• Smallest, lightest, stiffest Jaguar
• Two-litre Ingenium diesel
• Supercharged three-litre V6
• Optional laser head-up display
PARIS, France - Jaguar’s rear-wheel drive XE has made its global debut at the 2014 Paris auto show.
According to Jaguar: “The XE’s lightweight construction, streamlined styling, luxurious interior and outstanding ride and handling are testimony to company founder Sir William Lyons’ vision - 'The car is the closest thing we will ever create to something that is alive’.”
The rear-drive XE, Jaguar says, is the only vehicle in its class to use an “aluminium-intensive monocoque”.
HEADED FOR SA
From luxurious to high-performance, the XE range will be launched in a range of specifications:
The entry-level SE has cloth upholstery, gloss-black door trim and the Jaguar's signature ‘Riva Hoop’ above the instrument panel. Standard equipment includes satnav, cruise control, 17” alloy rims, digital radio and a multi-function leather steering wheel.
The prestige version adds heatable leather front seats, luxury interior and blue ambient lighting. There are perforated inserts on the chillable seats option and the ‘Riva Hoop’ and door finishers are aluminium.
The most luxurious XE adds wide range of colours for the premium leather upholstery with herringbone perforations. The instrument panel is split into upper and lower coverings in two colours, with twin-needle stitching. The aluminium trim has an embossed finish. Additional equipment includes a Meridian audio system, power front seats, bi-xenon and LED headlights and 18” alloy rimss (except on 120kW engines).
The R-Sport has heatable leather sports seats and its tread plates and sports steering-wheel have R-Sport branding. The exterior is enhanced by a spoiler and chromed vents. Its sports suspension delivers improved handling. Bi-xenon headlights (with LED signature running lights), black window surrounds and two-tone 18” alloy rims complete the exterior.
The most performance-orientated XE has a race-inspired interior. The enlarged air intakes hint at the performance potential of the supercharged V6. Sill extensions, rear spoiler, gloss-black rear valance, red brake callipers, bi-xenons lights and 19” alloy rims complete the exterior package.
The S version alos comes with a Meridian audio system, keyless entry and power-operated boot lid.
LIGHT, STIFF, SAFE
The automaker claims: "Following development of the aluminium XJ in 2003, the XK, the current XJ and the F-Type, Jaguar’s experience is embodied in the new XE’s aluminium-intensive monocoque. The XE is the most rigid sedan that Jaguar has yet built and no other vehicle in the midsize segment contains more aluminium."
Mark White, Jaguar's chief technical specialist for light vehicle technologies, said: “The Jaguar XE body is more than 75% aluminium, which far exceeds any other car in its class. This gives us a body structure with unrivalled low weight: it’s light but also immensely strong with extremely high levels of torsional stiffness and safety without compromising vehicle design or refinement.”
The XE is the first model designed using Jaguar’s new modular vehicle architecture. This advanced structure will underpin a range of different models. The new XE is the first sedan, Jaguar claims, to use a high-strength aluminium alloy, RC5754, made predominantly from recycled material.
The XE is powered by a range of four and six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, part of its new Ingenium engine family, mated to either a six-speed manual or eight-speed auto transmission.
The two-litre four-cylinder diesels are available in a choice of two outputs; 120kW/380Nm or 132kW/430Nm. The 120kW version has a claimed fuel consumption of 3.8 litres/100km (3.9 in auto) with emissions of 99g/km.
The two-litre four-cylinder petrol is available as either 147kW/280Nm or 177kW/340Nm.
The flagship XE S variant uses a three-litre V6 supercharged engine, as in the F-Type, with a claimed 250kW/450Nm, enabling the it to howl to 100km/h in 4.9 seconds on to a limited top speed of 250km/h.
According to Jaguar: “The cabin has outstanding levels of comfort and spaciousness. Exquisite materials and finishes combined with Jaguar craftsmanship make this a class-beating interior that’s unlike anything else in the segment.
“Jaguar’s new InControl infotainment system takes centre stage: its innovative 20cm touchscreen brings fast, intuitive access to all features and functions – and iOS and Android smartphone apps.”
Making its world debut in the new XE is Jaguar’s all-surface progress control (a Bells' for whoever thought that one up). This traction management system, akin to a low-speed cruise control, is ideal for a snow-covered driveway or ungritted winter roads - even for wet grass.
A first for Jaguar is the the XE’s optional laser head-up display that projects high-contrast colour images on to the windscreen ahead of the driver but is smaller and 30% lighter than existing TFT systems.
The sedan is one of the first vehicles in the segment to have a stereo camera, providing a 3D view of the road ahead and at the heart of the autonomous emergency braking and traffic-sign recognition systems.
The camera also detects road markings to inform the XE’s lane-departure warning system. If the system determines that the vehicle is unintentionally leaving its lane the driver receives a vibration through the steering wheel.
The car also has adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitors and two semi-auto parking assistance functions – auto park (parallel and perpendicular bays) and a traffic detection system while reversing.
Stay with Wheels24 for the 2014 Paris auto show