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Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Arts and Design : Frankfurt 2007 -- Jaguar XF

Kicking off our expanded design coverage we have some previews from the upcoming Frankfurt auto show. Frankfurt opens the season with a slew of new cars and concepts, chief among them Jaguar's long-awaited 2009 XF, the replacement for their S-Type.

The good news is that designer Ian Callum has as promised, moved Jag beyond the retro design of the last decade and given them a fresh modern look. The best angle front 3/4 view with some really impressive detailing of the headlights, the sculpted fenders and side intakes, the power bulge on the hood and headlight nacelles. The grille and lower intake design is impressive as well and the car has a nice meaty stance on big wheels and tires.

This view is more problematic: Here we can see the Lexus GS like window treatment at the side, the wheels which are very BMW-esque and the rear end which has some elements around the back wheels that are also 5-series like. On the plus side is the elegantly shaped back window, a Callum hallmark (see the Aston-Martin V8) , the lovely character line that follows the top of the front fenders, below the greenhouse and into a subtle tail kick-up, and the transition from the flared back wheel arches to the wedge cutout at the lower edge of the doors. Overall a very nice design but it doesn't appear to be one for the ages like Jag's 1960's E-Type.

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