2012 Jaguar XF styling: did you know?

Jaguar ran yet another superb press event for the 2012 Jaguar XF, at its Whitley engineering centre.

The firm really is masters of these events: it knows exactly what journos want, and lays it on with militaristic efficiency*.

Take the 2012 Jaguar XF’s styling. Who better to outline the changes than the man in charge?

Enter Jaguar chief design director Wayne Burgess, who explained all about what they call the ‘best refresh Jaguar has ever done’.

‘Refreshening projects provide a good opportunity for the design team. They’ve had time to see the car on the road, look at in detail, and see where they can improve. It also allows them to deliver things they didn’t get in before.’

To show all, he took us on a tour round the car…

DRL a la C-XF

The new Jaguar signature daytime running graphic, and the lights themselves, mimic the C-XF. They weren’t done at launch because ‘the technology wasn’t ready back then’.

Floating headlight elements

High-gloss black elements inside the headlights make the chrome elements look like they’re ‘floating’.

Light catching feature line

In the new front bumper, near the bottom side corner, there’s a light-catching feature line. This is to lead the eye along the side of the body: ‘In Jaguar design, every line is meant to lead your else to somewhere else. This is how you make cars elegant and smooth.’

Aero flick on bonnet

The imperceptible flick on the trailing edge of the bonnet diverts airflow away from the windscreen wipers – responding to customer comments by lessening wind noise.

Chrome minimalism

‘There is not a lot of chrome on the car, but where we do use it, it has to be exquisite – like cufflinks on a tailored suit.’

Reduced bootlid bar weight

‘We felt the chrome on the rear signature bar was too heavy, so we’ve slimmed it for 2012. We couldn’t minimise the actual unit, though: it contains lights, reversing camera, emergency lock and electric release.’ Jaguar has thus incorporated a high-gloss black element, to visually slim it down.

New tail pipes

Ellipse instead of trapezoidal exhausts simplify the rear end, and also make it easier to build. ‘The old tail pipes made any misalignment easy to see. With ellipses, it’s easier to hide.’

New seats

‘Customers complained the previous seats were too flat. We’ve thus given them more side bolstering.’

Silver dash buttons become black

‘The old silver ‘hid-till-lit-graphic’ buttons looked great but were hard to use. On a sunny day, they would wash out. We’ve thus fitted black buttons with white graphics to the centre console – with a soft-feel finish to ensure they still have a premium feel.’ New ‘hard key’ sat nav buttons take users straight to the nav screen and other key destinations.

New instrument pack

Jaguar has replaced the monochrome screen between the dials with a full-colour TFT display. ‘This was too late to market and too expensive at launch – now we can do it.’

Bolder XFR

‘The original design team had no idea of how potent the XFR would be. We designed a styling pack that we thought would be appropriate – but at launch, it became clear this was a real wolf in sheep’s clothing. We’ve thus now made it a wolf in wolf’s clothing…’

XFR rear spoiler

Why does the XFR have a rear bootlid spoiler? To balance the aero. ‘The XF is naturally well-balanced aerodynamically. A bigger front bumper adds to the front – to balance this, we’ve had to increase the size of the rear spoiler.’

Real carbon fibre

‘The carbon fibre inside is authentic, as with all Jaguars. We don’t do mock carbon fibre…’

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* So, what DOES make a great press event? Bags of detail, engaging presentations from the actual people who engineered the cars, ample time and no marketing nonsense. Jaguar (and Land Rover) NEVER lets fluff enter into these events, simply giving us the facts in as much detail as possible. No daft tours of vineyards or coach rides to the middle of nowhere, either – just pure businesslike and professional efficiency. Top stuff.