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2012 Jaguar XF Overview
Make no mistake, Jaguar is one of the world’s leading luxury brands. Its refresh of the 2012 XF has attempted to address style complaints from earlier years. This car is made to appeal to luxury drivers craving a sportier ride, and the redesign emphasizes this.
Under the hood, the car stays the same with a powerful 5.0-liter V8 engine for all trim levels. The XF Base and Portfolio offer 385 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque, the Supercharged ramps power to 470 hp and 424 lb-ft of torque, and the top-of-the-line R has 510 hp and 461 lb-ft of torque. All models are rear-wheel drive, and one of the car's biggest issues is that Jaguar needs to offer AWD to stay competitive. All models come with a 6-speed manual transmission with paddle shifters with winter and dynamic driving modes.
The Base comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, with 19- or 20-inchers as options; the Portfolio comes with 19-inch wheels, with 20-inchers available; and the R comes with 20-inch wheels. A variety of attractive spokes and metals are available for each level as well.
Outside, the car has received enough nips and tucks in the fascia to make any Hollywood superstar jealous. The head- and taillights have been pleasingly reshaped—distinctive LED running lights dot the car’s lower eyelids—and the front end has been re-sculpted to be more aerodynamic. This brings it more in line with the XJ (but we’re still not crazy about the lower grille).
Inside, one is greeted with a redesigned steering-wheel system, new front and rear seats, and a new color control screen. Silver buttons have been replaced with a more easy-to-read black finish. When one pushes the glowing Start button, a mini light-and-sound spectacle begins, as the Jag’s knob-controlled gear selector rises from the center console, adding a (tiny) thrill to the drive even while still in Park. The distinctive Jaguar interior has been further enhanced with new wood and leather options. Navigation, USB connectivity and Bluetooth are standard for all levels.
Once the drivetrain is engaged, the fun really begins. All levels are nimble and powerful, but the Supercharged and R trims really take it over the top, with an Adaptive Dynamics System that scans the road ahead and adjusts the suspension accordingly. Even with the Base engine, 0 to 60 is clocked at 5.5 seconds, while the R gets there in 4.7. Watch out for speeding tickets!
Safety features in the XF include front and side airbags for the front seats, side curtain airbags and an antilock braking system—standard in most cars of its class.