Fleet News

Jaguar's last-chance saloon

JAGUAR is hoping its new saloon, the XF, will finally prove it can challenge the German brands in the lucrative executive company car market and save the struggling firm.

The C-XF concept version of the car, revealed at the Detroit Motor Show this week, points to a radical change in direction, away from conservative styling to a more futuristic approach. It is also likely to be Ford’s last throw of the dice.

Currently, the ageing S-type commands a 5% market share of the large saloon fleet sector, which is far behind the 27% of the BMW 5-series and 20% of the Audi A6. Although Jaguar has admitted it intends to sell less cars at more profit, abandoning its failing strategy of becoming a volume premium brand, it will be hoping the XF can take a much larger share when it goes on sale next year.

The concept car is powered by Jaguar’s 420bhp 4.2-litre supercharged V8 – which will make it to production, although most sales will comes from the current 2.7-litre twin-turbo V6 turbodiesel, and 3.0-litre V6 and 4.2 V8 petrols.

Due to Jaguar’s precarious finances, much of the XF’s internals will be carried over from the S-type.

Also, the Aston Martin-style low roofline will be replaced with something higher and more practical, although Jaguar executives’ admiration for the success of the coupe-like Mercedes-Benz CLS suggests grace rather than space will be the XF’s defining character.

At Detroit this week, Ford boss Alan Mulally confirmed that Jaguar is no longer for sale, although Aston Martin would be sold before the end of the year.

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  • To view the first images and video of the new C-XF click on next page.

    Concept video

    Jaguar design briefings are a compilation of online videos, photography and words that capture various themes of the future design direction for Jaguar.

    You'll need Quicktime to view this file. Place cursor on the image and move around to see the interior of the car.

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