2009 Jaguar XF Page 1

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Will the launch of the XF sedan breathe some much-needed new lives into the Jaguar brand?

 

The 2009 Jaguar XF is an easy car to love. It performs as well as anything in the class--and has unexpected glamorous touches that will win over converts.

Few manufacturers have lost more opportunities than the British marque, which has staged a series of largely disappointing product debuts under the tutelage of its U.S. parent, Ford Motor Company. Ironically, the model that could transform things for Jaguar, at least from early indications, may very well arrive just as Ford sells off the struggling Jaguar brand.

 

The XF is the much-needed replacement for the less-than-successful S-Type mid-size “saloon car.” The outgoing car was expected to kick off a grand global expansion for Jaguar, but failed to build the anticipated momentum. The stylish XF, on the other hand, could very well be one of the hits of the Frankfurt show, by bringing back the sort of over-the-top styling that Jaguar was long known for.

 

“The key building blocks are in place and the XF is the next step,” said Bibiana Boerio, Jaguar Cars Managing Director, after she commended the brand's high-ranked dealership network and very successful recent launch of the new XK sports cars, and introduced designer Ian Callum and the new XF sedan, shown in production form for the first time at the Frankfurt auto show.

 

Callum waxed poetic about the new XF, describing it as athletic and taut in appearance, yet simple in its design, with a single character line sweeping alongside the car and wrapping around, “the way a Jaguar should.” Callum said that the XF sets a new direction for the next generation of Jaguar sedans. In it, Jaguar is placing a higher priority on materials and craftsmanship. According to Callum, the XF has more wood than any Jaguar since the MkII and has extensive stitched leather.

 

The end result is decidedly less radical than the C-XF concept shown at this year's Detroit show. But if it's any indication, Jaguar's Frankfurt stand was packed with members of the press, who overflowed the presentation area and then lingered for several hours afterward, waiting to check out the interior for themselves.

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