Bosses confirmed new Jaguar XF Sportbrake will arrive in 2017, and now we’ve caught the practical load-lugger testing
Despite rumours that an internal SUV boom would see the death of Jaguar’s XF Sportbrake estate, pictures are starting to surface of the new model testing. The images come after Sales Operations Director Andy Goss confirmed the Sportbrake’s existence at this year’s Paris Motor Show.
The new Jaguar XF Sportbrake takes its styling cues from the sleek saloon model, which first appeared at the end of 2015. It’s been a long wait for the more practical estate version, but our pictures show it undergoing extensive testing at the Nurburgring race track in Germany.
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From the front it’s instantly recognisable as Jag’s big load-lugger, but at the rear we can clearly see the high roofline and more versatile load bay. It’s our first proper look at the back of the car, too, which although heavily camouflaged, appears to use similar tail lights to the saloon.
Jaguar design director Ian Callum put the record straight about the new XF Sportbrake in an exclusive interview with Auto Express, earlier this year.
“I was misquoted saying we’d never build another wagon,” Callum told us. “I was asked if we’d ever build an XE wagon – and we won’t.” When asked about an XF estate, he added: “That would be a very pretty car.”
Jaguar sales boss Andy Goss reiterated this when he addressed the media at this year’s Paris Motor Show: “There are going to be more additions to the Jaguar family in 2017 and I can confirm that one of these will be the new XF Sportbrake,” he said.
Boot space is set to be slightly up on the saloon’s, at around 600 litres, while with the rear seats folded, space will be larger than before – 1,700 litres is feasible. The usual floor rail fixing system and powered tailgate are expected, too.
Engines and trims will mirror those in the saloon range, with entry-level 161bhp and 178bhp 2.0-litre diesels in Prestige, R-Sport and Portfolio specs. There will also be an S car with 297bhp, a 375bhp V6 petrol and an extreme SVR model to rival the Mercedes-AMG and Audi RS estates.
The new car could debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2017, before likely going on sale later next year.
To visualise the car, we mocked up how the new model might look. Our exclusive images show the XF without disguise, sporting the same sleek front end as the new XF, with its more upright grille. The swept-back headlamps with Jag’s J-blade LED light signature also feature.
The rear profile won’t be too different to the outgoing model’s, adopting a more coupe-like shape than a traditional estate. We expect the back window to be shallower – as it is on the F-Pace SUV – with the distinctive twin half-hoop LED lights from the saloon.
Callum told us: “I’m a wagon fan. And there’s a sense of obligation that once you’ve started a range, you need to continue for your customers and hope to grow with it.”
The design director went on to confirm that there was interest in the XF Sportbrake from the traditionally estate-averse Chinese market. “I’ve spoken to a number of Chinese about wagons,” he said. “There’s a general feeling that as the market changes and families grow, the need for a more practical car than a sedan becomes more necessary.”