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First Drive: 2012 Jaguar XF


While Jaguar toils away at designing a new and "proper" C-segment car to replace the unlamented X-Type (it's three to four years away), the JAGUAR XF ranks as the volume model. As such, the company has been clucking and fussing over it almost constantly since its 2008 launch. For 2012, the interior and exterior get a good going-over. Exterior enhancements were predicted by the CXF concept that appeared just prior to the production launch, and they leverage technology that now makes some of that concept's styling cues production feasible. Examples include the LED daytime running lamp treatment (which has come to be expected on cars in the class), and the "Tron"-look light-blade taillamp illumination that now extends onto the decklid.

 The whole nose is new, including the fenders, fascia, grille, and the aluminum hood, which features a longer, taller power bulge and a little flick on the trailing edge to get the air up and over the wipers for reduced wind noise. (XFRs also get functional hood vents.) The crosshatch grille is set an inch deeper and stands slightly more upright to better resemble the XJ's, and comes in a chrome or gloss black finish (XFR only). The hood cutline above the headlamps lends the visage a slightly more sinister scowl. The little chrome blades in the lower fascia have a more sculptural twist, while the XFR gets a much more aggressive jutting chin with two chrome-ringed air inlets. (The one on the driver side is now blocked off for improved aerodynamics, as it proved unnecessary for cooling.)

 Fender ornamentation trades the vertical graphic for a sleeker horizontal one atop a sail-shaped "vent" like the CXF's. Around back, the chrome plinth that conceals the trunk release, reverse camera, and license-plate illumination no longer spells out Jaguar, and hence has been visually slimmed with a strip of piano-black. A leaping cat centered above this chrome strip now provides the brand identity, and new oval exhaust outlets replace the more difficult to align trapezoidal ones. R models get a new spoiler to aerodynamically balance the more aggressive front chin, and the lower fascia features a venturi look (they're never very functional with this much ground clearance). New wheels for all models complete the exterior transformation.

(Source)


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