The days of bargain-basement XF Jaguars are over.
The arrival of an all-new XF in early 2016 signals a step up for the mid-sized Jaguar as the all-new compact XE takes over the heavy lifting required to make ground against the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, BMW 3 Series and Audi A4.
The new starting price is $82,800, up significantly from the $76,500 base of the outgoing XF, as the XF goes into action against the Mercedes E-Class, BMW's 5 Series and the Audi A6.
The new cat comes with everything from a fresh body and diesel engine to upgraded safety and luxury gear, but it also has a new role in Jaguar.
"We are now positioning XF in its correct position. It won't be straddling two segments," says the head of Jaguar Land Rover Australia, Matthew Wiesner.
"It's been playing a dual role for a while. By having XE playing the traditional role in the space below, we have the ability to treat the new XF correctly in its right space. It's rightful role is sitting on top of XE."
The XF was the first hit of the latest generation of Jaguar models, providing the profitable foundation that led to the F-Type sports cars, the XE and the upcoming F-Pace crossover. It has sold well around the world but struggled to fulfil a cross-category role, especially in Australia where it was a high-priced exotic in the early days. "The previous car started its life over $100,000," says Wiesner.
It's still a hell of a package
The XF has been dropped progressively by more than $25,000 but Weisner says the new model must take a different path. "The value proposition that the old car has delivered ... has been fantastic. It's a lot of car," he says.
"But when you look at what we're doing with the new XF it isn't that far away, quite frankly, where the current car is positioned. It's still a hell of a package."
The new XF should be here in late January with eight models — although there is no R hero — up to the 280kW supercharged V6 model at $128,200. The early emphasis is likely to be on the XF Prestige 20d from $82,800, with a range of improvements led by JLR's new 132kW Ingenium diesel engine with eight-speed auto. Inside, there is a new eight-inch multimedia touchscreen, upgraded satnav and Meridian sound, as well as a range of safety features including auto emergency braking and parking assist for parallel and diagonal spaces.