Do not try this at home.
To celebrate the debut of the 2016 XF, Jaguar did something a little bit crazy. The brand hired British stuntman Jim Dowdall, who has lent his services to Bond, Bourne, Indiana Jones, and Star Wars films in the past, to drive the executive car across two 34mm-diameter wires suspended 59 feet over water.
Why, you ask? Well, outside of a once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity, the feat showcases the new XF’s aluminum-intensive architecture. The unibody design helps the 2016 model save 132 pounds in RWD guise and 265 lbs with ‘torque on-demand’ AWD, which only sends power to the front wheels under hard driving.
Both the hood and front fenders are made from aluminum, while other components are cast from ultra light magnesium alloys. The vehicle also employs near-perfect 50:50 weight distribution.
“Over my 35 years in the industry I’ve driven Jaguar vehicles on many Hollywood movie sets,” said Dowdall. “However, the biggest test for me on this stunt was the unpredictability of the elements. Potential oscillation in the high-wires from wind speeds meant it added a real challenge. The wires are only 34 mm in diameter so the journey required absolute precision, balance and control.”
You can see footage of the stunt right here.
Set to debut publicly at the New York Auto Show April 1st, the elegant XF has been redesigned for the 2016 model year. It may not look all that different than its predecessor outside of a tweaked front fascia and new rear quarter windows, but Jaguar says it boasts more interior space than before. To accomplish this, the brand lengthened the wheelbase by 51 mm, while actually shortening overall length by 7 mm.
The commanding XF, which shares its platform with the upcoming XE and F-PACE, will offer two supercharged 3.0-liter V6s for the first model year. The first will produce 340 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque, and the peppier version will make 380 hp and 332 lb-ft. Both engines will bolt up to their own eight-speed automatic. We expect a turbocharged Ingenium four-banger and a blown 5.0-liter V8 to show up later on as well.
Inside, the mid-size sedan features Jaguar’s ‘InControl Touch’ system, which integrates an 8-inch touchscreen as standard and a 10.2-in unit as part of ‘InControl Touch Pro.’ With its quad-core processor, text-to-voice SMS technology, and bevy of InControl apps, the automaker calls the XF’s infotainment “the most advanced Jaguar has ever offered.”
‘InControl Remote’ is offered on the car as well, which allows the driver to start the engine, preset the cabin temperature, check lock status, and monitor fuel level all from a smartphone. The sedan also boasts Jaguar’s laser Heads-Up Display.
The 2016 Jaguar XF goes on sale in winter 2015.