For the Beijing Auto Show, Jaguar will be unveiling a long-wheelbase version of their XF mid-size saloon. In a country where rear legroom is a prime factor in the car purchasing matrix, it makes sense for the British automaker to roll out a longer version of a popular model to drive even more sales.
Details are scant as to if there is anything to differentiate this newer and longer XF from any of its shorter-wheelbase siblings apart from overall length, but we expect it to be a exactly that and nothing more.
Jaguar’s competitors in the Chinese automobile market already do offer longer wheelbase versions of the XF’s rivals: the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class – and finding modest success with buyers looking for a comparable experience of a larger limousine but in a more compact and more affordable package.
Jaguar-Land Rover (JLR) will reportedly be constructing this new XF L at the Chery Jaguar Land Rover manufacturing facility in Changshu (in partnership with Chery Automobile), the first such factory in China devoted to constructing aluminium vehicle shells.
Speaking of Changshu, JLR was also due to begin production of their Ingenium engines in late 2015 through a new engine plant there but has been hit with delays.
As it stands, the current generation XF sold in China uses either a Ford-sourced 2.0-litre turbocharge four-cylinder petrol engine or their 3.0-litre petrol V6, both mated to an eight-speed ZF transmission. Since the locally-produced new-generation Ingenium mills have yet to begin rolling off the production line, the new XF L will likely share the standard-wheelbase XF’s engine line.