The next-generation of Jaguar's XF saloon has been revealed in a dramatic journey across the water at London's Canary Wharf on a high-wire.
The Bond-like stunt was (according to Jaguar) made possible thanks to the new car's lightweight construction, which makes greater use of aluminium, helping it weigh in 80kg lighter than the competition - again, Jaguar's data.
The new XF bears many similarities to the new XE saloon, which sits below it in the model range. A large, deep grille is unmistakably Jaguar and is flanked by sleek, feline-like headlight units. The sloping roofline keeps that sleek, sporting image of modern Jaguars, while the rear has taken on a sharper image this time around. The wrap-around tail lights mimic those seen on the XE and F-Type models.
In total, 75 per cent of the new XF is built from aluminium, which has helped Jaguar to make a weight saving of 190kg over the previous model, while at the same time increasing torsional stiffness by up to 28 per cent. Physically the new car is 7mm shorter and 3mm lower than the last XF, but an addition of 51mm to the wheelbase gives it a big increase in interior space, with Jaguar claiming the XF now to have class-leading rear seat space in terms of legroom, kneeroom and headroom.
Inside the new XF, Jaguar has worked hard to ensure that the design and ambience meets the ever-increasing expectations of buyers in this premium segment of the market. Many of the car's controls can be accessed through the multifunction steering wheel that resembles that in the F-Type. Behind this there is a reconfigurable 12.3-inch TFT instrument cluster that will give the driver a clear and sharp display that can be tailored to suit their preferences.
The centre console now features a new 10.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system - called InControl Touch Pro - and looks to be a marked improvement over the previous XF's system, which was often singled out as one of the car's weak points. It also features Dual View technology that allows the driver and front seat passenger to watch different things at the same time, such as satellite navigation and a DVD. Jaguar has once more teamed up with Meridian to design the surround sound system comprising of 825W of power going through 17 speakers.
Under the bonnet
Jaguar will be offering a range of more efficient engines starting with a 163hp 2.0-litre Ingenium diesel generating 380Nm of torque, plus a more powerful 180hp version that will develop 430Nm. There will be the choice of a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission. In manual form, the 163hp diesel emits just 104g/km making it not just tax-friendly but the most efficient non-hybrid diesel in the segment according to Jaguar. A more powerful 3.0-litre V6 twin-turbo diesel engine will also be offered and will deliver 300hp and an impressive 700Nm of torque.
Meanwhile, petrol lovers will be able to choose from a 240hp 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine or a 3.0-litre supercharged V6 that will come in both 340- and 380hp versions. These high performance engines should work well with the car's chassis especially given the 50:50 weight distribution of the XF. Jaguar has also honed its Electric Power Assisted Steering (EPAS) system.
When can I see more?
The new XF will be officially unveiled to the public at next month's New York International Auto Show, and will go on sale in autumn 2015.