Photographs of the new Jaguar XF look great but, still, they do not really do this big cat justice.
In the flesh, it’s much, much better. It’s positively stunning, a form that merges delicate exquisiteness and dynamic boldness together into a very seamless, flowing whole.
Whatever you might choose to call it, the XF – which was unveiled locally last night at Sisma Auto’s Jaguar showcase showroom in Pavilion Kuala Lumpur – is one very cool cat.
A single red start button, which pulses like a heartbeat, brings the beast to life. This activates the all-new JaguarDrive Selector, an industry-first rotary shift interface, which rises smoothly into the palm of your hand in a unique design feature called the Jaguar Handshake.
Other innovations include air-conditioning vents that present a flush dashboard surface until the ignition is switched on, at which point they elegantly rotate to the open position. Elsewhere, JaguarSense introduces touch or proximity-sensing control for overhead console lights and the glovebox release; the last is definitely novel in use.
Justin Weaving, regional business manager for Jaguar Land Rover, who was present at the launch, said that the XF marks the beginning of a new era for Jaguar.
“The reception that we’ve had globally, from the markets, the customers and the media, has been outstanding. We’re not expecting it to be a flash in the pan. It is very much part of our business plan of obtaining sustained growth,” he said.
There have been 15 pre-launch bookings, all made sight unseen and without confirmed pricing, according to Syed Khalil Syed Ibrahim of Sisma Auto.
These will be the lucky ones to get their hands on one quickly. With more than 12,000 pre-launch orders globally for the vehicle, it isn’t surprising to find that Jaguar is struggling to cope with demand.
“Clearly, demand is outstripping supply, but we are looking to see what we can do to rectify that, not just for this year but also going forward,” Weaving said.
Syed Khalil added that, locally, expectations are that after mid-year, production allocation should come up to a more unconstrained supply of vehicles.
“With the S-Type, we were doing about 80 to 100 units in total a year. I think this proposition is a more compelling, more dynamic one, so we’re looking at not only existing Jaguar loyalists as customers, but winning new ones as well.”
Judging by the form, this cat should have be no problem winning lots of new friends.