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Car and Driver: Jaguar XF Goes Through the Taffy Puller to Create the China-Only XFL

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Jaguar-XFL-(Chinese-spec)-PLACEMENT

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Jaguar is no stranger to long-wheelbase models, but up until now only the big-cat XJ sedan has received the stretched-out treatment. Now, with China’s insatiable appetite for sedans with big back seats continuing to grow, Jaguar put the mid-size XF sedan through the taffy-puller to create the XFL. (We wonder how Vince McMahon feels about the name.) This new Jag debuts at the Beijing auto show exclusively for the Chinese market, so don’t expect to see it in the U.S. anytime soon.

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Stretching the XF’s wheelbase by 5.5 inches doesn’t upset the car’s graceful styling too much, as the slightly elongated rear doors are the only part of the car that appears a bit off proportionally. The payoff is big, too: Jaguar says that rear-seat legroom grows by 6.2 inches, and the environment in the rear is appropriately plush. Standard equipment for the XFL includes four-zone automatic climate control, folding tray tables for the rear seats, and two 8.0-inch entertainment screens mounted on the back of the front seats. There’s even a new “Clear Exit Detection” system that’s meant to notify rear-seat passengers if a car is approaching from behind before he or she opens the rear door.

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Why not just buy an XJ, you ask? The smaller XF, beyond being more maneuverable in the city, is also subject to lower taxes in China thanks to its smaller-displacement 2.0-liter turbo-four engine (the XJ comes standard with a larger 3.0-liter supercharged V-6). An eight-speed automatic and rear-wheel drive are standard with either 197-hp or 237-hp versions of the four-cylinder, and that 335-hp supercharged V-6 is also available in the XFL for customers who want more power and don’t mind the higher tax bill.

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As it expands into the Chinese market, Jaguar is also growing its production footprint. The new XFL is noteworthy for being the first Jaguar to be produced in China, at Chery Jaguar Land Rover’s factory in Chengshu, which also spits out Chinese-market Land Rover Discovery Sports and Range Rover Evoques.

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Jaguar-XFL-(Chinese-spec)-REEL

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