Big sedans and sports cars. Jaguar has been known for those two things since the company's name was birthed in 1945. Stylish saloons like the Mark 2 and performance machines like the E-Type make up the brand's heritage, but the compact sedan market is one where the British marque has lacked great product.
The XE wears some of the best styling elements from Jaguar's current litter.
The company's last attempt was the X-Type, a vehicle that was oft criticized – rightly or wrongly depending on your viewpoint – for its links with the more pedestrian Ford Mondeo. The lackluster sedan was discontinued in 2009, and since then, Jaguar's smallest, most affordable four-door entry has been the $50,000, four-cylinder, turbocharged XF, a BMW 5 Series challenger. Clearly, if Jaguar wanted to make it as a proper threat to the likes of BMW, Audi, Lexus and Mercedes-Benz, it'd need to sink its claws back into $30,000-to-$40,000 sedan game.
It couldn't do that with another X-Type, though. The vehicle it debuted needed to be stylish, not staid. It needed to have a premium rear-drive pedigree, not the smear of a midsize family sedan. And most importantly, it needed to represent the passion and aristocracy that Jaguars of the past had in such abundance. That vehicle is this new XE.
Feast your eyes upon it, loyal readers. Borrowing some of the best styling elements from Jaguar's current litter, the XE's aluminum-intensive body should eagerly go down as one of the most expressive designs in the segment, without being decidedly over the top like the Lexus IS. The front end wears the scowling face pioneered by the XJ and most recently evolved by the XF, while the long hood and side vents mimic the look of the F-Type. The sloping roofline, meanwhile, forcibly reminds us of the XJ's rear haunches, although we're glad to see Jag opted for one color, rather than the flagship sedan's blacked-out C-pillars. The sole element we aren't sure about are the XE's taillights. They're pretty clearly based on the XF, but without the chrome strip that cuts in, they look too large and bulbous. In fact, the rear end as a whole appears strangely out of proportion with the bold dimensions of the rest of the car, but of course, we'll need to see it in person before making final judgments. Functionally, the XE's sleek body boasts a drag coefficient of just 0.26.
"Our mission was to create an exciting and dynamic design clearly reflecting the XE's positioning as a serious driver's car," said Jag's design boss, Ian Callum. "The cab-rearward proportions and tight packaging achieve that and give the XE the appearance of movement even when it's standing still. It bears a strong family resemblance to the F-Type and will stand apart in the crowd."
"It bears a strong family resemblance to the F-Type and will stand apart in the crowd." – Ian Callum
We only have a limited view of the cabin, consisting of a trio of images, but the overall environment will be immediately familiar to those that have experienced the XF or XJ, as the dominating feature is an arch that winds its way from driver's side to passenger's side along the top of the dash. The prominent center stack is home to Jaguar's new InControl infotainment system, which will also find use on the Discovery Sport of Jag's sister company, Land Rover. Overall, this cabin looks clean and modern, at least in photos.
Jaguar has only released the goods on one of the XE's engines which, by the sounds of it, will be its top-flight offering for the time being. We've tested Jaguar Land Rover's 3.0-liter, supercharged V6 in a number of offerings, driving it in both its 380-hp variant and its 340-pony setup. The XE S will get the latter, and it will be paired up with a new, lighter version of the eight-speed ZF automatic that's so popular in the rest of the JLR fleet. The 340-hp model will be the range-topping entry (at least until Jag decides to shoehorn its blown 5.0-liter V8 under the hood, for the inevitable R and RS variants), and can hit 60 miles per hour in 4.9 seconds before reaching a limited top speed of 155 miles per hour. That sprint to 60 is 0.2 seconds faster than a BMW 335i and it ties the Audi S4. The rest of the engines available on the XE will be part of a new "Ingenium" family, which will be built in the UK using a modular design. Power will be sent to the rear wheels, although Jaguar says the XE's modular architecture is "accepting" of all-wheel-drive systems.
Regardless of which engines the XE arrives with, the car itself will be riding on a largely aluminum chassis with a double-wishbone front suspension. According to Jag, its new sedan will be its first car to arrive with electric power-assisted steering, which is somewhat troubling considering a big weakness of past Jags was steering feedback.
The XE won't be arriving in the US market until 2016 as a 2017 model.
Now for the bad news: While the XE officially launches next year as a 2016 model in the UK, customers in the US won't be able to get their hands on it until 2016, wearing a 2017 model year designation. Regardless of which side of the pond you're on, you'll still be waiting a bit for this kitty to arrive.
That also means that we should be learning a lot more about the XE in the coming months, including (hopefully) pricing, more precise availability and even more details on the powertrain varieties, suspension setup and optional extras. Of course, we'll be sure to recount all the exciting details here, so keep an eye on this space. Until then, scroll down for the official press release, and then take a look at the full gallery of images of the all-new Jaguar XE.
