Last year, Audi, BMW, and Mercedes built between 1.6 million and 1.8 million vehicles each. Jaguar made just 81,570. But there’s no need to compete in terms of volume when you’ve got some of the most exciting, uniquely constructed cars on the market. With the announcement of Jaguar’s 2017 XE, a compact, premium four-door sedan, the company is in a position to dominate the German three on its own terms. The XE will represent the carmaker’s flair for innovation while still honoring the traditional Jaguar driving experience.
Of the many interesting new components the Jaguar XE has to offer, we’re most excited about its Ingenium engine – Jaguar’s first true in-house engine in decades. The new four-cylinder gasoline and diesel units have cost Jaguar Land Rover more than $750 million to develop, and will be used across the Jaguar and Land Rover ranges. A 180-hp 2.0-liter diesel will be offered shortly after the supercharged V-6 debuts in the US, and get ready, because the V-6 is the same engine used in the F-Type and boasts 340-hp.
A gasoline 2.0-liter Ingenium will also be available later in 2016, with the option of a six-speed manual. Naturally, all-wheel drive will be offered with all engines. Keep that in mind when you’re going from zero to sixty mph in 4.9 seconds.
The Jaguar XE is becoming best known for its aluminum construction – giving it an edge over its (mostly) steel competition. About 25% of the vehicle is still steel (the doors, the trunklid and the rear section of the floor) to improve weight distribution and to keep manufacturing costs down, but the aluminum architecture it features will offset the premium suspension and keep emissions low.
Hitting emissions targets was a big factor in the design of the Jaguar XE, which explains their adoption of electric power steering for this particular car, and also means a 2-3% savings in carbon dioxide emissions. Combined with a suspension that has been mounted to a more stable, consistent platform, you’re guaranteed an exceptionally smooth ride. Automobile Magazine wrote, “The XE has a lovely Jaguar suppleness over poor surfaces its rivals can’t match.”
The smoothness, Automobile Magazine reports, is due to the nature of that updated suspension: double wishbones at the front, where most competitors use struts, and an integral-link design at the rear, where most others use a simpler multilink setup. The rear arrangement allows Jaguar to decouple and deal differently with inputs that affect ride and handling, vastly improving both.
The Jaguar XE is set to compete in a market segment that Jaguar hasn’t entered since 2009, and with all the money the company has put into the vehicle’s production, we’re eager to test out the XE ourselves. The first customer car is set to be delivered in Europe this May, but American customers won’t be able to get their hands on one until early 2016. In the meantime, drop by Elmhurst Jaguar for a test drive of one the F-Type models. You’ll get an idea of what kind of power to expect from the XE before it arrives.