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2021 Jaguar XF looks ready to go toe-to-toe with the Genesis G80 thanks to major upgrades

The Jaguar XF has been thoroughly redesigned for the 2021 model year.

Photo courtesy of Jaguar

Luxury midsize cars aren't hot sellers, but they are a big deal. Not only are they the leading faces of their brand, they set the technological precedent for what is to come in years down the line for other vehicles in the company's lineup. If the 2021 Jaguar XF is any indication, the future of the British automaker is looking good.

That starts at the front where the traditional Jaguar grille with a Noble Chrome finish is flanked by slim LED quad headlights with Double J Blade daytime running lights. It's wide but athletic and dynamic. Seven wheel designs are available.

Buyers can opt for a Black Exterior Pack to give the model bespoke Gloss Black elements including the grille mesh, grille surround, lower air intakes, rear valance finishers, and badging.

2021 Jaguar XF: Exterior

Photo courtesy of Jaguar

Rear-wheel drive is standard on all but the XF's highest trim level. Jaguar is making the XF in three different trim levels: XF P250 S RWD, P250 SE RWD, and P300 R-Dynamic SE AWD.

XF P250 models are powered by a 246-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that gets 296 pound-feet of torque. The top-tier P300 model has a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that is tuned to achieve 296 horsepower. Both engines are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Jaguar has given the XF about the same horsepower for 2021 as it had in 2020 - at least for the P250 models. The company has changed out the available turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 for the upgraded 2.0-four cylinder and now the top-tier model gets about 84 less horsepower than before, putting it on the low end of what you can get in the segment.

JaguarDrive Control allows drivers to choose from Comfort, Eco, Rain-Ice-Snow, and Dynamic drive modes via a rotary dial, called the JaguarDrive Selector, on the center console. These drive modes regulate steering, transmission, and throttle response.

This XF is lightweight compared to its predecessor, with architecture that is made from recycled aluminum.

2021 Jaguar XF: Interior

Photo courtesy of Jaguar

Where both the Genesis G80 and Jaguar XF shine is inside. The XF takes the looks of the 2021 Jaguar F-Pace and translates them for sedan styling. It comes standard with an 11.4-inch centrally-mounted infotainment touch screen. Operating the screen is Jaguar Land Rover's Pivi Pro system, which allows for a simplified menu structure and new technology integration including over-the-air updates, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.

Active noise monitoring keeps road and engine noise at bay while a 12-speaker Meridian sound system pumps up the jams. Active Key can be used to lock and unlock the vehicle without the need for a traditional key.

The look of the cabin is upcale thanks to purposeful choices of appointments - open-pore wood and aluminum. There's laser-etched speaker frets are finished in brushed nickel that is them lacquered. Metallic blades rise up on either side of the center console giving the most forward elements height as well as width.

Lighting gives the car new interior dimension with an upper strip of light encircling the front of the cabin. The overhead console and footwells also feature light, in a waterfall style.

Buyers can choose their interior color scheme from Ebony, Light Oyster, Caraway, Siena Tan (P300 only), and Mars Red (P300 only) options. Top P300 grade models come with contrast stitching, an Ebony headliner, and unique tread plates.

A host of driver assist technology is provided including Clear Exit Monitor, which alerts regarding an approaching bicycle or pedestrian, and standard 3D surround view camera.

The 2021 Jaguar XF goes on sale soon. Pricing will be announced closer to its on-sale date. The 2020 Jaguar XF starts at $51,100. Expect the new version to be around the same price.

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Panasonic, Klipsch, and Dolby have teamed up to create a new audio system, Klipsch Premium Audio.

Photo courtesy of Panasonic

Panasonic Automotive Systems of America, Klipsch, and Dolby Atmos Music have teamed up to create a new proof-of-concept that features immersive sound technology named Klipsch Premium Audio.

Each of the parties brings unique assets to the table. Panasonic Automotive has the know-how for vehicle product design while Klipsch specializes in technonlogy-driven sound performance. Dolby has long been a stable of at-home audio systems.

"I have personally participated in bringing to market a range of products which feature Dolby Atmos capability. The sonic realism and envelopment of the listener into the on-screen action for films opens up new dimensions of entertainment," said Mark Casavant, vice president of Brand & Business Development, Klipsch Group, "Working with the audio experts at Panasonic Automotive we have achieved a similar experience for the in-vehicle listener with Dolby Atmos music. The music is more immersive, with additional space clarity, and depth."

Klipsch uses four sound principles to achieve its award-winning sound:

  • High efficiency/low distortion - Klipsch technology is highly efficient, providing more accurate sound with less power and less distortion – resulting in louder, cleaner audio. Klipsch's Law: Efficiency is inversely proportional to distortion.
  • Wide dynamic range - The softest sounds are reproduced with remarkable clarity and the loudest is delivered without harshness or distortion – with the greatest possible range between the softest and loudest sounds.
  • Controlled directivity - Klipsch technology accurately directs sound to the proper locations, which, in turn, creates a more lifelike soundstage without wasting acoustic energy where sound is not needed or desired.
  • Flat frequency response - Audio delivery is without frequency bias – no unnatural highs, miss or lows – reproducing recorded sound as accurately as possible without colorization.

Dolby Atmos sound is designed to go beyond the traditional limits of mono and stereo, placing the listener in an immersive soundscape.

"Panasonic Automotive has built a reputation pushing the boundaries of in-vehicle entertainment," said Tom Dunn, director of Panasonic Global Premium Audio, "Our award-winning automotive audio systems are recognized for creating unforgettable listening experiences based on engineering, artistry and emotion. Market leading innovations are what drive the technical teams at Panasonic and Klipsch, and delivering our first in-vehicle demonstration of Dolby Atmos music reflects our aligned goals and commitment to achieving a higher standard of music enjoyment."

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Sony's team is testing the Vision-S on the streets of Austria.

Photo courtesy of Sony

One year ago Sony surprised the crowds at CES with the Vision -S, a concept vehicle meant to further the discussion on safety, security, and entertainment. The vehicle has moved from concept to prototype, taking to the roads of Europe for testing.

The car has been driving the roads of Austria since December 2020, according to the company, for technical evaluation. Evaluation of what? We're so glad you asked.

If the car is technologically similar to what has presented at CES last year, on-board is Sony's imaging and sensing technologies as well as software regulated using Sony's AI, telecommunication, and cloud technologies.

Sony Vision-S The Sonny Vision S is a working vehicle prototype now. Photo courtesy of Sony

The car, which was built in cooperations with Magna Steyr, features 33 sensors, including CMOS image sensors and time of flight (ToF) sensors within the vehicle. These sensors are designed to detect and recognize people and objects inside and outside the vehicle, and provide "highly advanced driving support."

Each of the two rows of seating in the vehicle features Sony's 360 Reality Audio system. Bose has similar technology built into the Nissan Kicks.

The crossover-lie car's front seats have a panoramic screen in front of them that has the ability to display rich content.

Does this mean that Sony will begin to make cars? The quick answer is no. Sony does not appear itching to get into the car business though the products that result from this testing will likely be available to automakers offering additional competition for components in a fast-paced marketplace where the technology is evolving quickly.

The real winner here could be consumers who will benefit from the stiff completion between suppliers and be on the receiving end of better technology because of it.

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