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Jaguar XF Sportbrake 2017 revealed

Jaguar has unveiled its second-generation XF Sportbrake, with the load-lugging version of the existing sedan set to enter Australian showrooms for the first time in December.

Locally, the XF Sportbrake will go on sale with three Euro 6-compliant powertrains – one petrol, two diesel – available across three model grades – R-Sport, S and First Edition.

The sole petrol option is a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder unit that produces 184kW of power and 365Nm of torque. Its fuel consumption is rated at 6.8 litres per 100 kilometres on the combined cycle test, while carbon dioxide emissions have been tested at 155 grams/km.

Alternatively, a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel four is taken from the same Ingenium engine family, providing a 132kW/430Nm punch while offering 4.8L/100km and C02 emissions of 124g/km.

However, the heaviest hitter in the range is the 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 oil-burner that serves up 221kW and 700Nm, which help knock down the triple figure sprint in 6.6 seconds. These heady outputs are achieved while sipping 5.7L/100km and emitting 149g/km of C02.

All engines feature start-stop technology and send drive to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Surprisingly, the Sportbrake is 6mm shorter than its predecessor, measuring in at 4955mm long. However, the wheelbase has grown by 51mm to 2960mm, increasing rear legroom and load space.

Luggage capacity is a healthy 565 litres, or 1700L when the split-folding 40:20:40 rear seats are lowered – creating a flat-load floor.

Kerb weight starts at a relatively light 1720kg, while a near 50:50 weight distribution has been created thanks to the liberal use of aluminium.

Furthermore, the new model is aerodynamically slipperier than before, with a drag coefficient of 0.29 helping to maximise its overall efficiency.

Ride comfort is also claimed to be better thanks to the standard self-levelling rear air suspension, while the front axle employs a revised double-wishbone set-up.

Three driving models – including Eco and Dynamic – allow for the steering settings, transmission behaviour and throttle response to be adjusted on the go, as well as the responsiveness of the adaptive dampers – if optioned.

The Sportbrake features a number of gesture controls, such as hands-free operation of the electric tailgate and panoramic sunroof blind.

Other standard equipment includes a 'Touch Pro' infotainment system with voice control, satellite navigation with live traffic, WiFi hotspot, 'InControl' wireless smartphone connectivity, leather upholstery, 20-way adjustable electric front seats, four-zone climate control, heated seats, LED head- and tail-lights, ambient interior lighting, full-length panoramic sunroof, roof rails, automatic load cover and a roof-mounted rear spoiler.

Meanwhile, the options list extends to a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, head-up display and a 17-speaker Meridian surround sound system.

A lengthy suite of driver assistance and safety systems includes autonomous emergency braking (AEB), lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assist, rear-cross traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, driver fatigue detection, park assist and a 360-degree view camera.

Twelve paint colours – two solid, eight metallic, two premium – will be available for customers to choose from.

Despite launching in mid-2014, the previous XF Sportbrake never made it Down Under. Wagon demand seems to be reigniting as Mercedes-Benz and BMW are returning this year to a segment that has, since their exit, been exclusively occupied by the Audi A6 Allroad and Volvo V90.

Pricing and exact specification details for the XF Sportbrake will be released closer to its on-sale date in December.

Will luxury wagons make a resurgence in the face of SUVs becoming the consumer preference? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

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