Jaguar is as eager as any other automaker to tap into the ballooning Chinese market, and the company’s latest effort brings chauffeur-driven luxury to the mid-size XF sedan. Making its debut at the Beijing auto show, the China-exclusive Jaguar XFL is a long-wheelbase version of the standard XF sedan that incorporates manyof the high-end luxury appointments and features of the larger XJL.
China’s emissions and fuel-economy restrictions are based on vehicle size and segments, which is the driving force behind lengthening the wheelbases of cars instead of opting for the next segment up. Chinese executives looking to stretch their legs will be able to treat themselves to 6.2 inches of additional legroom, and 4.5 inches of extra kneeroom. Those gains come courtesy of 5.5 inches of added wheelbase, for a total of 122 inches. The overall look of the Jaguar XF is preserved, with the same clean and simple lines visible in profile.
Rear-seat passengers will have access to a full entertainment system with monitors built into each rear headrest, Wi-Fi connectivity for up to eight devices, Jaguar’s suite of InControl Touch Pro connected apps and services (including the 10.2-inch display screen up front), and a 17-speaker Meridian surround sound system.
The luxurious office on wheels wouldn’t be complete without a few more bells and whistles, so the Jaguar XFL includes folding tables built into the backs of the front seats, heated and cooled rear seats that can massage your back, perforated Windsor leather, electric window blinds, and an all-new air ionization system that is especially important in smoggy urban centers like Beijing. Like in the new Audi A4 and Q7, Jaguar also now offers an exit detection system that warns passengers against opening the doors if traffic is approaching from the rear.
All Jaguar XFL models will be offered with an eight-speed automatic transmission sending power to the rear wheels, but customers will have a choice of three engines. A 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder will be offered in both 200-hp and 240-hp states of tune, but the range-topper will be the 340-hp, 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 currently at work in the U.S. market’s XF 35t.
Manufacturing for the Jaguar XFL will take place in China, representing the first Jaguar to be built at the company’s facility in Changshu. Sales will start in China mid-summer 2016.