Spied: 2013 Jaguar XF Sportbrake

Jaguar’s upcoming estate version of the XF (dubbed Jaguar XF Sportbrake) has been scooped in testing for the first time ahead of its 2012 launch. The load-lugging XF will carry the Sportbrake name for production and is set to be revealed at the Geneva motor show in March.

These spy pictures, taken outside Jaguar’s Whitley engineering centre, reveal a gently sloping roofline, sharply raked tailgate and subtle rear spoiler for the Sportbrake to help maintain the sporty profile of the XF saloon. The Sportbrake also looks to be the same length as the 4961mm-long saloon, as the rear overhang has not been increased.

Jaguar engineers are understood to have provided the XF Sportbrake with a load capacity similar to that of the Audi A6 Avant and BMW 5-series Touring, which have figures of 565-litres and 560-litres respectively. The desire to provide the Sportbrake with a sporty profile means it won’t be able to match the class-leading Mercedes E-class estate’s load capacity figure of 695-litres.

The XF Sportbrake is identical to its saloon sibling from the B-pillars forwards. The heavy disguise over the rear lights indicate that Jaguar may be tempted to offer a different styling direction for the XF Sportbrake to give it greater visual distinction over the saloon. Some sources have suggested it may even borrow the rear light design and blacked-out rear pillar treatment from the XJ to bridge the gap between the XF and XJ saloons.

The engine range of the XF Sportbrake is likely to mirror the saloon’s, with the exception of the supercharged 5.0-litre V8 from the XFR. That means 2.2-litre four-cylinder and 3.0-litre V6 diesels will be offered alongside the normally aspirated 5.0-litre V8 petrol.

The XF Sportbrake is only the second estate in Jaguar’s history, after the X-Type wagon. The model was not part of the original XF’s product plan, as the word ‘estate’ was off-limits at Jaguar after the X-Type. But the popularity of premium estate cars in Europe, in particular the UK, has convinced bosses that an estate version of the XF is a necessity.

Another imminent development to the XF range is the addition of all-wheel-drive. Jaguar boss Adrian Hallmark said all-wheel drive XFs, along with all-wheel drive XJs, were “critical”, in particular to the company’s growth in the US market.

“In the snowbelt of America it accounts for 70 per cent of sales, and overall it accounts for 30 per cent of sales, so we are working on it and in the final stages of a decision. It is core to our future offering,” he said.

Thanks to: Autocar


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