The 2012 Jaguar XF is drop-dead gorgeous. James Bond would have no problem rocking this car’s revised silhouette, which is now more akin to the original 2007 C-XF concept.
Deeper than Lead Designer Ian Callum’s handwork, though, lies a secret – and it’s no whisper. Optional on my 2012 XF Portfolio is a brilliant, Kevlar-infused sound system from British audio company Bowers and Wilkins (B&W).
Bond’s nemesis may be able to pierce the Jag’s skin with his weaponry, but he’d be stopped short at its speaker cones.
At the optional system’s core are 17 speakers which, aluminum high-frequency tweeters excepted are all infused with B&W’s Kevlar-composite cone material. Bulletproof in design, as well as its distortion-free sound reproduction, the 2012 Jaguar XF’s $2,300 soundstage is worth every penny.
From Abba to Zappa, the system consistently reproduces crystal-clear highs, warm mids, and punchy lows. Thanks to the 2012 XF’s extensive sound deadening and slippery 0.29Cd drag coefficient, the only aural influence for the B&W system to overcome is the mellifluous third-generation 5.0-L V8 (AJ133) under the hood.
Pumping out 385 horsepower and 380 lb.-ft. of torque, the North American market’s standard engine provides effortless acceleration. Channeled through a ZF 6HP28 six-speed automatic transmission, the XF scooted from 0-60 MPH in 7.1 seconds, at 6,100 feet above sea level.
Besides more-than-adequate scoot, the AJ133 serves up a healthy dose of Jaguar’s trademark feline growl. Depress the checkered-flag wielding console button and floor the throttle, and the XF’s mill comes roaring to life, proclaiming its king of the jungle status through twin polished tailpipes.
The 2012 Jaguar XF Portfolio, equipped with the AJ133 engine and its optional B&W sound system, offers two compelling reasons to awaken your neighbors. One features 5,000 cc of displacement, one features 1,200 watts of bulletproof power.
Whether flooring it or pumping up the volume, being British has never felt, or sounded, so good.
On the TFLcar.com recommendation scale of:
– Buy it
– Lease it
– Rent it, or
– Forget it
I give the 2012 Jaguar XF Portfolio a BUY IT!
This one is less about the AJ133 engine and B&W sound system, and more about Jaguar’s excellent JD Power quality scores. Both in initial quality and in service, Jaguar consistently tops the charts with nearly every model it builds. If you can afford the XF Portfolio’s $59,000 price of entry, you can surely cough up $2,300 more for an out-of-this-world sound system.
Daniel Buxbaum has had a life-long passion for all things automotive. Dan’s passion for automotive journalism recently secured him a position as customer service director and contributing writer for Parts & People, a multi-region automotive trade publication. Dan also writes for Examiner.com, maintains his own blog (straightlineconcepts.wordpress.com), and is an active member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press (RMAP).