If you're of the opinion that the world needs fewer bloated crossovers and SUVs and more station wagons, first of all, you're in good company. Wagons can offer all the cargo capacity and most of the versatility of their taller siblings, only without the wobbly handling and excess weight. Secondly, today's your day, because Jaguar has unleashed its new XF Sportbrake.

Based, as you might have guessed, on the XF sedan, the Sportbrake offers the longer roofing and extra space embraced by European buyers over their saloon counterparts. In fact, the XF Sportbrake offers 550 liters (19 cubic feet) of cargo space with the rear seats in place, or 1,675 liters (59 cu. ft.) with the rear seats folded flat. That's roughly comparable to the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate (20.5/57.4 cu. ft. with seats up/down) and Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon (25/58), or in crossover terms, about what you get in an Audi Q5 (29.1/57.3) and a bit less than the back of a Porsche Cayenne (23.7/62.9).

Jaguar in turn says structural integrity is just as stiff as the sedan's, and rear seat headroom has incidentally increased by 48 mm (1.9 inches). All that, and the Sportbrake weighs just 70 kg (154 pounds) more than its four-door counterpart, offset by a self-leveling air suspension. Couple that with a torquey diesel – with either 2.2 liters of capacity in four cylinders or 3.0 liters in six – and an eight-speed automatic transmission and you're looking at an intriguing alternative for towing the motor launch down to the yacht club.

What Jaguar isn't saying, however, is what (if any) of its gasoline engines will be offered in the Sportbrake – most pertinently the V8 and supercharged mills – or for that matter if there are any plans to bring the stately estate to the U.S. market, but we wouldn't hold our breath (that whole X-Type wagon thing didn't work out too well last time). What you can do, however, is scope out the high-res images in the gallery and the press release after the jump until next week when the long-back cat debuts under the floodlights of the Geneva Motor Show.
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- First images of the new XF Sportbrake unveiled ahead of the Geneva Motor Show
- New variant based on the XF platform – maximum load volume of 1,675-litres
- Small increase in weight and footprint and a chassis structure that equals the rigidity of the saloon means the handling characteristics of the conventional XF are retained
- UK sales to commence later this year

The new Jaguar XF Sportbrake has been unveiled ahead of its public debut at the Geneva Motor Show and promises to be the most versatile Jaguar ever created.

Sharing its underpinnings with the XF saloon, the Sportbrake's overall length grows by just 5mm, its weight by less 70kg and its chassis structure matches the strength of the conventional XF. These characteristics mean the Sportbrake can closely match the acclaimed handling of the XF saloon yet offers a large and highly practical load space.

Every panel on the XF Sportbrake, from the B-Pillar rearwards, is new. The strong silver signature line running the length of the car is extended while the C-Pillar is finished in gloss black, a trait shared with the XJ saloon. Slim rear light units extend into a strong chrome crossmember that dominates the rear of the car. The result is a car that blends style and function with the rear seat occupants benefitting from 48mm of extra rear headroom.

The large, practical tailgate can be specified with power struts, opening to reveal a wide and highly versatile load space. Measuring 550-litres with the rear seats up, the boot is framed by a set of useful cubby compartments. With the seats folded, the total volume grows to 1,675-litres.

Practical touches are prevalent – and standard equipment – on the XF Sportbrake. Remote fold levers are mounted within the boot area to lower the rear seats – negating the need to stretch into the boot. Powerful LEDs throw a pool of light onto the ground when the boot is open while the tailgate itself features a soft close function, avoiding any requirement for it to be slammed. Set into the boot floor is a panel that splits into three sections to allow smaller loads to be neatly wedged and avoiding a precious or fragile cargo being thrown about. A tray mounted under the boot floor helps protect valuable items.

Beneath the car there are extensive changes to the rear suspension. Self-levelling air suspension aids driving dynamics and means the Sportbrake can serve as an accomplished tow vehicle.

Powering the XF Sportbrake will be a range of efficient yet powerful diesel engines in 2.2-litre four cylinder and 3.0-litre six-cylinder form, each directing drive through the rear wheels via an advanced eight-speed automatic gearbox.

Prices and specifications will be announced nearer the time of the launch of the Sportbrake, set to take place in the third quarter of 2012.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      Wagons are for people who like sedans or coupes but need a little more cargo space from time to time. Those people who buy SUVs wouldn't consider a wagon since the main difference is ride height and the perceived "stronger/safer/more macho" image that is really the only selling point. Both types of vehicles carry a bunch of people with a bunch of stuff and can do it with all 4 wheels being driven. Maybe there are fewer customers that would buy lovely looking wagons that are a pleasure to drive as opposed to chit brick houses on wheels.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Stunning. I'd love to park one next to my current Jag. Bring it to the U.S. please!
      Karl T
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'll take one....
      Timothy Tibbetts
      • 3 Years Ago
      I have always hated station wagons as a general rule. Not anymore.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Excellent looking design. Love the play of the chrome outline on the back pillar and the rest blacked out as glass look.Now I wonder if the States will see it at all. I have no interest in SUV's and I know they sell but I don't like them from a handling point of view and estates/wagons/sportbrakes... whatever you want to call them appeal to me much more as you can still load them up but take it through the twisty bits... Well done Jag.
      • 3 Years Ago
      love it!
      • 3 Years Ago
      Please bring this to North America... I'm sick and tired finding all of the European manufacturers not sending their Estate (station wagons) vehicles over to this side of the pond. BMW is now reconsidering bring their new 5-series, due to the failure of the 5-series GT.
        • 3 Years Ago
        noone in north america will buy an estate ... it's all about those big and thirsty suvs over here !
      • 3 Years Ago
      That is one seriously good looking wagon. Love the fact that Cadillac and now Jag have wagons in their portfolio - getting as many people as possible out of SUVs is a good thing.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Completely agree... "getting as many people as possible out of SUV is a good thing".... better driving dynamics, less pollution, less "consumption" of parking soil... and....last but not least....better safety in the unfortunate case of collision.... ;-)
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's a rare feat to produce a sexy station wagon. *With the down sizing of SUVs to CUVs, it's just a matter of time until the ole station wagon is king again. :-)
        • 3 Years Ago
        Audi and Alfa Romeo might have something to say about that, but still, very glad this exists.
        • 3 Years Ago
        "It's a rare feat to produce a sexy station wagon" Might just be me, but personally I find almost every wagon iteration (whether Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Volvo) to be much sexier than their sedan counterparts. I guess I just like a little junk in my trunk!
          • 3 Years Ago
          I just wish we could get an awd Buick Regal turbo wagon. (was under development, but recently canceled)
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is a good move for Jaguar, which can finally pitch against the A6 Avant and 5-series Touring. Coupled with the British shooting brake looks and references, this will be a resounding success in Europe.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I'm not still sure... I suspect that an "average" Continental European buyer will think, looking at this: "Very good-looking station/estate... but.... It's not German...." and so, if this car will not offer "more at the same (or slightly lower) price" than its Audi/BMW/Mercedes counterparts it will be difficult to sell in (relatively) large numbers...
      • 3 Years Ago
      Can't wait for XK-RS Sportbrake.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Hmm this or a cts sports wagon. decisions decisions.
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