Jag’s Audi A6 rival will receive a raft of technological improvements and new look to match the smaller XE.
Jaguar is readying an extensive mid-life upgrade for its XF range, and we’ve now seen the Sportbrake variant testing with minimal disguise.
Following the updated XE and tipped to arrive before similar revisions to the F-Pace SUV in the coming months, the executive car will benefit from design updates along with a raft of technological improvements aimed at restoring its competitive edge to the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes E-Class and Audi A6.
These new images reveal that the facelift will bring new bumpers at the front and rear, as well as slimmer headlights in line with the recently facelifted F-Type.
Speaking in 2019 at the new XE’s unveiling, senior product planning manager Wayne Darley said the XF was “the next priority”.
“If you look at when those two cars [XF and F-Pace] went on sale – late 2015 and early 2016 – that gives you a good idea of the timings”.
The changes will be as significant as the XE (shown below), with evolved exterior looks but significant cabin upgrades, focusing on a substantial boost in perceived quality and new technology features. Like the smaller saloon, the XF is set to adopt features from the I-Pace, including a new secondary central screen for the climate control functions and a new steering wheel.
Both cars will also join the XE in receiving RDE2-compliant diesel engines, which Darley said required a “huge push” on the engineering side to ensure the XE was the first car in its class to market with the ultra-efficient engines ahead of an emissions regulation change in 2021.
What remains unclear, however, is whether the XF S will return. The new XE will no longer be available with the supercharged V6 S variant for the rest of its lifecycle, while V6 petrol and diesel versions of the F-Pace and XF are no longer on sale.
Jaguar Land Rover has released a new inline six-cylinder petrol engine in the Range Rover Sport, but with the XE S axed due to slow sales it remains to be seen whether that engine will return to the larger models.
The prototype spied previously sports a petrol powerplant, according to number plate data, but there is no indication it uses a mild hybrid system as such checks commonly reveal. It remains to be seen if the model will benefit from the same efficiency-boosting 48v electrified system as its Land Rover cousins – but given the XF’s older platform, it’s not likely.