This month's Blog comes to us from the magazine Jaguar World. Specifically its editor Matt Skelton.
Following the unveiling in Geneva at the beginning of March of what will Jaguar's most expensive production model since the XJ220- the $ 97,000 lb. XKR-S-at the end of the month came more details of what is likely to be the most affordable Jaguar in the marque's 2012 Model year line-up: the 2.2 litre diesel XF.
BUT, and this is a big but,, affordability is not its main selling point.... read on.
Rumors about the arrival of this engine in a Jaguar have been doing the rounds for some time now but, following global brand director Adrian Hallmark's confirmation in Geneva that it was on the way, more facts have been made available ahead of update details on the entire XF range. The nub of the matter is that the four-cylinder turbo diesel engine that will be available to order in the XF from late April will provide go enough for it to reach 60mph in eight seconds and push on to a top speed of 140mph, but with a combined fuel economy figure of 52.3mpg. True, those performance figures may not make for as sexy reading as the XKR-S's stats, but the frugality of the new model will prove attractive to a great many buyers in what are encreasingly expensive times for the motorist. In fact, Jaguar predicts that the 2.2-litre model will make up 60 percent of all XF sales.
Given that the UK 12,687 XFs were sold in 2010, and even considering that some potential future buyers who may well have plumped for a 3.0 litre diesel could no go for the smaller engined model, it's likely the 2.2 XF will attract a whole new group of economy conscious customers to Jaguar and away from rivals' models such as BMW's 520d. Winning them over can only be a good thing.
It'll be interesting too, of course, to see what aesthetic changes are coming for the XF. As you'll have no doubt already realised, the unusual colour scheme worn by the example in our photographs is no a new Yin-Yang inspired paint option, but camouflage covering front and rear end modifications. Regardless of how successful these will be - and you'll be able to judge for yourself-it's a sign of how competitive the motor industry is these days, that just over three years since it went on sale, the XF is already deemed worthy of a refresh. By those standards, the XK - five years on from its intial launch in 4.2 litre form - is positively long in the tooth...
That the XK has just won a 'most stylish coupe' award is testament to the continuing appeal of its design - aided of course by the introduction of those stonking 5.0 litre V8 engines at the beginning of 2009 along with bodywork changes - but work on its replacement must be nearing the final stages by now. Perhaps the XKR-S is the ultimate incarnation of Jaguar's current all--aluminium sports car? We'll have to wait and see on that one, but for now here's the info on Jaguars most fuel efficient production vehicle ever, a 2.2 litre four-cylinder diesel version of the XF. Driving the rear wheels through an eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox and with an intelligent 'stop-start' system, the engine will allow the xf to achieve a combined fuel economy figure of 52.3 mpg-giving a theoretical range of more than 800 miles-while emitting 149g/km CO2.
The four cylinder diesel unit's imminent arrival was first confirmed publically by Adrian Hallmark, Jaguar's global brand director at the Geneva motor show. Now, ahead of the release of full 2012 Model Year information later in April-amongst them styling changes to the XF - Jaguar has revealed further details of the newest addition to its engine line-up
Displacing 2,179cc, the four-cylinder turbocharged 16-valve unit produces peak power and torque figures of 0-60mph in eight seconds and a top speed of 140mph. The eight speed ZF transmission will swap ratios in 200 milliseconds and offers the driver the ability to make multiple downshifts via the paddle-shift system.
The 'intelligent' stop-start technology uses a tandem solenoid starter motor mated to a secondary battery and shuts down the engine in 300 milliseconds. Rapid restart is achieved through the use of a bi-directional crank sensor and fuel rail pressure holding system.
The 2.2 litre turbo diesel engine is a derivitive of a unit also in use by Land Rover, but its installation in the XF has required significant re-engineering both to accommodate it north-south configuration and th meet the NVH properties suitable for a Jaguar. Active engine mounts, a twin-layer bulkhead, water-cooled turbocharger, low friction pistons, modified sump and block, new camshaft and Piezo injectors and innovative sound deadening material are just some of many innovative features on the XF installation.
The 2.2 litre diesel XF will go on sale in the UK in late April- prices are to be confirmed, but it's epected to account for 60 percent of all XF sales. Deliveries will begin in September.
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