Once upon a time, British luxury car maker Jaguar was owned by American car giant Ford. In the early noughties, Jaguar built an entry-level luxury sedan dubbed the X-Type, which shared its underpinnings with the Ford Mondeo. Compared with the Mercedes Benz C-Class and BMW 3-Series sedans of this world, the X-Type was more Ford than Jaguar. Predictably, an early demise in 2009 was the result and Jaguar took a break from the entry-level luxury sedan segment.
Cut to the present, Jaguar is now owned by Indian automaker Tata Motors, who has sunk in large quantities of cash towards new product development. Jaguar and Land Rover (JLR) are building a string of new cars and SUVs, and the XE sedan is the first of the new crop of products from JLR. Jaguar has just unwrapped the sexy, 2015 XE sedan, ahead of the car’s official debut at next month’s Paris Motor Show.
The 2015 Jaguar XE luxury sedan will go into production in the middle of next year with the order books opening in early 2015. The XE sedan will also be launched in India, where the car is likely to take the CKD assembly route considering that its larger siblings, the XF and XJ are both assembled here. The 2015 XE sedan’s rivals include the Audi A4, the BMW 3-Series, the Mercedes Benz C-Class and the Volvo S60. For its part, Jaguar aims to position the XE as a sportier alternate to the above crop of luxury sedans.
In terms of styling, the 2015 XE sedan looks unmistakably Jaguar albeit with understated elegance than overstated flourishes. The car continues to use a long hood upfront, with a pulled back rear to make for a sporty stance. New design alloy wheels, headlamps and tail lamps are the major differentiating factors that give the XE an identity of its own. The car uses Jaguar-Land Rover’s iQ[AL] platform, with an all aluminum monocoque body that is 20 % stiffer than even the XFR sports coupe.
The differentiating elements also make their presence felt on the innards, with the 2015 XE sedan featuring a minimalist dashboard design. An 8 inch touch screen dominates proceedings on the dashboard, and is loaded with a slew of advanced infotainment options including Jaguar InControl Apps that control a lot of the aspects including pre-heating and pre-cooling the car remotely. The car comes loaded with safety feature such as adaptive cruise control, airbags, ABS+EBD, traffic sign recognition and surface program control (Jaguar’s version of Land Rover’s TerrainResponse system).
The 2015 XE will use a new range of Ingenium, 2 liter-4 cylinder turbo petrol and turbo diesel engines. A 6 speed manual gearbox will be offered with entry-level variants while higher variants will receive the 8 speed automatic transmission, which is a surprise really considering that Jaguar does have access to the 9 speed automatic gearbox from ZF. A rear wheel drive layout will be standard with an all-wheel drive option offered on high performance models. The XE gets a double wishbone suspension set-up at front while the rear is taken care of by an integral link suspension set-up.
The XE’s high performance S variant will use the 3 liter, V6 supercharged petrol motor borrowed from the F-Type. The 3 liter V6 motor will output 336 Bhp of peak power and 450 Nm of peak torque. A V8 supercharged motor may also make an appearance in the next year or so. The V8 engined XE-S is expected to hit a top speed close to the 300 Kph mark, and square off with the likes of the Audi RS5, the BMW M3 and the Mercedes Benz C63 AMG high performance cars.