Following the successful launch of the new flagship XJ sedan, Jaguar set its sights on updating the rest of its line-up with significant changes for 2012. Ian Callum, the man responsible for this design renaissance at Jaguar, helped introduce both cars at the 2011 New York Auto Show which include a mid-cycle refresh for the sleek Jaguar XF sedan and minor styling and packaging changes for the sporty Jaguar XK coupe.
After keeping its designs pretty much the same over the last five decades, Jaguar pulled the trigger on a quick design change on its popular XF after just three years on the market. The most noticeable change on the 2012 Jaguar XF is the new headlights which fall more in line with those of the 2007 Jaguar C-XF Concept and the Jaguar XJ. Instead of the scalloped headlights that debuted on the XF in 2009, the new 2012 shows more attitude with narrower lights that no longer have an eyebrow shape carried over from historic Jaguar designs such as the previous XJ and the defunct S-Type and X-Type. These headlights also house a strip of LEDs for the daytime running lights in the shape of a 'J'? (called the Jaguar J-blade) which appears to be a new element being incorporated onto Jaguar designs. The new headlight design also meant a reshaped hood, but the front of the 2012 XF is further improved with a more upright front fascia and grille. Aside from the front end design, the new Jaguar XF is also recognizable by the smaller fender vents and the restyled LED taillights. Inside, Jaguar changed the seats and instrument panel while adding the same 1200-watt Bowers & Wilkins audio system used in the XJ as an option.
Of course, the biggest news was the new styling of the performance tuned 2012 Jaguar XFR which now features a design that is more distinct and aggressive than the standard XF sedan. The XFR is still powered by a supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 producing 510 horsepower, but it now has an exterior styling that better differentiates it from other XF models. The R badges, hood vents and oversized wheels are still present on the new XFR, but the front fascia adds to the aggressiveness of the new design with larger lower air intakes and dark mesh inserts. The rear view of the 2012 XFR still features quadruple exhaust outlets and a decklid spoiler, and the center portion of the rear fascia now houses a blacked-out air diffuser.
'The XF has rightly been recognized as a quintessential Jaguar sedan. It is purposeful yet elegant, with inherent sporting intent in its design. For the latest version we have been able to evolve and enhance that performance character,'? said Callum.
Like the XF, the 2012 Jaguar XK received notable styling upgrades but not as severe as the mid-size sedan. New front and rear designs help give the 2012 XK a fresher, more distinct look than the current styling which was created while Jaguar and Aston Martin were both under the control of Ford Motor Company. The headlights of the new XK feature the same LED J-blade as the XF, and the performance-tuned XFR also receives a more distinctive appearance than the base XK models.
Above all the design updates, though, the show-stopper at the Jaguar booth is definitely the all-new XKR-S (pictured) which received its North American debut. This model features 550 horsepower and 502 lb-ft of torque making it the most powerful production Jaguar ever and one of the fastest with acceleration from zero to 60 miles per hour happening in just 4.2 seconds.
Even after just a year on the market, the Jaguar XJ also received some changes for the 2012 model year. The biggest news for the 2012 Jaguar XJ is the addition of the new Rear Seat Comfort package on both standard- and extended-wheelbase offerings. This package adds even more luxury to the rear-seat occupants by giving them the ability to recline their seats as well as offering adjustable lumbar support and even a massage function. Other changes include new interior color options and the availability of the Illumination Package on all trim levels.
'An XJ is the ultimate in comfort, design and refinement. The bespoke interior changes we have incorporated for the 2012 model make it an even more special place to drive or be driven,'? said Callum.
Pricing and availability for the 2012 Jaguar line-up were about the only things not announced at the auto show.
Photos by Jeffrey N. Ross