Who says wagons are a dying breed?
Wagons have become a dying breed as crossovers and SUVs continue to saturate the market, so it was refreshing when Jaguar announced plans to unleash an XF Sportbrake to compete with its German rivals. As promised, the premium wagon has been revealed by sports star Andy Murray at a London tennis court ahead of Wimbledon. Based on the acclaimed XF sedan, the Sportbrake combines the sports car looks and performance of its sedan sibling with a larger trunk that "sets new standards for practicality and convenience."
Based on the XF sedan, it looks as stunning as you would expect, with a sporty front fascia, sleek silhouette and sloping roofline. At the front, the XF Sportbrake closely resembles the sedan, and while the body looks longer, it's actually the same length. It gains full LED lights at the front and back, with rear taillights resembling the F-Type sports car's. Compared to its predecessor, the XF Sportbrake is 6mm shorter, but has a longer wheelbase which improves the rear legroom. With the seats up, the Jaguar XF Sportbrake offers 565 liters of trunk space which is a similar capacity to the Audi A6 Avant, though this expands to 1,700 liters with the split folding rear seats lowered.
It also rides on self-levelling air sprung rear suspension as standard to help it carry heavier loads. Of course, the extra cargo space isn't the XF Sportbrake's only selling point. The XF sedan is often hailed as one of the best handling cars in its class, and Jaguar says the Sportbrake has comparable cornering abilities thanks to advanced software functions developed by Jaguar Land Rover, such as Intelligent Driveline Dynamics, All Surface Progress Control and Adaptive Surface Response which improve grip in low traction situations. An aluminium-intensive body construction also makes it stiffer and lighter than its predecessor.
With a near perfect 50:50 front-to-rear weight distribution and the option of AWD, the Jaguar XF Sportbrake should offer exceptionally agile handling. You can of course spec the XF Sportback with a raft of luxuries as optional extras, but the highlight has to be the panoramic glass roof complete with a gesture control blind. Engine options have been replicated from the XF sedan. A 2.0-liter diesel comes in three flavors, ranging from 161 to 237 hp. At the top of the diesel range is a 3.0-liter V6 mated to an eight-speed automatic which produces 296 hp. In this guise, the XF Sportback will hit 0-60 mph in 6.1 seconds.
A 250-hp 2.0-liter gasoline model is also available, while the US will get a 3.0-liter V6 version that produces 375 hp. Here's hoping the XF Sportbrake paves the way for a hardcore XFR-S or SVR variant. Prices in the UK start at 34,910 GBP ($44,335) for the entry-level diesel model which makes it $3,073 more expensive than the XF saloon, but more affordable than some of its German rivals in the premium wagon segment.