XF Sportbrake: the Jaguar of SUVs

Jaguar has taken the wraps off the XF Sportbrake before its official premiere at the Geneva Motor Show. While not every detail is available on this super-sleet cat wagon, one thing has become clear; it is the quintessential British aristocrat machine.

To understand this better, it will be good to know how Jaguar's now stable mate, the Range Rover, gained popularity. The Range Rover acquired luxury accessories and stature as they became the vehicle of choice for the wealthy land owners of the United Kingdom. These people liked a vehicle that could carry their dogs, tow the horse carrier, and also be used to go anywhere on their vast estates. This may seem a little bit like a of a British stereotype, but this is the birth of how we see the Range Rover today. While the super-slick appearance of XF Sportbrake may not look like it is after this old money crowd, it is positioning the wagon in the Range Rover's tradition.

For starters, Jaguar has only announced diesel powertrains for the Sportbrake: the 2.2-liter turbo four-cylinder and 3.0-liter turbo six-cylinder units making 187 hp and 271 hp respectively. More importantly, the torque in these engines are 332 lb-ft in the four-cylinder and 442 lb-ft in the six-cylinder. This means the six-cylinder Jag wagon has more torque than the 6.2-liter gas V8 in the Ford F-150 Raptor.

That kind of power gives the XF Sportbrake a towing capacity of 4,075 lbs. That is about 1,000 lbs less than what can be had from most SUVs in this country, but it is still not bad from a unibody car. It should be plenty of pulling power to get the horses to the polo match. Plus, Jaguar adds its Trailer Sway Mitigation system that uses car's anti-lock braking and stability control systems to reduce the risk swaying when towing.