New Jaguar XE Saloon Unveiled

What’s this?

It’s the all-new Jaguar XE. Think of it as an entry-level Jaguar saloon car, but don’t think of it as a like-for-like replacement for the X-Type – this one certainly isn’t a Ford Mondeo in a sparkly frock.

So what’s new?

Just about everything that can reasonably be new is new. The car sits on a brand new modular chassis that should be seen in various forms over the next several years underneath the replacement for the XF at the very least and there’s extensive use of aluminium throughout the car’s metalwork. The bodyshell weighs a barely noticeable 251kg – about half an Ariel Atom!

Alongside being lighter the XE is more ecologically friendly – an unusual thing to say about a Jaguar – with a significant chunk of the bodywork alloys and functional plastics being made from recycled materials as a push to reduce the environmental cost of manufacture and fleet carbon emissions. Indeed it’s possible to opt for an XE that meets the criterion for zero-rate VED, with 99g/km CO2 emissions. It’s the Jaguar that your local Green Party representative could drive with a clear conscience.

What powers it?

Much of the range is a little hush-hush at the moment, as Jaguar will only hint at a selection of 2.0, 4 cylinder petrols and new Ingenium diesels, but a couple of details have slipped out. That 99g/km CO2 rating mentioned above belongs to the 161hp 2.0 diesel, while the entry level cars will be petrol-engined efforts – probably repurposed Ford units.

A little more is known about the top of the range. That’s the 335hp Jaguar XE-S, powered by a supercharged 3.0 V6 lifted straight from the Jaguar F-Type V6S. Under the light and slippery XE, that should be good for a 4.9s sprint to 60mph and the usual 155mph electronically limited top speed – though the eight speed ZF automatic gearbox would probably stretch much further if allowed.

If you’re hoping for a storming hot V8 model using the XF-RS and F-Type V8′s 542hp unit you’ll be out of luck as the V8 won’t physically fit in this application. But keep your eyes peeled for a 400hp+ version of the supercharged V6.

How much will it cost me?

Full range details will be released on October 2nd when the order books open, but the starting price for XE ownership will be £27,000 with one of the entry level petrol variants. With competitors’ efficient diesels coming in at around £29k, Jaguar won’t want to price its 99g/km Ingenium much higher and the XE-S is anybody’s guess – but it shouldn’t be too far from £45,000.

It’s likely that Jaguar will out-gizmo the competition from BMW, Audi and Mercedes, but at a slight premium.

Any alternatives?

Oh, just three of the biggest names in the business. The Mercedes C-Class, Audi’s A4 and the BMW 3-Series will all provide extremely stiff competition for the baby Jag. Some of the more stylish buyers who’d go for the Jaguar might also consider the Volvo S60 too.

Anything else?

There’s a list of kit and tech as long as an Oscar acceptance speech as Jaguar drags itself into the 21st Century. The huge 8-inch touchscreen is a good place to start, with Jaguar’s InControl app for Apple and Android phones. The usual suite of safety aids and self-parking devices is complemented by a stereo traffic sign recognition camera setup which checks what it sees against satnav data.

Buying an XE also preserves British jobs. A purpose-built facility in Solihull created 1,700 jobs and will produce an XE every 78 seconds when running at full capacity.

Oh, and there’s a laser head-up display which includes satnav directions. Who wouldn’t want that?

In a line…

Jaguar’s most important car – and it’s taking on the 3-Series… Bold move!

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