There was a time when the idea of a Jaguar SUV seemed totally incongruous. These, days, however, models like the E- and F-Pace dominate the British marque’s sales. But don’t expect to see Jaguar walk away from its classic sedan line-up. An all-new version of the top-line XJ is in the works and, for 2021, the brand has a significant update of the XF line ready to roll into showrooms in the coming weeks.
It may be just a “mid-cycle refresh,” in industry parlance, but the changes for the new model year are significant, with updated styling intended to fall more in line with the big F-Pace crossover, new powertrain options, an upgraded interior that includes a next-generation infotainment system, and the ability to use smartphone-style over-the-air software updates.
“Taking inspiration from the F-Type,” Jaguar suggests. The 2021 XF “saloon car” adopts ultra-thin quad headlights that also pick up on the sports car’s Double J-Blade daytime running lights. But the overall look is more in line with the current version of the F-Pace crossover, starting with the bolder grille finished in a diamond mesh design.
“The significant new elements of the XF create a more dynamic stance for the car, but the small details are just as important,” said Adam Hatton, Jaguar Exterior Design director. “Bringing the heritage-inspired detailing to the grille and headlights adds that touch of depth and luxury with a link to Jaguar’s unparalleled past, while the Leaper emblem on the side vents is instantly recognizable and provides an added visual flourish.”
Inside, the cabin now adopts open-pore woods and laser-etched speaker grilles, while adding the new JaguarDrive Selector. The updated XF also gets a new active noise cancellation system.
“From its driver focused cockpit to the enhanced tactility, comfort and convenience, the interior has been fully transformed,” said Julian Thomson, Design Director, Jaguar.
But passengers are first likely to notice the 11.4-inch HD curved glass touchscreen that anchors the more driver-focused cockpit. The screen itself curves gently to follow the profile of the instrument panel. And it links the driver to the new Pivi Pro infotainment system. An upgraded version of the technology found in the outgoing model, it features twin-SIM technology, the two separate 4G LTE modems capable of speeding up operations ranging from audio streaming to the download of software using the XF’s new over-the-air, or OTA capabilities.
For 2021, U.S. buyers will have two powertrain options, a 246-horsepower version of the 2.0-liter turbo-four cylinder offered in the various versions of the Jaguar XF P250. The inline-four gets a bump up to 296 hp in the XF P300 R-Dynamic SE with power sent to all four wheels.
The P25- can hit 60 in just 6.5 seconds, according to Jaguar, the P300 cutting that to 5.8 seconds.
One thing missing from the new XF is any form of hybrid powertrain, something parent Jaguar Land Rover has begun adding to a number of other model lines. That includes the 2021 F-Pace update which adds mild hybrid technology in the U.S. and a new plug
-in hybrid system for buyers in Europe and several other markets.
That said, company officials hinted that there could be more to come under the hood of the XF during the next few years.
The XF P300 also features a new JaguarDrive Control system, the rotary knob located next to the JaguarDrive shifter allowing a motorist to choose from four different modes. The system automatically adjusts vehicle functions including steering, transmission shifts, throttle response and the adaptive suspension damping system. Those dampers can respond to road conditions and driver inputs as frequently as 500 times a second.
Three separate configurations of the 2021 Jaguar XF will be offered.
Jaguar has not yet released fuel economy numbers for the sedan, nor has it said if there will be any increase in pricing. The 2020 XF starts at $51,100 before factoring in delivery fees.