Jaguar officially announced the upcoming arrival of the XE, the new “middle” model that is going to fight against the premium models for excellence, like the German BMW 3 Series, Mercedes C-Class and Audi A4. The car will be the heir of the unlucky X -Type, which production was deleted in 2009 and never had as successful as hoped. The market debut is awaited in the late 2014.
The XE has the duty to inaugurate the new aluminum chassis called PLA ( acronym of Premium Lightweight Architecture), by which the JLR Group (owned by the Indian Group Tata) intends to build about 90% of its models and that will also be used for new future SUV derived from C- X17 show-car. It would be one of the first cars in its class to use this technology and thus to be characterized by a greater lightness and rigidity compared to its competitors. Jaguar, among other things, through years it specialized in aluminum processing: the second-last generation XJ was already made in aluminum and through this time the British Factory has been able to acquire huge know-how for its use and for industry apps.
But perhaps the most significant question is that the new XE will (also) have a new family of four-cylinder engines, about 2.0 liter , both petrol and diesel.
So you can choose between rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive, manual or nine gears automatic transmissions, almost surely a hybrid version and even a 550 hp variant. Obviously, however, the most of the sales will be represented by the 2.0 turbo engines, which it will be produced in the new factory which, with an about 500 million pounds investment was built in Wolverhampton, Midlands, UK, and it will employ more than 1.400 workers, including workmen, engineers and staff supervision.
Even so, Jaguar promised that the new “Ingenium” (the units’ code name) engines will still be able to provide optimal performance limiting, in the same time, CO2 emissions below 100 g/km for the first time in the Manufacturer’s history… In full compliance with the downsizing trend! Likely also the wagon version, perhaps XE SportBrake called.
Another new is that these new engines will also be used for the coupe and roadster F -Type, thus playing the entry-level role: now the car is indeed available with a 3.0 V6 of 340 hp and 381 and a 5.0 V8 for the supercharged version “R” of 551 hp. A less powerful version would enable Jaguar to cut global CO2 emissions, keeping away the imposed limits, as well as to improve fuel economy.
A first for Jaguar that had never built a four-cylinder engine sports car before.
In any case, the F -Type will be even lighter and more agile, because the engine would be put further back ensuring a lower weight and an optimal balance, to all advantage of the car itself’s handling and agility.
The use of a small high-power engine would finally compensate the additional weight of a four-wheel drive: this also because the four-wheel drive, which is used on the XF and XJ in connection with the V6 petrol 3.0 supercharged engine has had a remarkable success in the U.S. We can remember that the V6 is currently the only engine designed for the Jaguar 4×4 .
So, will the new Jaguars be at same standards of the famous predecessors or are we going to see here a strong change of course with the intention of increase the sales?