Prior to the arrival of the Jaguar XF, the leaping cat brand had been a bit player in the volume luxury market for quite some time. The XK sports car was perhaps the first sign of life at Jaguar. The brand’s decimated status came because of Ford’s ownership, which sadly tarnished Jaguar’s image by producing cheap, backwards-looking designs on Ford underpinnings. Yeah, we weren’t fans of that era at Jaguar. Today the company is dramatically different.
The XF started off as a sales hit and the gorgeous full-size XJ sedan continued the product renaissance. Under the ownership of the Tata Group Jaguar is aiming to fill out its lineup and take on the “Big Three” German luxury automakers directly. Currently Jaguar offers only the XF, XJ and XK – three model lines. In the future it will need a smaller 3-Series competitor to add volume. Before it can add new model lines though, Jaguar is focusing on maximizing sales potential with what it has first.
A big gaping hole in the lineup has been the lack of all-wheel drive availability. Cars are increasingly ordered with the option all around the country, and particularly in colder and more mountainous climates. To fix this, Jaguar has announced all-wheel drive options for the XF and XJ, as well as new powertrain options. We’ll start under the hood. With the XF, Jaguar has been at a disadvantage versus the competition. It offered only a 385 horsepower V-8, and that put its starting price at $53,000. Obviously this wasn’t the best setup for fuel economy either. For 2013, the base XF drops four-cylinders in place of a standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder making 260 horsepower and 251 pound-feet of torque.
The price tag also drops accordingly, to $46,975. Next up is the a new turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6. It starts at $50,000 and makes 340 hp and 332 pound-feet of torque. Jaguar’s 5.0-liter V-8 is still available in the XF Supercharged, making 470 hp, and in the XFR, making 510 hp. As for the XJ, Jaguar’s new 3.0-liter V-6 becomes the base engine, ditching the naturally-aspirated V-8. The naturally-aspirated unit is now now only available in the long-wheelbase XJ; the supercharged unit does duty in the XJ Supercharged and XJ Supersport, with the same power levels as the XJ. Jaguar’s AWD system, dubbed Instinctive All-Wheel Drive is available on XF and XJ models with the 3.0-liter supercharged V-6. Like most systems, it is tuned for a rear-wheel bias but can transfer 50 percent of the power up front if need be. For 2013 these changes mean Jaguar is much better positioned to capture new sales. The lineup is more efficient, less expensive and better in tune with the market – bravo guys.