The Jaguar XE is a new compact executive saloon that will rival the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes C-Class and Audi A4. The car is due to be revealed very soon, but for now you can see a disguised version that reveals a few glimpses of how it will look.
Short front and rear overhangs can be made out in the picture, as well as the familiar Jagaur 'face' for the nose. Like its rivals in this class, it echos the styling of its larger brother - in this case, the XF.
The wrap showing the skeleton of the platform used on the XE is also a completely new construction form Jaguar. The ‘iQ Al’ aluminium structure will also be used to underpin the forthcoming SUV from the brand due in 2016 and eventually find its way under a range of Jaguar models in the future.
Mike Cross, Jaguar chief engineer of vehicle integrity, also says that the Jaguar XE “dynamically outperforms its rivals”. Jaguar claims that’s partly down to the XE’s lightweight aluminium construction, but also the car’s advanced chassis.
It uses Integral Link rear suspension to limit the severity of big bumps and holes in the road, reduce vibration after hitting a bump and also cut road noise. With parts hollow-cast in aluminium, the suspension follows the same lightweight ethos as the rest of the car.
Meanwhile, the front suspension is based on that used in the F-Type, which Jag says delivers “XFR levels of stiffness”. Connected up with the latest electric power-steering, the XE promises “class-leading steering feel”. The new system also allows for active safety kit such as self-parking and active lane-keeping.
In addition, Jaguar has developed what it calls All Surface Progress Control. At the touch of a button, this allows drivers to let the car take over and pull away on low-grip surfaces such as ice without having to touch the pedals. It’s described as “low speed cruise control”, and promises to solve the problem of a rear-drive car getting stuck in snow.
The Jaguar XE will be unveiled at an event in London on 8 September 2014, ahead of a release date in 2015. Prices are likely to start somewhere between £25,000 and £30,000, meaning it rivals the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class.
The new XE name was revealed by Jaguar Land Rover boss Dr Ralf Speth on the Jaguar stand at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show.
“We announced just a few weeks ago that our new Engine Manufacturing Centre would produce a new family of premium, lightweight, low-friction, low emission four-cylinder petrol and diesel units," said Speth. "The first of our Ingenium engine range will be used in our all-new mid-sized Jaguar sports sedan. That car will be called the Jaguar XE, and it will be unveiled in production form later this year.”
We’d seen spy shots of the XE testing in various locations around Europe but prior to these images the cars have all been test mules, wearing an XF body.
Auto Express spoke to Head of Design, Ian Callum, at the UK launch of the Jaguar F-Type Coupe about the design of the XE: “It's not just a shrunken XF, it's more than that. You'll see some similarities, we'll be getting the face of the brand out there, but we haven't taken the opportunity to radicalise the car in any way so you'll see the family resemblance.”
The Jaguar XE will be available with the F-Type’s V6 engine when it goes on sale next year.
An update on the brand's website confirmed the 3.0-litre supercharged unit, which comes with either 335bhp or 375bhp, will be fitted with Jaguar’s advanced aluminium platform to underpin range-topping versions of the compact sports saloon.
Along with the F-Type’s V6 engine, the XE will also be sold with Jaguar’s new Ingenium engine family, a range of 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol and diesel powertrains capable of CO2 emissions as low as 100g/km.
Jaguar Land Rover’s new family of Ingenium four-cylinder engines will launch exclusively as a 2.0-litre diesel in the new XE saloon early next year. Codenamed AJ200D, the new unit should allow for 70mpg-plus in the XE. The new Land Rover Discovery Sport will have to wait until the end of 2015 before it gets the new engine, though.
Jaguar's new BMW 3 Series rival came into sharper focus early in 2014, thanks to these first spy shots of a prototype wearing the final production body. The new baby Jag – codenamed X760 and called XE – was first announced by the company in autumn 2013 and described by company boss Ralf Speth as being the “most efficient, advanced and refined premium sports saloon ever seen in the C/D segment”.
The shots revealed that Jaguar had got the proportions right, with a low bonnet, wheels pushed to the front and a long wheelbase. There were obviously XF-inspired lights and a stretched oval grille, like that found on the C-X17 SUV concept.