NEW FOR 2009:

– All-new model

An all-new model, the Jaguar XF takes over the departed S-Type’s position as the luxury automaker’s mid-sized offering.

Styled like a coupe, but with four doors, the Jaguar XF is available as the XF Luxury, XF Premium Luxury, and the XF Supercharged. All models use a 4.2-litre V8 engine that’s naturally-aspirated in the XF models, and supercharged in the XF Supercharged. All use a six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode and wheel-mounted paddles, and an unusual "Rotary Gear Selector" that is flush-mounted when the car is shut off, and rises when the engine starts. (It’s part of a "come alive" theme that includes a flashing red starter button, climate vents that close flush when the car is turned off and open when the engine starts, and proximity-sensing or touch controls for the overhead console lights and glovebox release.)

Features on the Luxury include 18-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, automatic headlamps, 10-way power heated "bond grain" leather seats, 60/40 split-folding rear seatbacks, power tilt and telescopic wheel, walnut veneer trim, CD stereo with auxiliary interface, power sunroof, cruise control, garage door opener, keyless start, driver information centre, LED taillights, tire pressure monitoring system, auto-dimming rearview mirror, power-folding and auto-dimming heated mirrors with puddle lamps, floor mats, and Bluetooth hands-free telephone system.

The Premium Luxury adds 19-inch alloy wheels, larger brake discs, self-levelling automatic bi-Xenon headlamps with washers, "softgrain" leather upholstery, burl walnut veneer trim, front parking control, Smart Key keyless entry, rearview camera, and voice-activated navigation system.

The Supercharged adds 20-inch alloy wheels, 16-way driver and 12-way passenger heated and cooled seats, three-spoke wheel, oak veneer trim, premium six-CD stereo, blind spot monitor, premium floor mats and power rear-window sunshade.

Available options for all XF models include a heated steering wheel and adaptive cruise control.

Handsomely styled, the new XF is very much a driver’s car, with exceptional torsional rigidity but with a smooth ride. Inside are all of the luxury touches expected, including the innovative "twist" gear selector, and controls that operate with fingertip pressure or simply by moving your hand in front of the interior lights. All eyes are on Jaguar with its recent sale by Ford to India’s Tata, but this entry model seems to be right on track.

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