It’s been a minute since a proper Jaguar wagon has been on the U.S. market. Finally, wagon fans can rejoice thanks to the 2018 Jaguar XF Sportbrake. Jaguar is apparently betting on the anecdote that American’s are starting to warm back up to wagons, because the XF Sportbrake is coming stateside with its head-turning looks and hefty price tag.
While the exterior design of this cat is rather self-explanatory, the bones are not. Jaguar engineers have reworked much of the XF for wagon duty; both to accommodate the differing weight distribution and increased load. The changes start with the change-out of the rear springs in favor of a new air suspension setup, which will level out this swagger wagon when the back is full of stuff. Additionally the front suspension has been retuned, while Jaguar’s drive mode system has been altered accordingly and will allow drivers to select from various modes.
Much like the Mercedes-Benz E400 wagon, the XF Sportbrake comes standard with a forced induction V-6. In the Jag’s case it is in the form of a supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 with 380 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque; a decent increase over the Benz. Also like the Mercedes, the XF is available only in all-wheel-drive format, while all four wheels will be sent torque via the same ZF eight-speed automatic the sedan enjoys.
Jaguar has also upped the usefulness of the XF for wagon duty. The roof can withstand more weight than the sedan can, so if you wish to throw a kayak or tree on the roof of your Jag, that’s apparently an acceptable use. For things that will fit in the back, the rear seat has a 60/40 fold-flat function to swallow large items.
Perhaps one the cooler features is a new RFID key. The rubberized wrist band can be held up to the Jaguar badge on the back hatch of the car to unlock or lock the car. When in use, you can lock your normal key fob inside the car and the car will disable that fob until the car is unlocked by the RFID key. This is a clever workaround for adventurous wagon owners who don’t want to ruin their $400 key fob during play time.
The 2018 XF Sportbrake will go on sale in the U.S. this winter for $71,445. For those who are curious, that’s a solid eight grand more than a new E400 wagon.