Unveiled by the world’s top-rated tennis player and two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, the 2018 Jaguar XF Sportbrake looks fully prepared to live up to its pre-release hype. "The iconic Jaguar posters of the 1950s promised customers grace, pace and space,” noted Ian Callum, Jaguar Director of Design at the reveal. “The XF Sportbrake re-imagines this offer for 21st-century active families, with stunning looks, sports car performance and a load space fit for active lifestyles."

Wagon with a wow factor

A potential rival for vehicles like the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Wagon and Volvo V90, Jag did confirm that here in the U.S., all XF Sportbrake models will come with all-wheel drive and be fitted with the same 380-horsepower/3.0-liter Supercharged V6 as the XF Sedan with which it shares basic platform architecture. Backed by a paddle-shiftable 8-speed automatic transmission it can send this new wagon from 0-60 mph in a brisk 5.3 seconds.

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In keeping with Jaguar tradition, the new Sportbrake puts a premium on handling. It features a custom-tuned version of the XF Sedan’s setup that retains the conventional double-wishbone setup in front but replaces steel coil springs with self-leveling air suspension on the multilink package at the rear. Like the Sedan, the Sportbrake also comes with Configurable/Adaptive Dynamics and All-Surface Progress Control plus torque vectoring and Hill Launch Assist.

Practical beauty

The Sportbrake scores equally high marks for excellence in curbside appeal. Wrapped in sleek bodywork that earns a solid 0.29 coefficient of drag, the Sportbrake matches Adaptive LED headlamps with slender F-Type-styled LED taillamps and rounds out the mix with 20-inch alloy wheels, a large fixed glass panoramic roof with an electric-powered shade and a hands-free Power Gesture Tailgate.

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Inside, this new Jaguar pampers passengers in its leather-lined cabin with features like a power tilt/telescoping steering column, dual power/heated front seats with memory, ambient lighting, a navigation system and a 380-watt Meridian Sound system with an 8.0-inch touchscreen. When hauling stuff takes precedence over people, folding the backs on its 40/20/40 spilt rear bench increases the Sportbrake’s basic 31.7 cu ft cargo capacity to a cave-like 69.7 cubes.

On sale late this year, the 2018 Jaguar XF Sportbrake S opens at $71,445. It also will be available in a $73,095 Sportbrake First Edition that boasts even more premium features including a 12.3-inch Interactive Driver Display, 10.0-inch Touch Pro infotainment system with SSD-based Navigation, an 825-watt Meridian sound system and dedicated internet connectivity.

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