Is today the dawn of a new era for Jaguar or just another 24 hours of circling the drain? The very first Jaguar XF sedan rolled off of the production line today at the company's Castle Bromwich plant in jolly old England, so what happens next is anyone's guess. The car is a Vapour Grey 4.2L V8 SV8 model (that's the supercharged one) and surprisingly will not be sold to the public. Despite Jaguar desperately needing the profit from every car sold, the first one is being donated to the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust collection. The rest will go on sale next March in 66 markets, including the U.S. where interest in the new cat is high, at least for a Jaguar. That's a bit unfair, as the XK and XKR are gems that garner quite a bit of praise, from us included. Nevertheless, until Jaguar starts delivering the XF, we can't say whether it follows in the footsteps of the forgettable S-Type it's replacing or aspires to be the four-door version of Jaguar's wonderful coupe.
JAGUAR's FIRST XF ROLLS OFF THE PRODUCTION LINE
Castle Bromwich, West Midlands, 26 November 2007 – Today marked the beginning of an exciting new era for Jaguar Cars as the first Jaguar XF rolled off the production line at the company's Castle Bromwich plant.
The XF, which is available to order now, has already been heralded by some of the UK's most influential motoring publications for its stunning new design language, winning Autocar magazine's 'Design of the Year' award and the 'Interior of the Year Award 2007' from CAR magazine.
The first production car, a Vapour Grey 4.2 litre SV8 has been donated to the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust collection and will go on display alongside some of Jaguar's most prestigious and memorable vehicles ranging from the oldest surviving Daimler, the 1897 Grafton Phaeton to the stunning 1974 E-Type – the last ever built.
More than 500 employees from the plant gathered to watch Sir William Lyons' grandson, Michael Quinn, drive the car off the end of the Trim and Final production line. He said: "My Grandfather would have been immensely proud today. The new XF is a car that truly represents the core values which have lain at the heart of this great brand since its foundation in 1922 and I am thrilled to have been asked here today to witness this historic event from the best seat in the house!"
Jaguar has invested significantly in the new facility at the Castle Bromwich plant to ensure that the new XF is built to even higher standards than the S-TYPE – a car that was widely recognised for its excellent build quality and performance. Commenting on the introduction of this new model, Richard Else, Operations Director at Castle Bromwich, said: "Today is a significant milestone for Jaguar and a very proud moment for the Castle Bromwich team who have worked tirelessly to ensure this car delivers the highest levels of quality and refinement customers have come to expect from Jaguar."
The Jaguar XF will be exported from Castle Bromwich to 66 markets worldwide with the first UK customers taking delivery of their cars in March next year. The range starts with the Luxury 2.7 litre diesel at £33,900 rising to £54,900 for the 4.2 litre Supercharged 'SV8'.