Jaguar’s S-Type replacement, the XF, poses a serious threat to rival marques BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz, according to motoring experts. The new premium saloon will be unveiled at the Frankfurt International Motor Show next month and goes on sale in the UK next year.
Analysts believe the new model will appeal to a much wider market than previous Jaguars and, coupled with the success of its sports car the XK, indications are that the struggling marque is starting to turn the corner. The news comes as cash-strapped Ford prepares to sell Jaguar and its sister brand Land Rover in an attempt to raise much-needed funds.
EurotaxGlass UK head of market intelligence Jason King says: “Drivers of BMW, Audi and Mercedes – many of whom will never have experienced Jaguar before – will consider the brand when it is time to change, thanks to the XF.”
CAP Motor Research manufacturer relationship manager Martin Ward adds: “The new Jaguar XF has not only caught up with its nearest competitors, but has now overtaken them.”
The XF will go up against rivals such as the BMW 5-Series. It emerged last year that Jaguar was axing the S-Type and replacing it with the XF (MW November 30, 2006). The S-Type was criticised for being overly conservative. It sold 50,000 models globally at its peak in 2000, but last year sales fell to 25,000.
Jaguar UK managing director Geoff Cousins says: “It [the XF] combines the emotional appeal of a modern Jaguar with all the rational appeal of a spacious five-seater sports saloon.”