First showing of the performance-orientated Jaguar XE S
The Jaguar XE S features a 340hp supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine with a 0-60 mph time of 4.9 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph1
Front engine, longitudinal rear wheel drive layout, with capability of accepting all-wheel drive
Highly aerodynamic with a drag coefficient of 0.26 Cd
Intuitive new InControl™ infotainment system will be available
Intelligent Active Driver Assistance technologies to support the driver
The XE will launch in the UK in 2015 and U.S. in 2016
(MAHWAH, N.J.) – September 8, 2014 - The Jaguar XE has been revealed to the world at an event held at Earl's Court, London.
A true driver's car, the Jaguar XE redefines the concept of the sports sedan thanks to its advanced lightweight construction, streamlined styling, luxurious interior, and outstanding ride and handling. The XE goes on sale in 2015 in the UK and in 2016 in the U.S. The high-performance S model will be at the top of the line-up.
The Jaguar XE S provides responsiveness and refinement from a supercharged 3.0-liter V6. Generating 340hp and 332 lb-ft of torque, this engine is linked to an eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shift controls. Accelerating to 0-60 mph in just 4.9 seconds, the XE S has an electronically-limited top speed of 155 mph1.
The aluminum-intensive Jaguar XE is the first model developed from the new JLR modular vehicle architecture. The long wheelbase and low seating position enable perfect proportions and a streamlined, coupe-like profile. The S model's large front air intakes, chrome side vents, discreet rear spoiler and optional 20-inch forged alloy wheels reinforce its' performance potential.
The cabin offers outstanding levels of comfort and spaciousness. Exquisite materials and finishes, combined with traditional Jaguar craftsmanship make this an interior without compare.
The Jaguar XE will be the first Jaguar to be equipped with electric power steering. This system is tuned to provide responsiveness and excellent feel, and offers improved efficiency over hydraulic systems.
The aluminum-intensive Jaguar XE is manufactured at an all-new facility at the Jaguar Land Rover Solihull plant. Part of a $2.5 billion USD (£1.5bn GBP) investment, this highly flexible, manufacturing site will create 1,700 jobs.
The XE completes the Jaguar sedan range sitting below the XF and XJ models.
The Jaguar XE was developed in parallel with the new modular architecture. The architecture unlocks design possibilities that did not exist before because the core dimensions were determined by design and engineering working together from the very beginning, under a philosophy of 'anything we can imagine, we can create.
This makes it possible to realize perfect proportions: short front overhang, longer rear overhang and dynamic, cab-rearward stance. The architecture also enables the XE to feature both a low, sporty driving position and a sleek, coupe-like profile.
The strongly-sculpted hood creates a taut, muscular appearance. The rising waistline adds to the sense of movement, while the form of the rear quarters takes inspiration from the F-TYPE Coupe. The signature J-Blade running lights are a recognizable Jaguar design element. In the rear lights, a horizontal line intersecting a circle is a powerful styling feature inherited from the iconic E-Type.
Jaguar has a rich history of producing stunning, aerodynamically-efficient cars. The new Jaguar XE continues the tradition of uncompromised form and function: its streamlined shape has a low drag coefficient of 0.26. This achievement is the result of 1,200 computational fluid dynamics simulations and million hours of processor time.
"Our mission was to create an exciting and dynamic design clearly reflecting the XE positioning as a serious driver's car. The cab-rearward proportions and tight packaging achieve that and give the XE the appearance of movement even when it's standing still. It bears a strong family resemblance to the F-TYPE and will stand apart in the crowd."
– Ian Callum, Jaguar Director of Design
The spacious cabin cocoons front seat passengers with a deep center console which creates a cockpit-like feel. The F-TYPE-style dials and the cluster needle sweep on start-up further emphasize the sports sedan attributes of the Jaguar XE.
Front and rear seat occupants enjoy generous amounts of head and legroom – the XE proves that sleek, streamlined styling and interior space need not be mutually exclusive; fine-grain leathers and details such as contrasting twin-needle stitching give the cabin a bespoke quality. The choice of gloss black, textured aluminum, and contemporary wood veneers enhance the luxurious, hand-crafted feel. Available ambient lighting in a range of up to 10 colors adds to the sense of occasion.
Jaguar is highly experienced in the use of aluminum construction. The expertise in working with this lightweight material has culminated in the revolutionary body structure of the new Jaguar XE. It is the first model designed around an all-new modular architecture.
Much of the aluminum is high-strength, 6000-series alloy. The body sides are a perfect example: these complex pressings are formed in one piece, and what would once have been 1.5mm gauge sheet has been reduced to just 1.1mm.
Sustainability is a big part of the Jaguar aluminum story. Recycling this highly valuable material delivers impressive savings in overall CO2 emissions and the new XE uses RC 5754 – an aluminum alloy made predominantly from recycled material. Future models will also use RC 5754 and this breakthrough will help Jaguar towards its goal of using 75 percent recycled material by 2020. The use of recycled aluminum reduces demand for primary aluminum, saving energy.
