Well, there a new British Baby: the Jaguar XE sedan, and it was welcomed by a star-studded gala that was worth $6.5 million or the $2-5 billion dollar investment into the car’s development and launch.
Since the demise of the X-Type in 2009, Jaguar has had an absence in the compact executive sedan market. We have the X-type to thank for making Jaguar take development of the XE as seriously as it has. Entry-level players include the BMW 3-series, Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. You could also throw in the Volvo S60 and the Cadillac ATS for good measure. The new XE seems to be going after the competition with a serious, concentrated effort.
The XE will utilize longitudinally mounted engines and rear-drive as standard, with all-wheel drive system coming in the future as an option.
The XE S model will have the same 3.0-liter supercharged powerplant from elsewhere in the range, with 340 horsepower and 332 lb-ft. of torque through a standard eight-speed automatic transmission and delivers a claimed 4.9-second 0-to-60-mph time and a limited 155-mph top speed all pushing a claimed base curb weight of 3250 pounds. European buyers will also get a 75 mpg, 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel from launch—it’s apparently on its way here, but we’ll see. A 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline four from JLR’s forthcoming ‘Ingenium’ powertrain family will be offered to Americans shortly after the car hits dealers.
The body shell is mostly made from high-strength aluminum and is said to be the lightest and most rigid the company has ever put into production.
Ian Callum has done it again with a design that features sharp creases, a pronounced shoulder line and accentuated wheel arches. Slightly conservative, but totally jaguar. The design of the new XE’s body is on the understated side, with no apparent effort to give it a superficial “wow” factor. This surprised those who reckoned Jaguar must produce a spectacular head-turner to persuade buyers to forsake the established German competition.
Jaguar has been hitting it out of the park these days with F-type, XJ and XF, making the executive car landscape all the more beautiful. The new Jaguar XE gives newcomers to the brand a safe alternative to the German standards. It also gives Cadillac and Volvo a run for their money by offering classic British style and flair.
The XE should give the entry level executive a splash of Jaguar style in an understated package that won’t unsettle the establishment. It will, however, let them know you have arrived. That seems to be Jaguar’s mission with the new XE.
Jaguar XE Gallery