What is it?
You're looking at Jaguar's biggest selling model. Well, it will be when it reaches the showroom in September. The XF is rightfully acclaimed, but its lack of a four-cylinder turbodiesel has always held it back in the sales stakes - its Germanic rival's entry-level diesels typically take around three quarters of overall sales. So Jaguar has popped a 2.2-litre turbodiesel under the XF's re-profiled bonnet and mated it to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Is it any good?
We can only tell you about the engine and transmission for now, as Jaguar has hidden the XF's new styling under some swirly-patterned disguising. That said, our early drive reveals that the 2.2-litre turbodiesel does little to reduce the XF's appeal; indeed, with a combined fuel consumption figure of 52.3mpg and CO2 emissions of 149g/km, the new 2.2-litre engine will open up the XF to a whole new range of business buyers.
The economy and emissions minded among you might notice that, impressive as those numbers are, they're bettered by cars like BMW's 520d and Audi's new A6 2.0 TDI; however, the lower anticipated price of the XF should offset the differences in company car tax.
In partnership with the super-smooth eight-speed automatic gearbox, the engine's 188bhp and ample torque ensure that this XF delivers effortless performance, along with fine refinement. Jaguar's engineers have worked tirelessly to reduce vibrations from under the bonnet, and their work has paid off. There's little noise at idle, and on the move the 2.2-litre unit is virtually silent - while the stop-start operation that helps the XF achieve its economy and emissions figures is both quiet and fast acting. Performance is competitive too, with the XF 2.2 D covering the 0-62mph sprint in 8.5 seconds and reaching a maximum of 140mph.
Should I call the bank manager?
The XF 2.2 D should start at around £29,000, undercutting its closest German rivals by a decent margin. Equipment levels promise to be competitive too, including the standard fitment of that eight-speed automatic - Jaguar claims not to have any plans to offer a manual version.
Jaguar is aiming to open up a whole new range of markets with both new models and new derivatives of existing cars. The addition of the 2.2-litre turbodiesel to the XF line-up seems like an obvious place to start; it is certain to add sales to the XF's existing customer base. It's an impressive installation too, offering the performance and refinement you'd expect from Jaguar, yet with emissions and economy figures that make it appealing to business users.