Jaguar will introduce its first ever factory-made “shooting brake” at the Geneva Motor Show on March 6. Although independent coachbuilders have constructed wagon variants of assorted Jaguars to varying degrees of elegance, the Jaguar XF Sportbrake is the first to come from the land of Leaper.
Although purist will quibble whether the XF Sportbrake is a true shooting brake, the new Jaguar model combines the grand sports touring elements of the XF sedan, or saloon if we’re to use the proper British terminology, with the added utility of extra cargo capacity and a rear liftgate. In that regard, the XF Sportbrake meets the British term for a sports station wagon that has had a similar example Stateside in the now departed Dodge Magnum.
The Jaguar XF Sportbrake, however, has a roof with more curvature than the typical wagon, and rather than just extending roof of the sedan, the rear doors and bodywork aft of the B-pillar is all new. Added usefulness of the XF Sportbrake comes in the form of 60/40 folding rear seats with an integrated ski sack, at just shy of two more inches of headroom for the rear seat.
The rear seating is completely new, and Jaguar claims it provides “generous seating for five.” The cargo area, says Jaguar, is wide enough for golf bags to be placed crosswise. With the rear seats folded, Jaguar XF Sport brake has six foot five inches between the liftgate and back of the front seats.
The cargo area will be trimmed to match the rest of the car’s interior, and floor rails are provided to attach cargo nets and tiedowns. Restraining bars will also be available to separate and control cargo movement, and an underfloor compartment is provided for out-of-sight storage.
Outside, Jaguar designers have increased the appearance of tapering to the rear roofline with a rising shoulder line that also “emphasises the XF Sportbrake’s strong haunches.” Gloss black B- through D-pillars give a wraparound look to the glass rearward from the A-pillars, similar to the blacked-out C-pillars of the standard XF.
Handling won’t be forsaken with the XF Sportbrake, as Jaguar’s Adaptive Dynamics System, which reads suspension action and can modify damping rates up to 500 times a second, will be available on all XF Sportbrake versions. Self-leveling air suspension at the rear, replacing the coil springs of the XF sedan, will be standard across the board. According to Jaguar, “This system has been developed and tuned by Jaguar’s chassis engineers to offer the same linear responses and ensure the XF Sportbrake offers identical dynamic attributes in terms of ride and handling as the saloon while keeping the car level even when fully laden.”
It’s almost preposterous, but a towbar can be specified, and when the towbar is installed, the XF Sportbrake’s Trailer Sway Mitigation system is automatically activated. The system uses the car’s ABS and stability control to reduce trailer sway—or “snaking” in Jaguar parlance—like similar systems do for SUVs and similar vehicles. When not in use, the tow-hitch can be removed quickly and stored in a special compartment within the cargo area. A rear valance panel covers the mounting point. They’ve thought of everything.
Jaguar hasn’t, however, announced when the XF Sportbrake will be available in the UK or other markets, including the U.S., although the latter is certainly only a matter of time until the Jaguar’s first domestically-produced shooting brake arrive in the Colonies.
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