Written on the 11 April 2011


WITH inclement weather drenching the sunshine state, what better opportunity to test the safety and handling of Jaguar’s prowling XF than in a downpour.

Confidence is a big factor when driving in poor conditions, not just in driver ability but also having full faith in the operational aspects of the vehicle.

Some people become wet blankets when driving in the rain, drastically reducing speed to dangerous levels on major artilleries and generally throwing common sense out of the window and into the deluge.

Good drivers adjust to suit all conditions and prestige motor cars are designed for those that understand their own limits and that of the car.

On this particular sojourn, the XF is heading straight for black skies and within minutes it’s in the middle of the storm and will be for the next one hour or so.

The XF feels safe with ABS, ample power and also enables clear vision – and I’m not just talking about the latest in wiper blade technology, but also eliminating blind spots, clever rear view demist and a windscreen that is wide enough so that one can anticipate the unexpected a little earlier.

It also has JaguarDrive Control with winter mode with dynamic drive controls to suit conditions and cruise control with automatic speed limiter.

According to Sunshine Jaguar manager Paul Hewitt, the car allows you to simply drive, minimising distractions and maximising safety.

“It has that driving position where you just feel completely in control,” says Hewitt.

“It also has intuitive technology with auto headlights and rain sensing wipers, making sure the focus for the driver is on driving the car, not taking their eyes off the road. It’s about providing reassurance and the XF does it very well.”

Unequal length wishbone front suspension with weight-saving aluminium components and multi-link rear suspension are both sub frame mounted for maximum control, including excellent straight-line stability and strong anti-dive characteristics under heavy braking, with minimum road noise and vibration.

Designed by former Aston Martin concept guru Ian Callum, the XF is a rethink on sporting luxury – four doors, five seats, it presents like a coupe and drives like a sports car.

“It’s a beautiful, fast car that defies the traditional architecture,” offers Hewitt.

Contemporary, individual and expertly crafted, the XF impresses with a cabin rich in luxurious finishes.

Add Jaguar sound system with in-dash CD player featuring Windows Media Audio and MP3 compatibility; Jaguar Smart Key System with Keyless Start; 8/8 way power adjustable front seats with Bond grain leather facings; rear seats with 60/40 split fold function and Bond grain leather facings and grain stitched and tailored instrument panel and door top rolls.

Luxurious on the inside matched with menacing yet refined exterior, the XF is available in two solid and 11 metallic exterior paint colours. There is also the choice of two veneers, both of which also come with a Knurled Aluminium finisher - Satin American Walnut is available as standard and Burr Walnut as an option.

The XF is available with 3.0 Litre V6 Petrol, 5.0 Litre V8 Petrol and 3.0 V6 Diesel 500Nm engines. They are driven by a 6-speed automatic transmission with Jaguar Sequential Shift and JaguarDrive Selector with paddle shift operation.

XF 3.0 Litre V6 petrol is specified with 17” Libra wheels as standard. 18” Cygnus wheels are optional (standard on 3.0D) – 20” Senta wheels are standard on 5.0 V8.

The car has added yet another award to its long list of accolades voted Best Executive Car at the Fleet News awards for the fourth consecutive year and beating competition including the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

The base model XF starts at $140,000.






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