WORLD famous premium car maker, Jaguar, is no longer British owned but the quality and reputation of the range is as high as ever under its Indian owners Tata who also provide South Yorkshire produced steel for the XF range writes Bryan Longworth.
For steel from the Tata steelworks in South Yorkshire steelworks provides a local touch with the sleek XF which has played a major role in the renaissance of the producer of the prestigous big cat cars that are currently enjoying soaring world sales.
In fact these are exciting times for Jaguar because as well as doing big business in the UK where sales in January were up by 27 per cent sales in China which is now the world’s top motor market are up by a staggering 124 per cent.
By coincidence I have just been having quick drives on North Yorkshire roads in two models from the XF four door saloon range which were built with South Yorkshire steel.
They were the XF 2.2L Diesel costing £43,050 and the XF 3.0L with the larger diesel engine costing £46,950 which is faster but not as economical.
The 2.2-litre model has a limited top speed of 140mph, zero to 60mph time of eight seconds and a combined fuel consumption of 52.3mpg while the larger 3.0-litre engine produced a limited top speed of 155mph, an accelration time of 5.9 seconds to 50mph and a combined fuel consumption of 44.8mpg.
What was impressive was the electronic facility for driving on ice and snow covered roads which proved to be very useful as there was quite a bit of snow about when I drove the rear wheel drive cars.
It is operated by pressing a switch on the central console and automatically reduces engine revs and starts in second gear which proved to be very effective because the rear wheels maintained traction all the time.
Jaguar has also just introduced a new 163bhp version of the XF wth the 2.2-litre four cylinder diesel engine costing £29,950 on the road which makes it the lowest priced model in the range.
Despite the lower starting price standard equipment includes an eight speed gearbox with automatic Stop-Start which produces a combined fuel consumption of 52.3mpg and CO2 emissions of 149g/km.
Since its launch in 2008 the XF has won over 80 awards and continues to have a strong following in the UK and worldwide.
But because part of it comes from South Yorkshire the XF is that bit more special in this part of the world and it is a car that can compete with the best premium rivals especially the big three from Germany.
My Verdict: The big cat continues to conquer the world.
Model: Jaguar XF.
Company owners: Tata from India,
Components: Include South Yorkshire steel.