Jaguar’s much anticipated baby sedan will be named XE when it goes on sale in around twelve months time. The announcement was made at the Geneva motor show today. The car will sit underneath the XF in Jaguar's model line-up.
Images of the Jaguar XE's chassis appear to show a very short rear deck and steeply sloping rear windscreen. The result is shape that is much less of the conventional three-box saloon and something closer to a fastback.
At the front, the disguise doesn't hide the fact that the car also has a very low nose and low bonnet line, with the grille and headlamps sited a little closer to the ground than on rival compact premium saloons.
The XE will be the first car in its segment to use an aluminium monocoque and Jaguar says it is "set to be the most advanced, efficient and refined sports sedan in its class". The XE is the first product spawned from Jaguar's new architecture which was showcased in the C-X17 SUV concept.
Jaguar has also confirmed it will be powered by J-LR's new family of high-output four-cylinder engines. The engine range will be called Ingenium and built at J-LR's new engine plant in Wolverhampton. The engine family has been designed to work in transverse and longitudinal configurations and will enable the option of rear- or four-wheel drive.
Speaking at the Geneva show Jaguar Land Rover boss Ralf Speth said: “We announced just a few weeks ago that our new Engine Manufacturing Centre would produce a new family of premium, lightweight, low-friction, low emission four-cylinder petrol and diesel units. The first of our Ingenium engine range will be used in our all-new mid-sized Jaguar sports sedan. That car will be called the Jaguar XE, and it will be unveiled in production form later this year.”
We understand that the XE has a particularly sophisticated aluminium suspension set-up, which is intended to help the XE out-handle the BMW 3-series and finally make Jaguar a contender in the mainstream premium car market by way of its driving dynamics.
Jaguar boss Adrian Hallmark added that the key attributes of the 3-series rival must be that it is better to drive, feature more advanced technology and have a more alluring design than any of its rivals.
“The key has been getting the F-type at the heart of our range,” said Hallmark. “It stands for everything Jaguar is about and is utterly distinctive. It is the purest expression of what all our cars should be about. Now we must apply that strategy to forthcoming cars, including the baby saloon. The headlines of that car must be innovative technology, the most desirable design and a driving sensation that makes the car feel more alive than anything the opposition has to offer.”
“We have a view on how we can differentiate ourselves from them, and we believe that at the end of the scale Jaguar will sell in, which is traditionally the higher price point of the market, we can win customers by being distinctive, by avoiding being aloof and by standing for something that is just a little bit different.”
The Jaguar XE is expected to evolve into a full line-up of body styles, including an estate, coupé and convertible. Jaguar is also tipped to be developing a crossover in tandem with the baby saloon, with the styling and capability focused more around on-road dynamics than any serious off-road capability. It is likely to be launched in 2016 or 2017.