Jaguar has pulled the wraps off the all-new XE sedan in London this week, revealing the face of its future family-car range.
Unveiled as part of a typically British stage production that included time travel and musical numbers, the XE made its first appearance after nearly a year of teasers and spy photos.
Jaguar XE program chassis boss Mike Cross says the XE is “the culmination of everything the company has learned over the years. We are on target to deliver a vehicle that dynamically outperforms our rivals”.
The XE’s styling is both fresh and classically Jaguar, attractive if not exciting, with powerful proportions and a subtle coupe-like profile.
A bulging bonnet sits proud above that new face, reaching back to a long A-pillar and a setback cabin design.
A tall belt-line and smoothly curved doors merge with softly flared wheel arches at both ends, all terminating in a high rear deck.
Yes, the XE’s look may be evolutionary, but under the skin lies an entirely new package for the British luxury brand.
Its new ‘iQ[AI]’ architecture is a largely aluminium affair (over 75 percent), with kerb weights in the range starting from 1474kg.
(Interestingly, that’s still heavier than BMW’s 3 Series which starts at 1385kg, and the new C-Class that starts at 1395kg.)
Power in most models will be provided by new four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, although full power details are still to be revealed.
Dubbed ‘Ingenium’, the new engine line is designed for inline and transverse applications. (The latter suggesting that front-wheel-drive Jags could be on the horizon.)
Among the first production examples of the new family will be a 2.0 litre turbodiesel unit known as ‘AJ200D', producing 120kW and 380Nm.
Fuel figures are still to be confirmed, but, depending on the model, Jaguar says buyers can expect as low as 3.8 l/100km.
Most surprising about the new Ingenium engine range is that Jaguar claims the diesel models can go unserviced for up to two years or nearly 35,000km.
Jaguar’s supercharged 250kW V6 will headline the launch range, giving the new sedan a rival to models like BMW’s impressive 335i M Sport sedan and the new Mercedes C 400.
The top-shelf sedan promises a 0-100km/h time of 5.1 seconds.
A rival to BMW’s M3 and Merc’s coming new C 63 AMG, the new special will also be one of the few remaining midsized performance sedans powered by an eight-cylinder engine.
The XE range is offered in rear-wheel-drive form as standard, although all-wheel-drive models may also be on the cards.
Jaguar’s new midsizer is also its first sedan to feature an aluminium double wishbone front suspension setup.
Inspired by the package introduced with the new F-TYPE, the design promises stiffness equivalent to the performance-focused XFR sedan.
At the rear is an integral link system that also features an aluminium-intensive design, promising significant benefits over the usual multi-link arrangement.
The XE is also the first Jaguar to feature the latest generation of Jaguar’s Electric Power Assisted Steering system.
Jaguar claims its EPAS offers greater tuning ability than conventional hydraulic systems, and other features include variable steering damping, enhanced low-speed manoeuvring and greater control through the Jaguar Drive Control system.
The XE also debuts a new All Surface Progress Control system that “works like a low-speed cruise control to deliver optimum traction in the most slippery conditions without skidding and without the driver using the pedals”.
The new midsized Jag will be built at Jaguar Land Rover’s Solihull plant in the UK, recently given a huge AU$3.4 billion upgrade.
In 2013, Jaguar brand boss Adrian Hallmark promised the XE would be “the most advanced, most efficient, most refined car in that segment. Not almost as good as, but better than the best in the world”.
Does this new cat meet expectations? We won’t know until the media drive programme begins in the coming months, but, for now… it does at least look the part.
Watch for more details to come at the Paris Motor Show next month.
Jaguar XE S - Supercharged V6 - Specifications
- Engine capacity (cc) - 2,995
- Cylinders - 6
- Valves per cylinder - 4
- Bore/ stroke (mm) - 84.5/ 89.0
- Cylinder block - Aluminium alloy
- Cylinder heads - Aluminium alloy
- Fuel injection equipment - 150bar spray-guided direct injection
- Boosting system - Twin-Vortex supercharger
- Transmission - ZF 8HP45 8-speed automatic
- 0-100km/h (sec) - 5.1
- Top speed - 250km/h
- Power - 250kW @ 6,500rpm
- Torque - 450Nm @ 4,500rpm
- Fuel consumption mpg (litres/100km) EU combined cycle - 33.9 (8.3)
- CO2 emissions (g/km) EU combined cycle - 194
- Length - 4672MM
- Width excl. mirrors - 1850MM
- Height - 1416mm
- Wheelbase- 2835mm
- Kerbweight - from 1474kg