Changes Afoot at Jaguar: XF Retouched, XE and XF Sportbrake Binned
Jaguar has unveiled its short-term product plans, and fans of compact luxury sport sedans, as well as wagon enthusiasts, have reason to weep.
The fun-to-drive but cramped XE sports sedan is on its way out. The BMW 3-Series fighter wasn’t just good enough, it seems, to break into the public’s consciousness. Sales simply weren’t sufficient to keep it around.
The death of the XF Sportbrake is even more predictable. In the XE’s case, you’d think a stronger effort might have kept it afloat – and to be fair, it was nice to drive, if flawed in other key ways – but wagons are a tough sell in this crossover-crazed country these days. Especially wagons that are quite costly.
Just as an example – Jaguar sold only 99 Sportbrakes in the entire United States in 2018, according to GoodCarBadCar. That is…. not good.
The XF sedan, however, will be sticking around. And updated, to boot. Available in three trims (P250 S RWD, P250 SE RWD, and P300 R-Dynamic SE AWD), the car will be available with rear-wheel or all-wheel drive. If you’re not sure which trim will be available with which drivetrain, well, it’s right there in the names. Well, kinda – as you’ll see below, the lower trims with the base engine can be rear-wheel or all-wheel drive. Yes, it’s confusing.
The interior is redesigned, with a new 11.4-inch curved touchscreen for infotainment and a new shifter. The infotainment system, along with other onboard computer systems, now has over-the-air software updates. Active road-noise cancellation is now available, and the infotainment-menu structure is simplified.
Buyers can choose either a 246-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder or a 296-pony, 2.0-liter turbo-four. The former engine is the choice for the two lower trims, while the top trim gets the latter. Both mate to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The lower-power engine is available with either rear-wheel or all-wheel drive and puts out 269 lb-ft of torque. A torque figure for the larger engine was not listed.
Other news includes the addition of more standard features (premium audio, satellite radio, remote keyless entry, and wireless cell-phone charging), available automatic vehicle hold (holds the brakes while the car is stationary until the driver presses the gas), and available rear-exit monitoring.
On the outside, the LED headlights slim down, taking a cue from the F-Type, and the lower air intakes are enlarged and reshaped. An option package adds Gloss Black grille, grille surround, lower air intake surrounds, side vents, window surround, tailgate finisher, rear valance finisher, and badging.
Gloss Black is applied to the lower front bumper, lower front air intakes, and upper rear valance on the top-trim car.
There are seven wheel designs to choose from, including 19- and 20-inch designs.
No news yet on pricing or on-sale date.
[Images: Jaguar Land Rover. European version shown.]
Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.
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