Jaguar is vying for the jugulars of its medium-sized executive saloon competitors with the new XE. The BMW 3 Series-rival was unveiled last night at an event in Earl’s Court, London, which saw stars like Stella McCartney, José Mourinho and British band The Kaiser Chiefs in attendance.
According to Lesley Sutton, Media Affairs Manager at Jaguar Land Rover South Africa, the XE is expected to land on our shores in the second half of 2015.
In the UK prices start at £27 000, which equates to R469 767 at the current exchange rate. But given the usual bevy of charges slapped onto to vehicles imported into SA, don’t bet on that figure.
Jaguar’s last attempt at the competitive premium C-segment was the Ford Mondeo-based X-Type, which didn’t fare as well as the automaker had intended. Now they hope the XE’s striking aesthetics, spirited performance and engaging drive will sway buyers from perennial favourites.
It’s billed as an authentic driver’s car. And this is the first model to use their all-new modular platform architecture, which makes liberal use of aluminium. Jaguar boldly said that they will set benchmarks in the areas of ride and handling.
They did things a little differently. Up front, for example, a double wishbone suspension configuration was used, in comparison to the MacPherson strut setup sported by its direct peers. A big talking point is the assortment of new Ingenium engines that will be offered. The Ingenium range of powerplants is, according to Jaguar, the cornerstone of their strategy for lower CO2 emissions – without sacrificing performance.
The first from the Ingenium family is a four-cylinder diesel, with 119kW and 380Nm of torque. Two-litre turbocharged petrol mills will be available too. Transmission choices include an eight-speed ZF automatic as well as a traditional six-speed manual.
Those after performance credentials can opt for the XE S, which uses the supercharged V6 mill (250kW and 450Nm) from the lauded F-Type sports car. It dispatches the 0-100km/h sprint in a claimed 5.1 seconds. Jaguar will announce more details at the forthcoming Paris Motor Show.
-Ignition Live Reporter