Jaguar has launched the estate version of its XF sports saloon, dubbed Sportbrake. Shooting brake is a traditional term for an estate—especially a posh one—and the Tata-owned brand has blended part of the term with the close-coupled, sporting nature of the XF range.
For once, this Jaguar has grace, space and pace. The XF Sportbrake is a mere 5 mm longer than the saloon, with only a tiny increase in weight (less than 70 kg—considering the weight of a rear door and the associated structure, this is very little). The chassis rigidity, Jaguar says, is the same as the saloon’s, meaning that handling should be almost identical to the acclaimed original model.
Every panel from the B-pillar back is new. The blacked-out D-pillar works to good effect on the Sportbrake, better than on the larger XJ where the design feature ﬁrst appeared.
The boot space is 550 l with the rear seats up, increasing to 1,675 l with them down.
The rear suspension has been changed to accommodate the body style. There is self-levelling air suspension on these models. All models are rear-wheel-drive with an eight-speed automatic gearbox.
It’s not Jaguar’s ﬁrst factory estate: that honour goes to the X-type Estate, a model developed when the company was under American ownership.