2016 Jaguar XF
Jaguar has been on a roll lately, whether you’re talking about setting the pace in the F Pace or building our type of thrill ride with the F Type. Now they turn their efforts towards the more traditional XF midsize sedan. So, let’s see if they can continue to set their type of pace.
While the Jaguar F-type and F-Pace have certainly drawn lots of attention to the brand, its cars like this 2016 Jaguar XF that will truly have much more of an impact on the brand’s long term success.
Like most recent Jags and the trend of cars in general, this 2nd generation XF has dropped some pounds, riding on a new aluminum structure.
But it’s the powertrain options that are the biggest talking points about this new XF. That being the F-type’s supercharged 3.0-liter V6 available in two levels; base 340-horsepower and in upgraded S version with 380.
Both variations get an 8-speed automatic transmission with available all-wheel-drive. A diesel option will follow shortly.
Our early drive time in Arizona was mostly spent in the more powerful XF S; and we found plenty of get up and go, no matter where we got up and went. Still, that muscle is delivered in a more civilized fashion than with brute force.
Like most vehicles, the XF has made the switch to electric power-assisted steering; and here we loved it. There’s plenty of feedback, along with a nice and direct feel. BMW take note!
We expected to see some improvement in handling, but we got even more than we anticipated. That lighter and stiffer chassis, along with the F-type inspired double-wishbone front and integral link rear suspension, provides a very agile feel, and should be just what was needed to make the XF much more competitive with its German rivals.
Ride quality equally falls on the firm side of things; not harsh, but surely stiffer than the typical American buyer will anticipate.
The ZF 8-speed is still good as it gets, delivering smooth and fast shifts no matter your driving style. Jag puts 0-60 right at 5.0-seconds. JaguarDrive Control offers a typical range of driving modes.
And, during our drive we did not find an extreme level of isolation, or disconnect. Still it was very quiet inside. The throttle is very aggressive, especially in sport mode. But unlike the boisterous F-Type, a fairly tame exhaust note reveals the XF’s clearly luxury character.
That theme is really played out inside where the cabin is top drawer in both look and feel. Material quality has climbed exponentially; and there is plenty of space and comfort to be found at all seating positions.
Base gauges have a familiar look to them, but a configurable 12-inch TFT virtual gauge panel is also available. A new InControl Touch Pro system takes over the duties for infotainment, and worked well enough in our limited exposure.
The trunk area is well-finished, and holds a very generous 19.1 cubic-ft. of goods.
There are certainly more F-type notions to the updated exterior, but clearly the XF is its own cat.
The front end does wear a more aggressive look, with larger intakes and a more vertical grille, but in profile the same basic coupe-inspired shape of the previous car remains.
From the rear, things have been tidied up with cleaner lines and sharper fit to all of the pieces; which include LED taillights that are the most overt homage to the F-Type. Standard wheels are 18s, with the S rolling on 20s.
All of the expected safety systems including Autonomous Emergency Braking are available.
So while this new XF has improved across the board and perhaps gotten a little more accessible, we think it’ll still appeal most to the buyer who’s looking for something other than a ubiquitous German sport sedan.
The lighter weight and more efficient powertrain has improved the XF’s Government Fuel Economy Ratings to 20-City, 30-Highway, and 24-Combined. For an average Energy Impact Score of 13.7-barrels of oil consumed and 6.2- tons of CO2 emitted yearly.
Pricing starts at $52,895 for a 35t Premium, with the XF S beginning at $63,695.
The 2016 Jaguar XF was certainly due for an update, as the previous gen had been around since 2009. But, this thorough redesign does much more than just carry on business as usual in the midsize luxury sport sedan segment. With huge gains in both posh and performance, much like the F-type, it’s primed to have a major impact on its segment. This cat is on the prowl.
- Engine: 3.0 liter V6
- Horsepower: 340 / 380
- Torque: 332 lb-ft.
- 0-60 mph: 5.0 seconds
- EPA: 20 mpg city/ 30 mpg highway
- Energy Impact: 13.7 barrels of oil/yr
- CO2 Emissions: 6.2 tons/yr
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06
Bringing Supercar Performance To The Street…American Style
What happens when you let enthusiasts and engineers worry less about tradition and allow them to do what they do best? You get cars like this Chevrolet Corvette Z06. What happens when GM let’s us borrow one for a few days? That’s what we’re about to find out!
