Jaguar's new BMW 3 Series rival has come into sharper focus, thanks to these first spy shots of a prototype wearing the final production body. The new baby Jag – codenamed X760 and called XE – was announced by the company last autumn 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 reveal Jaguar looks to have got the proportions right, with a low bonnet, wheels pushed to the front and a long wheelbase. There are XF-inspired lights and a stretched oval grille, like that found on the C-X17 SUV concept.
The car is due next year and will use the same aluminium platform set to underpin the production version of the Jaguar C-X17 SUV – due in 2016 – and eventually be used underneath the bulk of cars in the Jaguar range. The saloon will be followed by an estate.
Under the bonnet will be an all-new range of four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines built in a new Wolverhampton factory. Their focus will be to provide Jaguar the power and efficiency that customers expect in this class. The most frugal engines should boast CO2 emissions of below 99g/km.
We’ve 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.”
Along with the new aluminium platform, the XE will also be available with a range of new small capacity 2.0-litre turbo petrol and diesel engines. Detailed specifications on the engines have not yet been released Jaguar’s global brand chief, Adrian Hallmark, confirmed the range will include frugal sub 100g/km of CO2 engines as well as those capable of hitting 300kph (186mph).
Hybrid powertrains are also being considered, which will differ from the unit offer in the new Range Rover Hybrid. CO2 emissions will be further reduced, while performance will also be improved.
The new engines will be built at a new £355 million Jaguar plant in Wolverhampton, where an engine will be produced every 36 seconds at full capacity.