Cars & Bikes
Cat on the Prowl
Tata Motors new Jaguar XF’s refined ride, sporty handling, apart-from-the-pack interior and exterior design and powerful performance sets it apart from the BMWs, Mercs and Audis now sold in India
The new Jaguar XF, introduced by Tata Motors, represents the legendary marque's new direction. Setting its own rules and challenging convention, the car fuses the style and performance of a sports car with the refinement, space and sophistication of a luxury saloon. Indeed, this is the beginning of a new era for Tata Motors. The new XF is a dramatic expression of a bold new Jaguar design language, with a driving experience that exceeds expectations created by the striking appearance. True to the Jaguar philosophy of creating beautiful, fast cars, the new XF goes further, adding a new dimension to the marque. The fourdoor car has the visual excitement of a coupe, but room inside for five adults to
enjoy an interior wholly contemporary in style, yet uniquely Jaguar.
The new XF rides on a stiff new structure that shares some suspension components with the sporty XK, that is set to debut in India soon. Its crouching stance is emphasized by a coupe-like roof line that sweeps to the tail, fastback style. As a sport-oriented midsize luxury sedan, this one’s in a pretty tough segment. But the new XF stands proud in this segment with its performance, coddling features and presence.
Relax inside the new XF and you are in a very special place indeed. There is space but also the sense of being in a perfectly proportioned, agile car. There is comfort, but it is the craftsmanship, materials and attention to detail that impress. The increased track and best-in-class rear seat width means tall
people can sit in complete comfort. And while the roofline might say ‘coupé’, the rear headroom says ‘saloon’ better than many rivals.
Jaguar Cars interior designer Alister Whelan says, “We have found exciting new ways to say ‘luxury’. The lines are clean and pure, the materials are familiar, but with a very modern flavour, from soft-grained leathers to real wood veneers with a bold, contemporary spin. Even the phosphor blue interior lighting has its own mood.”
The line defined by the soft-trimmed dashboard top and aluminium finisher runs continuously through the front and rear doors, making the interior feel more spacious, and making it seem wider from the front seats. Real wood underlines a luxurious interior, with veneers including Satin American Walnut, Burr Walnut and a modern, straight-grained Rich Oak that works particularly well with textured aluminium highlights.
In the new XF, many features are ‘invisible until needed’, a different approach from carmakers who push technology as a dominant interior theme. The rotating vents revolve out of sight when they are not in use; the Touch-screen controls many features, allowing mechanical buttons to be reduced to a discreet panel below the navigation screen. The design is about reducing clutter.
At its maximum 540 litres, the new XF’s boot is equal to the best in class, and there is the option to liberate a further 420 litres of space by folding down the rear seat backs. With the JaguarDrive Selector, automatic transmission functions are selected simply by turning the control with the fingertips.
The new XF is exceptionally well equipped. Bluetooth technology allows mobile handsets with Bluetooth capability to communicate with the car’s inbuilt telephone system and phone calls can be controlled either via the Touchscreen or hands-free, using the steering wheel controls or JaguarVoice control.
JaguarSense, an electronic control system that gives touch or proximity operation to open the glovebox lid and to control the overhead console lights, is another new XF (and industry) first and removes the need to locate a small switch, especially useful in the dark. The new XF also uses new technology to
make driving safer and more relaxing, with the choice of traditional cruise control or Jaguar’s Adaptive Cruise Control. In tandem with normal cruise control, an Automatic Speed Limiter that allows the driver to select a maximum speed that should not be exceeded, makes life easier and safer.
Jaguar has an amazing ability to produce cars that are as sharp as a tack to drive, but as smooth as molten chocolate to ride in. There's a bit of firmness at low speeds, but the new XF has a more indulgent ride than most rivals. The fluid handling, sensitive steering and plentiful grip help to make
any journey a joy.