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11 Things to Know About the 2016 Jaguar XF

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 4/2/2015 Zach Gale
2016 Jaguar XF-S© Provided by MotorTrend 2016 Jaguar XF-S

"Of course we will change things eventually, but this is not the right time to do it," said Jaguar director of design Ian Callum about the redesigned 2016 XF at a 2015 New York auto show event. The revamped XF's styling may not be revolutionary, but the good-looker will actually offer some fascinating technology when it goes on sale this winter. At the event, Callum and others who worked on the XF during the midsize luxury sedan's development opened up, giving us a much better idea of why the car was executed the way it was. So if you've read our 2016 Jaguar XF First Look but can't get enough, dig into these extra bits of Jaguar fact and opinion.

11 Things to Know About the 2016 Jaguar XF

Timeless Styling? Callum, who also worked on the first-gen XF, said he loves the new car for its sense of solidity, suggesting there's no frivolity about it. The designer said he thinks it is going to be special in years to come. While it's too early to tell whether that's true or a bit of a stretch, Callum wisely noted that…

Sometimes, a car need only be a little different to get noticed. The XF competes in a crowded class, but its slim headlights and F-Type-like LED taillights should help make the most of its evolutionary, not revolutionary changes.

Months to get the right line : It took Jaguar's design team months, Callum said, to get right the character line that emerges from below the headlights, carries on across the side of the car, and droops slightly toward the rear end of the car's profile.

Related Link: See More New York Auto Show News

2016 Jaguar XF-S© Provided by MotorTrend 2016 Jaguar XF-S

New side windows = Impression of roominess : Callum pointed out that roominess is often more about more than just actual roominess, but the impression of space, too. And those new rear-quarter windows behind the rear doors provide extra light inside and might just make some passengers feel like the space is roomier, even though the drivetrain hump over the middle rear seat is, like many cars in this class, tall.

The XF has more rear-seat space, yet a lower roofline too : The magic here is, not surprisingly, thanks to the second-gen XF 's stretched wheelbase, explains vehicle line director Ian Hoban. With the wheelbase change, the rear seats can slide back more and go lower as well. Naturally, with the XF's added space, it has us wondering when the flagship XJ might get extra interior space…

Jaguar claims to have solved a long-time issue with head-up displays : My daily driver, the Motor Trend long-term 2015 Kia K900 V-8, happens to have an excellent head-up display. Like the one in the 2016 XF, it is capable of displaying lots of different bits of info, but Peter Virk, Jaguar's head of connected technologies and apps, confirmed one crucial difference between the automaker's system and most others currently available: it is said to work even when the driver is wearing polarized sunglasses.

Related Link: 10 Hot Cars at the New York International Auto Show

2016 Jaguar XF S© Provided by MotorTrend 2016 Jaguar XF S

Goodbye instrument cluster, hello 12.3 inches of navigation : The Jaguar XJ and Range Rover have offered a fully digital instrument cluster for years, and it's finally the XF's turn to join the digital party. The 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster will be offered in four modes and, from what little we saw of it, should be a massive improvement over the outgoing system. One cool feature: you can make the navigation maps and directions take up nearly the entire display (assuming the feature will make it to the U.S. market) if necessary.

Why the gimmicky air vent closure action is gone : Callum understands how important a sense of theater is when getting into and starting a car. That's why the transmission gear-selector disc rises from the center console after you hit the start button -- which still pulsates like a heart beatheartbeat. But what didn't make it to the second-gen XF from the original car were the air vent covers that opened and closed as you started or turned off the car, thanks to the new model's available 10.2-inch screen, Callum says.

Heat the rear seats from the driver's seat : With Jaguar's new InControl infotainment system, using the available 10.2-inch screen, the driver can activate the seat-heaters in the rear outboard seats -- helpful for when you're idling the car, waiting for someone to get inside.

2016 Jaguar XF S© Provided by MotorTrend 2016 Jaguar XF S

Why the 340-hp U.S. model will be called 35t : Automotive names can be incredibly confusing for new-car consumers, but at least with the 2016 Jaguar XF 35t, potential buyers will be equally confused while shopping, for example, an XF 35t against its intended competition that includes the BMW 535i, Mercedes-Benz E350, and Lexus GS 350, plus the Audi A6 3.0T. Go for the S model and, among other visual and performance improvements, you'll get another 40 hp. The 2016 XF S AWD goes to from 0-60 mph in a manufacturer-claimed 5.0 seconds.

How Jaguar can build a Maserati-fighter : Sadly, no Jaguar XE or XF is offered with the F-Type's superb Active Exhaust feature, which makes that drop-top snap, crackle, and pop as you giggle your way through empty tunnels at wide-open throttle. Perhaps if Jaguar ever decides to drop a 510-hp 5.0-liter supercharged V-8 under the hood, the Active Exhaust could make an appearance.

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