NEW JAG A BLINDER
WE DESCRIBE IT AS AWESOME
JAGUAR’S new XE medium size sporty sedan arrives next year as a direct competitor for the BMW 3-Series, new Benz CClass, Lexus IS and Audi A4.
It will be priced commensurate with the competition which means a likely starting point in the mid $50s.
This is a completely new model from Jaguar which last played here about a decade ago with the unloved, Ford-Mondeo-based X-Type.
The XE is a whole different kettle of fish being a total Jaguar effort right down to the engines and underpinnings.
Adding more than a dash of excitement is the fact that plenty of technology from the stunning new F-Type sports car finds its way into the XE.
It ushers in a raft of new manufacturing processes, new connectivity technology, new rear suspension, electric steering, as well as lightweight construction materials and systems.
Jaguar built a specialised plant in the UK for this car (and the Range Rover Sport) both of which are predominantly made of aluminium.
XE’s chassis is a hybrid of aluminium, magnesium and steel that is welded, riveted and bonded together to form a rigid, light construction.
New aluminium alloys, some from recycled material, were formulated for various parts of the car to optimise strength and reduce weight.
It has allowed Jag to use, for the first time, aluminium sheet metal body panels of 1.1mm in thickness, more than a third thinner than before, without compromising strength.
The lightest XE weighs in at 1474kg. This is Jaguar’s first use of a new, advanced aluminium platform that will see duty on future models including a compact SUV style vehicle.
It features plenty of cutting edge technology, in particular the new Ingenium engines in petrol and diesel 2.0-litre displacement both of which pass stringent new EU regulations set to come into force in a few years.
The Integral Link rear suspension is a new development for precise handling and to work in concert with the electric power steering and numerous driver assist features including radar cruise, auto braking system and lane keeping.
A six-speed manual is available overseas but we will likely only see the XE with eight speed ZF auto.
Fuel economy on the base model manual diesel rates an astonishing 3.8 litres/100km.
Safety is rated at five stars but the XE goes further with a new pedestrian safety system featuring a deployable bonnet.
Verdict: An awesome car.
The XE is an all-new sporty sedan, packed with innovation.