Originally introduced in 2007, Jaguar has sold more than 280,000 examples of the XF to date, and it has managed to capture numerous accolades worldwide along the way. Clearly the outgoing XF had its merits, but it rode on architecture that could trace its lineage back to the S-Type – a platform that was developed before the turn of the century. And when stacked up against the likes of the BMW 5-Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the XF consistently faced an uphill battle.
But that’s not the case with the 2016 XF, as it’s the latest model in Jaguar’s lineup to adopt the company’s new modular platform, one it now shares with the XE and the F-Pace crossover. As such, the new XF loses more than 250 pounds versus the outgoing car by way of aluminum and high-strength magnesium-intensive construction, while also boasting a 28 percent improvement in chassis rigidity. It translates to an XF that feels significantly livelier at the helm, placing a greater emphasis on the Jag’s sporting prowess without resorting to harsh performance tuning in order to get there.The XF has changed dimensionally as well, as the new model is a quarter-inch shorter but boasts a wheelbase that is two inches longer than its predecessor, resulting in more overall interior space – particularly for rear passengers.
The new model debuts here in the U.S. with carry-over versions of the supercharged 3.0-liter V6 rated at either 340 or 380 horsepower depending on whether you opt for the R-Sport or S trim level, but that doesn’t mean the XF isn’t without a few meaningful drivetrain updates.
Chief among these is a revised version of the XF’s optional all-wheel drive system, which makes its way over from the F-Type. It’s 16 percent lighter and 10 percent more efficient than the old hardware, and maintains the car’s rear-wheel drive bias in much the same way it does in the company’s sports car. Here in the XF, it helps the S model sprint to 60 miles per hour in five seconds flat, a tenth quicker than rear-wheel drive equivalent. All XF models route power through the venerable ZF 8-speed automatic, which boasts optimized tuning that adapts to driving style