The XF is a radical departure from the Jaguar’s classic looks. In fact, it’s hard to relate this car to previous designs of these leaping felines. Ian Callum, who penned a few sports coupes such as the Aston Martin DB7, has made sure to design something different, marking a change from the expected. Out with the retro styling and in with a contemporary design, this vehicle picks up cues from the XK coupe, another of Callum’s creations. In our view, the XF joins other four door coupes already on the market—think Mercedes-Benz CLS and many more to come soon.
Step inside the XF and you will see an obvious upgrade in styling and design. The conventional, conservative interiors of the marque always brought a certain element of luxury, yet everything has an era. In these high tech times, why not incorporate touch technology, which allows drivers to work with the car to ensure the most enjoyable, efficient ride? Steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters control the transmission settings; and if they so desire, drivers can switch from fully automatic to “Drive in Sport” mode and back again via the JaguarDrive Selector. Instead of a standard gearshift, the 2009 Jaguar XF features a touch knob in the center console for shifting. Knobs have been streamlined, and the interface with the display and navigation remains courteous. Our top-of-the-line tester boasted a mega audio system, delivering 440 watts of power via the exclusive Bowers & Wilkins speakers. And for our comfort and safety, the cat offered active climate-controlled soft grain leather seats, a rear parking camera and a cool blind spot monitor system.
If you look closely at the Start/Stop button, you’ll see that it shows a pulsing light reminiscent of a heartbeat, indicating this feline is ready to play, chase and hunt. The XK is a very agreeable car to drive around town with all its sporting luxury, but it excels at speeds that are illegal—too bad. This is the zone where you could truly experience its torsional stiffness and make use of all the 420 ponies delivered by a proven supercharged V8.
There’s no doubt that this handsome and luxurious automobile is not for everyone. Despite offering outstanding value, it has a hefty price of entry and certainly won’t be a high volume car. In a way, that’s a bonus to the happy few owners who will drive an exclusive product and always arrive in style. Heck, we sure wouldn’t mind one in the garage.
Read a review of the 2010 Jaguar XFR
Warranty/Service: Four-year/50,000-mile new vehicle warranty, one year free scheduled maintenance, 24/7 roadside assistance.