While the Z06 package first became an option for the Chevrolet Corvette back in 1963, it wasn’t until the C5 that it describe the ultimate track-focused ‘Vette. And while since then every Z06 has gotten more extreme, if we were plotting things out on a graph, this is where the line of performance progression goes from a steady incline to almost vertical. Yes, the latest C8 Z06 is all that.
It starts with a brand new LT6 5.5-liter DOHC V8 that outputs 670-horsepower and delivers 460 lb-ft. of torque. It sounds great too, the very aggressive nature of its flat-plane crank design has it sounding, and feeling like it’s trying to shake its way out of the engine bay unless you unleash some of its furry.
This dual-cammer featured a dry-sump design from the get-go and is more racing engine than souped-up small block, being developed originally for the C8.R race car.
It made short work of Roebling Road Raceway’s long front straight, able to reach 160 by the end of it. With Hellcats no longer rolling off the assembly line, this is easily our new favorite V8.
But, as you can imagine, Chevy has done much more than just plop a bigger motor into its rear-midship engine bay, which was easier to do since they didn’t have to worry about anyone seeing over it. They’ve addressed just about every part of the car to ensure it puts that power to best use for coming out of corners like few other cars on the street.
That includes upgrades for the short/long arm double wishbone suspension setup that can be further enhanced with an available Z07 Performance Package that adds more aggressive tuning for Magnetic Ride Control, and Michelin Sport Cup 2R tires. Which can be mounted on 20 and 21-inch carbon fiber wheels with carbon ceramic brakes nestled behind.
It all translated into more grip than a semi’s worth of industrial strength Velcro through Roebling’s 9-turns.
With Hellcats no longer rolling off the assembly line, this is easily our new favorite V8.
Like most Corvettes, the Z06 can be as wild or mild of an experience as you care to make it but will most likely be the fastest car to show up at most track days. Yet, the same magnetic dampers that void all body roll on the track, provide an almost plush ride quality for the drive home, though not quite as plush as the standard Corvette.
We’re struggling to find something non-fan boy to say; sure the 8-speed dual-clutch gearbox doesn’t deliver shifts with the brutality of some exotics, but really, they’re just as fast, and the shifts are much smoother.
Believe it or not, almost all the body is unique. So, rather than just tacking on some fender flares, Chevy made the entire car wider to cover the 345 rear tires, yet keep the same uniform look in place.
The optional Carbon Fiber Aero Package adds a front splitter, rocker extensions, front dive planes, and a huge rear wing. We’re not sure if the multi-level nature of that rear wing was done for functional or aesthetic reasons, but it doesn’t block your rearview, and that is much appreciated.
We always talk about torque being more important than horsepower when it comes to acceleration, and the Z06 works with almost 200 fewer lb-ft. of torque than horsepower, but you sure wouldn’t know it when you mash the throttle.
Easy to use programmable launch control allows you to dial in your preferred RPM for launching; we found 4,500 was just about perfect for Roebling’s front straight, allowing for just a tiny bit of slip before rocketing us to 60 on a 40 degree day in just 2.6-seconds.
Power continues to pour on hard as the engine quickly hits its 8,600 RPM redline, and gear changes happen often. The sound inside the cabin in intense, and when the ¼-mile came to an end in 10.7-seconds at 130 miles-per-hour, it felt like it was just getting started.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings are a low 12-City, 19-Highway, and 14-Combined.
For the Z06 there are 3 LZ pricing points to land on, starting at $114,395; but you can go with the top-of-the-line Z06, add 50-grand worth of options, and still come out half the price of anything you can compare it to.
Call us home teamers all you want, but America’s only exotic does it yet again, not only is it the best Corvette ever, but it is also easily one of the greatest American cars of all time, arriving at a particularly poignant time culturally as we mourn the potential loss of internal combustion engines altogether. So, come for the spectacular engine and stay for the complete performance package, and experience, that is the Chevrolet Corvette Z06.
- Engine: 5.5-liter V8
- Horsepower: 670
- 0-60 mph: 2.6 seconds
- EPA: 12 City | 19 Highway | 14 Combined
- Transmission: 8-speed dual clutch auto
- Torque: 460 lb-ft.
- 1/4 Mile: 10.7-seconds at 130 mph