The car is equipped with numerous driver aids, like JaguarDrive Control that offers different driving modes which interact with the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system, engine and gearbox to change engine mapping, transmission shifting and automatic brake interventions, depending on driving conditions and circumstances.

On the naturally aspirated car, JaguarDrive Control offers Normal and Winter modes, while supercharged cars receive Dynamic mode to allow for more purposeful driving. In Dynamic mode, the driver has the option of turning off the DSC entirely for sideways drift action. Standard DSC offers both normal and Trac DSC modes, the latter allowing more rear slip before its functions intervene. The XF is also the first Jaguar model to offer Understeer Control Logic, designed to restore front-wheel grip by decelerating through engine management and braking.

The transmission is worth noting. Although a true automatic, it's programmed with Jaguar Sequential Shift that allows manual gear selection through steering wheel-mounted paddles. Two drive modes are available, standard Drive and Sport, and the transmission is remarkably adaptive, its gear-changing strategy reacting to both road conditions and the way the car is driven.

One notable option is the toplevel audio system developed with premium audio outfit Bowers & Wilkins. The standard stereo system employs no less than eight separate speakers, while the B&W system ups the ante with 14 speakers flaunting Kevlar cones and aluminum tweeter domes, a remote amplifier pushing 440 watts, and Dolby Pro-Logic II surround sound. Predictably, it sounds incredible.

Two trim levels are available for the naturally aspirated model, Luxury and Premium Luxury, costing $49,975 and $55,975 respectively. The supercharged SV8 will set you back considerably more for a considerable boost in performance.

Here it is, the future of Jaguar. Nice ride, nice drive, nice car, but its biggest challenge will be re-establishing the Jaguar brand in the hearts and minds of the car-buying public. If the XF can accomplish that to even a small degree, the company will definitely be on its way into the black.

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