Riveting and bonding the lightweight body structure of the Jaguar XE consumes less energy than traditional spot welding. The XE also contains 101lbs. of recycled plastics and renewable materials, further reducing its environmental impact.
"The XE is as strong and light as it could possibly be thanks to exhaustive analysis and by bringing the latest engineering techniques to bear on its design. It has been challenging to accomplish but the XE structure is absolutely at the cutting edge of what is achievable today."
– Dr. Mark White, Chief Technical Specialist, Jaguar; Body Complete
The new Jaguar XE features a sophisticated double wishbone front suspension. The aluminum front spindles are light and stiff – forged from cast blanks using a patented production process while the rear suspension features an integral link system. This system delivers lateral and longitudinal stiffness for precise handling and a supple ride. Aluminum has been used extensively in the suspension, minimizing weight.
Offering incredible tuning possibilities and greater efficiency than traditional hydraulic systems, electric power steering (EPAS) will be standard on the XE.
For customers demanding ultimate performance and an exhilarating engine note from idle right up to the redline there's the Jaguar XE S, which shares its supercharged 3.0-liter V6 with the acclaimed F-TYPE.
Direct injection and fully variable valve timing optimize power and torque throughout the rev range. The 90 degree cylinder bank angle provides space for the twin-vortex Roots-type supercharger, a balancer shaft ensures the engine runs smoothly.
Developing 340hp and 332 lb-ft of torque, the V6 provides the Jaguar XE S with exceptional performance: 0-60 mph takes just 4.9 seconds, and top speed is electronically-limited to 155 mph1.
The Jaguar XE will receive the new family of Ingenium engines. This advanced in-house modular design began from a clean sheet and will be manufactured at the new JLR Engine Manufacturing Center in the UK.
Proven over 2 million miles of real-world testing, Ingenium is the future of the low-CO2 powertrain strategy at Jaguar and is engineered to deliver fuel efficiency, refinement and performance.
The Jaguar XE will be offered with a lighter version of the ZF 8-speed automatic used in the rest of the Jaguar range: this benchmark eight-speed transmission is controlled using the Jaguar rotary shifter.
Active Safety and Driver Assistance features
The new light and stiff body structure of the Jaguar XE has been engineered to meet demanding legislative and consumer crash test requirements. Complementing the outstanding levels of protection it offers is a suite of advanced driver assistance systems designed to help and support the driver.
The Jaguar XE will be equipped with All Surface Progress Control (ASPC)2. This all-new system, developed with the input of decades of Jaguar Land Rover experience in off-road traction systems, works like a low-speed cruise control. Functioning between 2 mph and 19 mph, ASPC is designed to precisely control the brake system and powertrain to deliver optimum traction in slippery conditions.
Projecting high-contrast color images onto the windshield, the optional laser heads-up display (HUD) technology provides the driver with information such as speed and navigation instructions.
Jaguar is one of the first manufacturers in the segment to use stereo camera technology. When fitted, this sensor is the 'eyes' of the optional autonomous emergency braking system for the Jaguar XE, providing measurements of speed and distance of objects ahead, and can initiate full braking to avoid or mitigate a collision. The stereo camera also performs traffic sign recognition and lane departure warning functions as part of the autonomous emergency braking system package2.
The XE also offers systems such as adaptive cruise control, closing vehicle sensing, blind spot monitoring, semi-automated parallel and perpendicular parking, and reverse traffic detection2.
All-new infotainment system
The all-new Jaguar InControl® infotainment system offered on the XE provides the latest technologies to connect the car, driver and the outside world. At its heart is an eight-inch touchscreen featuring a clear, intuitive interface and fast response times3.
InControl Touch® supports Bluetooth®, audio streaming and USB connectivity. The Jaguar XE can be fitted with an SD card-based navigation system which allows easy upgrades of map data and voice control using plain speech gives access to any level of the system, without navigating through menus, so drivers can keep their eyes on the road3.
Smartphones are changing the way people interact with the world around them so the new Jaguar XE ensures that drivers can stay connected. With a subscribed data plan, the Jaguar XE functions as a Wi-Fi hotspot, enabling multiple devices to connect to the internet.
Jaguar InControl Remote® functionality allows users of iOS® and Android™ smartphones to connect to the car remotely to control car functions. These include seven-day timed pre-setting of the vehicle's climate control system, locking or unlocking the doors, or starting the engine. Jaguar InControl Apps® allows users to seamlessly access smartphone apps through the vehicle's touchscreen3.
The new Jaguar XE will be available with Meridian™ audio systems. These superb systems are the latest product of the long-standing partnership between Jaguar and British audio experts Meridian. Unique algorithms guarantee the best possible sound reproduction and tailor the experience to the interior's acoustics.
Detail of the Jaguar XE U.S. model line will be announced when the car is launched in 2016.