2016 Jaguar XF pairs low-weight and high-tech

Jaguar has taken the wraps off the new Jaguar XF, a new luxury sedan set to take on BMW's 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz's E-Class, and promising not only sports performance but economy too. Following in the tiremarks of the aluminum-centric architecture of the larger XJ, and borrowing the styling of the smaller Jaguar XE, the new XF has a near 50:50 weight distribution and uses the Configurable Dynamics system that debuted on the F-Type convertible and coupe. With that, Jaguar says, the rear-wheel drive XF should deliver the same stability as an AWD car. However, the company also claims, the XF will be capable of up to 70 mpg, though probably not in the US.

That's because that particular model uses a four-cylinder, 161 HP diesel engine paired with a manual transmission, two things that generally don't make it to the North American market in this sort of luxury car.

A second version of the same powerplant musters 177 HP. Other engines include a 2.0 liter turbocharged direct-injection gas engine good for 237 HP, a 3.0 liter supercharged gas engine tuned for either 335 HP or 375 HP, and a 3.0 liter V6 twin-turbo diesel with 296 HP and a whopping 516 lb-ft of torque.

The usual gearbox is an eight-speed automatic, and there's Electric Power Assisted Steering as standard. AWD will be offered as an option in select markets, though for most Jaguar will be counting on its Intelligent Driveline Dynamics (IDD) system to mimic the capabilities without the complexity.

Passive dampers are standard, but active versions that adjust to driving conditions can be specified. All-Surface Progress Control is effectively an ice mode, with the XF taking over accelerator and brake duties, and the driver only responsible for steering.

On the outside, it's a notch shorter and narrower than the outgoing XF, but has a 51mm longer wheelbase for more space for rear passengers. Up front, there's a 10.2-inch touchscreen – capable of simultaneously showing different graphics to driver and front passenger – paired with SSD storage, and the (unspecified) OS running on a quadcore processor.

The driver gets a 12.3-inch instrument cluster as seen in the XJ and Range Rover, meanwhile, which can be reconfigured digitally to suit different conditions. An 825W Meridian sound system with 17-speakers is an option.

By using 75-percent aluminum for the architecture, Jaguar has managed to keep the new XF 80kg under the curb weight of its nearest rival. Just to emphasize the point, Jaguar launched the new car by – carefully – driving it across a high-wire strung over London's Canary Wharf.

Pricing and full specifications are yet to be confirmed, with Jaguar promising more news at the New York International Auto Show next week. SlashGear will be there to bring back all the details, so keep tracking our Car Hub for breaking news.