SPORTY JAGUAR XE ELEGANTLY OF­FERS PLENTY OF STICK

Flag­ship XE S loads up on fea­tures — and an F-Type pow­er­plant

Geelong Advertiser - Motoring - - FRONT PAGE - WITH CAM WARD

It was US Pres­i­dent Theodore Roo­sevelt who coined the phrase “speak softly, and carry a big stick”.

is Jaguar’s XE S sedan that puts that think­ing into car.

From ex­te­rior, there is lit­tle to dis­tin­guish XE’s flag­ship from other mod­els in the range.

The keen ob­server might note the bright red brake calipers (pre­sum­ably be­cause of maxim that if red cars go faster, brakes pre­sum­ably stop quicker).

And there is an un­der­stated tri­colour S badge down low on fa­mil­iar Jaguar grille and, again, the boot lid.

But that does not tell you that the XE can do 0-100km/h in 5.1 sec­onds be­cause it shares the same en­gine as a

F-Type sports car — this case a 3.0-litre V6 su­per­charged petrol pow­er­plant.

You gain sense of what it is ca­pa­ble when you lift bon­net and see the size of the en­gine — the en­gine cover alone looks size of a small coffee ta­ble and sound it makes when you ac­cel­er­ate in hurry is def­i­nitely out or­di­nary; not overly loud but a dif­fer­ent note.

Per­haps that sense what was ca­pa­ble of was why my dad al­most squealed the first time he saw the XE S sit­ting in his drive (no, did think it to keep) and again when we had enough a gap in traf­fic on Ma­roon­dah High­way to ac­cel­er­ate with any de­gree of force.

That is es­pe­cially so when you work through the eight-speed gear­box us­ing steer­ing wheel pad­dles. The changes are slick­est and quick­est I think I have ever ex­pe­ri­enced.

“That’s flag­ship of XE range, that’s the top-end ver­sion with more fea­tures than other cars have got,” Rex Gorell Jaguar sales man­ager Mark Taub­itz said.

“It’s got the high­est level of per­for­mance — shar­ing that V6 su­per­charged three-litre en­gine with F-Type so that’s bench­mark. “From there you’d go up into ei­ther

if you want some­thing more sporty in or an XF if a lit­tle bit big­ger and lux­u­ri­ous.”

It drives like F-Type, with which it shares the same dou­ble wish­bone front end sus­pen­sion that gives much more di­rect steer­ing ride. And there are low-pro­file tyres on im­pos­ing 20-inch wheels, yet it doesn’t drive like a rigid race-car trans­mits ev­ery bump the road through the wheel and up your arms.

That ride is aided by Jaguar’s “torque vec­tor­ing brak­ing”, which ap­plies brake pres­sure to

in­side rear while main­tain­ing power the out­side

wheel to help car pivot and

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