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2016 Jaguar XF detailed

This week's New York motor show launch of the second-generation XF sedan has Jaguar executives smiling like the cat that got the cream.

It's low-fat cream, with the mid-size sedan shedding up to 190kg relative to its predecessor thanks to modular "aluminium-intensive" architecture that also underpins the recent XE compact sedan and F-Type sports car. The diet has led to big gains in performance and fuel economy from the four engines in the range.

The 2.0-litre "Ingenium" base turbo diesel replaces the 2.2-litre oilburner in the current car. Outputs are down slightly but the sprint to 100km/h has been cut by a second and fuel use is down 0.9L/100km.

It's a similar story for the 2.0 turbo , 3.0 supercharged V6 in two states of tune and 3.0 turbo diesel.

The XE gives us a ‘conquest car' to pitch to younger buyers

The entry diesel will be the only XF with a six-speed manual transmission; all other engines are exclusively paired with an eight-speed automatic. The supercharged V6 will be sold in rear or all-wheel drive, though Jaguar Australia's Tim Krieger says AWD won't be available locally at launch.

The XF is due in Australia early next year and Krieger says it will reinforce the executive sedan's standing as a key rival to German prestige vehicles.

"The XE gives us a ‘conquest car' to pitch to younger buyers on the one hand and they can then aspire to the XF as a more focused luxury package on the other," he says.

The XF was the third best-selling car in the over-$70,000 luxury segment last year and the new model brings major styling and interior updates, from edgier panel lines to a laser head-up display.

Jaguar claims a first with ethernet connectivity. This is paired with the "InControl Touch Pro" infotainment option, which combines a 12.3-inch digital driver's display and 10.2‒inch touchscreen in a smartphone-styled interface.

Users can add widgets to the main screen as a shortcut to favourite features. The navigation will transfer the pedestrian part of a route to the driver's smartphone to complete the journey.

The phone can also be used to remotely check on the car and to start the aircon before the driver arrives.

Infotainment is the new selling point and the XF is the most sophisticated example of how that can be delivered

Jaguar vehicle line director Ian Hoban says convenience is a major consideration as buyers expect to be able to port their preferences from phone to car or from vehicle to vehicle.

"We used to talk about engines and transmissions at launches; now we're talking about connectivity and integrated apps. Infotainment is the new selling point and the XF is the most sophisticated example of how that can be delivered," he says.

Despite being smaller and lower than the outgoing model the new car sits on a longer wheelbase. Along with a 28 per cent stiffer chassis, this improves its handling and boosts rear legroom.

Krieger says pricing and spec have yet to be set. "We'll be competitivewith our a challenger brand we know we have to offer more, be that on pricing or features."

Jaguar XF
Price: From $78,000 (est)
Engines: 2.0-litre 4-cyl turbo diesel, 132kW/318Nm; 2.0-litre 4-cyl turbo, 177kW/251Nm; 3.0-litre V6 turbo diesel, 221kW/516Nm; 3.0-litre V6 supercharged, 250kW or 280kW/332Nm
Transmissions: 6-speed man, 8-speed auto; RWD
Thirst: 4.3L-8.3L/100km, 114g-198g/km CO2
Dimensions: 4954mm (L), 1880mm (W), 1457mm (H)
Weight: 1590kg-1710kg

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