08 January 2007

Detroit show: Jaguar C-XF

Radical new Jag concept provides strong clues to future S-Type

Jaguar C-XF

Repeat after us: this is not the new S-Type, this is not the new S-Type...

No, this not the new S-type. Rather, it's the C-XF, Jaguar's vision of what its next-generation saloon just might look like, and one of the biggest draws at Detroit.

Although we've been getting glimpses and previews of the C-XF for the past couple of months, the most striking aspect in the flesh is just how... un-Jaguarish it looks.

Gone are the swooping old-school lines, replaced by high shoulders and a taut, muscular profile that looks - dare we say it - very Lexus-like.

It's the same story on the inside. Gone is the comfy, crusty brown leather, replaced by swathes of carbon-effect trim and semi-aniline leather. There's even a symbolic spit on the wood-grained Jags of old - strips of scorched wood sit on the doors and transmission tunnel.

The C-XF is powered by a reworked version of Jag's 4.2-litre supercharged V8. With 420bhp channelled through a six-speed auto 'box with sequential shift, the C-XF is limited to 155mph.

However, Jaguar reckons that with the restrictor off, you'd be on the scary side of 180mph before the C-XF broke sweat.

The C-XF is a brave move for Jaguar - out with the pipe and slippers, in with Japanese-inspired future chic. It might upset the brogue-wearing vanguard, but we reckon it's a step in the right direction.

Just don't call it the S-Type.

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