Ah, Europe: The land of forbidden wagons. Automakers like Cadillac and Acura may have taken a chance and brought out new wagons in the United States over the past few years, but it doesn't mean that the Yankee market will be flooded with useful premium cargo-haulers anytime soon. A shame, too, since Jaguar's new XF Sportbrake is an estate we'd love to see parked at Autoblog Towers. She's pretty.

We love the look of the refreshed-for-2012 XF, and thankfully, none of the cat's sleekness has been tainted with the addition of a larger hind quarters. The car goes on sale in Europe in the third quarter of 2012 with a choice of two diesel engines measuring 2.2 and 3.0 liters. Either powerplant is matched with an eight-speed automatic and sends its power exclusively to the rear wheels.

Take some time to drool over the XF Sportbrake by clicking through our attached high-res image gallery and hit the jump for the details in Jaguar's press release.
Show full PR text
THE NEW JAGUAR XF SPORTBRAKE

- 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.