Power Play
Jaguar World Monthly|March 2018

Forget handmade limousines – today’s luxury saloons are smaller and more economical, and while they don’t come with a chauffeur, they do offer a high level of specification. We check out the XF Portfolio

Paul Walton

YOU HAVE to feel sorry for today’s dictators. Where once they had several hand-built luxury saloons to choose from, cars such as the Daimler DS420 and the Mercedes Benz 600 Pullman, today there are none. Even Mercedes’ most recent no-expense spared limousine – the Maybach – was only produced between 2002 and 2012 and sold around 3,000 examples. Luxury saloons still exist, of course, but despite being off-the-peg rather than bespoke as the Daimler had been, they are still big, thirsty and relatively expensive. As a result, smaller, more economical saloons with a high level of equipment are enjoying greater prominence. Cars such as the XF Portfolio, for example.

Packed with everything a dictator might need in pursuit of ultimate power, yet offering better economy and a lower price than even an entry XJ, the XF Portfolio is the perfect compromise between sensible running costs and limousine levels of luxury. Take the white 2.0-litre diesel 240PS version that’s in front of me. Its average fuel economy is a healthy 53.3mpg, which is perfect if the country you’ve just taken over has little or no fuel reserves. If, in true dictatorship style, more power is required, then the Portfolio model can also be specified with the wonderful 3.0 diesel or the turbocharged 2.0 petrol, both of which produce 300PS.

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