by Zach Taylor
In case you haven’t heard, after a rocky 17-year marriage, the Ford Motor Company just dumped Jaguar. And like many fresh divorcées, the British automaker is reinventing itself with a sleeker look, a younger attitude, and a sexy tatt on the ass. The result is Jag’s sizzling, all-new XF sports sedan.
The XF is a thing of edgy beauty, with a bulging hood, raked glass, and the hunches of a steroid-loving powerlifter. With the low profile and muscular stance, when approaching traffic, the XF menacingly purrs in its Brit accent, “Please do make way before I stick my nose up your boot.” And as the Jag whips past, the last thing that humbled drivers will see is that hot emblem of a springing cat on the XF’s trunk lid.
Inside, the XF’s cabin will please drivers both old school and iPhone loving. As in any Jaguar, the leather is double stitched, the hardwood is perfectly polished, and the carpet is thickly plush. The XF’s front seats simultaneously cosset in grand style and provide the requisite firmness for spirited driving. The rear seats are equally lavish, but are best reserved for the vertically modest thanks to the XF’s sharply sloping roofline.
The stately interior appointments highlight the XF’s bounty of 21st-century gadgets. The start/stop button of the XF’s keyless ignition system pulses like a beating heart. And when that button is pushed, a gear-selector dial rises from the center console and then awaits a quick twist to set the XF moving. Connections—both Bluetooth and wired— abound for music players, cell phones, and data-storage devices.
On the road, the XF is a cat after prey. The XF shares its powertrain, steering, and braking components with Jag’s super-sick XK models. A silky six-speed automatic transmission is mated with a choice of engines, either a naturally aspirated, 300-bhp V-8 or a supercharged, 420-bhp V-8. According to the folks at Jaguar, these engines launch the XF from 0 to 60 mph in 6.2 and 5.1 seconds, respectively.
During a recent test drive, the XF tore up the twisty blacktop just north of the Mexican border. The supercharged V-8 shot the sedan off the line. (I also tested an XF equipped with the 300-bhp plant and suggest definitely snagging a super-8, as the performance bump is more than worth the minimal decrease in fuel economy.) The XF’s crisp handling and 20-inch tires kept the sedan planted during high-speed cornering. And when I was ready to throttle back, the XF glided down the freeway with a ride fit for royalty.
Jaguar already has fallen into bed with a new suitor, as Tata Motors of India nabbed the company from Ford. But if the XF is the new face of Jag, can this Bollywood romance last? The Big Cat is hot again, and plenty of perspective mates are sure to come around lifting their tails.
Jaguar is a gay-friendly company.
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