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How else will your neighbors know you spent the extra money for the S model if you don't have some fetching badging to point it out?

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Since Jaguar's Leaper hood ornament is now a special-order item, the trunk lid is the only place you'll find this iconic pouncing feline on most XFs.

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These round exhaust tips are nicely integrated, but look -- and sound -- a bit too reserved.

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Note the way the "Riva loop" joins together the door and dashboard to encircle the passenger compartment in wood.

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Jaguar's InControl Touch system is standard and now snappier than before, integrating tablet-like swipe and pinch controls. However, the optional InControl Touch Pro system looks like the way to go.

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The front seats in this model S provided just enough support for track duty and were comfortable for a long day of driving.

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Rear seats are now available heated and with dual-zone climate control, but if you want cooled seats, you'll have to sit up front.

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The XF's trunk opening is wider than its predecessor's and offers 17.7 cubic feet of space (more than its rivals from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz).

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Stainless kick plates call out that you've splurged on the S model.

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These buttons control everything from the fuel-saving stop/start engine feature to the XF's various drive modes.

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A bird's-eye-view camera system is available, and very helpful in tight parking spots.

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Door controls are logically arrayed. Note three memory positions for the power seat controls.

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Take notice of the heated steering wheel button above the cruise control switchgear.

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