Picnicking in the 2018 Jaguar XF Sportbrake S
New Jaguar XF Sportbrake is more than just a Pinterest-worthy photo backdrop.
It’s a great time to be an automotive enthusiast. The Big Three horsepower wars rage on, with tires and bragging rights being the only real casualties. Once-forbidden high-performance models, such as the Honda Civic Type R, have finally made their ways into U.S. dealerships. Although crossovers and SUVs are grabbing a great deal of customer cash and headlines these days, many of them are going the way of sports cars by focusing on physics-defying handling and face-flattening horsepower.
According to a Bloomberg article from March 2017, “The number of station wagons available to U.S. buyers dropped from 17 to just seven over the past five years.” Acura no longer makes a car with a long roof. Cadillac chose not to make a second-generation model of the five-door CTS. However, the wagons that do remain make the term “station wagon” not only synonymous with greater interior space, but also with beautiful design. Porsche’s Panamera Sport Turismo looks as if it hauls equal amounts of ass and cargo. Mercedes offers the more everyday E400 4MATIC Wagon and the trackday E63 S Wagon.
Jaguar (re-)joins the fray
Jaguar’s history with the sedan’s more spacious counterpart only goes as far back as the mid-2000s. In hopes of boosting annual sales, Jaguar decided to offer a Sportwagon version of its entry-level X-Type. By the end of the decade, both that and the X-Type itself were no more. The automaker created an XF Sportbrake during the mid-sizer’s first generation, but that never made it to the states. In June of 2017, Jaguar announced a new Sportbrake, based on the X260 model XF, would be sold in the U.S. starting in the winter and available in only two trim lines: S and First Edition.
Jaguar was kind enough to lend me a $84,815 Sportbrake S loaded with black 20-inch wheels and the Black Exterior, Technology, Driver Assistance, Comfort & Convenience, and Premium Interior Upgrade Packages. When I got the keys to it, I didn’t ask, “Why are they selling this car here in America?” or “Why now?” Its Britishness and body style made me picture it parked under a shade tree with a light lunch spread out on a nearby blanket. I wondered to myself, Can the XF Sportbrake picnic?