Jaguar has released the first official pictures of the Sportbrake estate version of the XF in advance of its formal unveiling at next month's Geneva Motor Show.

Click here to view more images of the XF Sportbrake estate.

The new car is just a few millimetres longer than the saloon, and weighs about 70kg more. The company says that all of the Sportbrake's bodywork from the B-pillar back is new. The maximum carrying capacity is a generous 1675 litres (550 litres with the seats up) and rear seat passengers also benefit from a small increase in headroom compared with the saloon. Self-levelling air suspension is designed to help the Sportbrake's road behaviour under load or while towing. The engines - 2.2-litre four cylinder and 3.0-litre V6 diesels - are familiar from the XF saloon and all Sportbrakes will have an eight-speed automatic gearbox. Prices and specifications will be announced closer to the car's on-sale date which is expected to fall within the third quarter of 2012.

Jaguar's XF is well regarded but has previously been available with a far narrower range of engine and body options compared with its German rivals, the BMW 5-Series, the Mercedes E-Class and Audi A6. Jaguar made the first step towards widening the XF's appeal last year with the introduction of a 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel engine option, now available in two different states of tune, and the handsome Sportbrake should help boost sales further.

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