Jaguar is to re-enter the compact luxury segment with the new XE, which has tonight been revealed at a star-studded event held at Earls Court in London.
Designed and engineered to take on the likes of the BMW 3 series, the aluminium-intensive XE is the first model developed from Jaguar Land Rover’s new modular vehicle architecture. The rear-drive car is also the lightest, stiffest and most aerodynamic Jaguar saloon ever built.
Jaguar says the architecture unlocks design possibilities that did not exist before because the core dimensions were determined by design and engineering working together from the very beginning, under a philosophy of “anything we can imagine, we can create.”
The result of 1,200 computational fluid dynamics simulations and more than eight million hours of processor time, the new car’s shape also has the lowest drag coefficient of any Jaguar yet at 0.26.
“Our mission was to create an exciting and dynamic design clearly reflecting the XE’s positioning as a serious driver’s car. The cab-rearward proportions and tight packaging achieve that and give the XE the appearance of movement even when it’s standing still. It bears a strong family resemblance to the F-Type and will stand apart in the crowd,” says Ian Callum, Jaguar’s design director.
The new XE will be powered by a range of four- and six-cylinder all-aluminium petrol and diesel engines, with the range topping XE S sharing its supercharged 3.0-litre V6 with the F-Type.
Developing 335 bhp and 332 ft lb of torque, the XE S manages 0-60 mph in a claimed 4.9 seconds. Top speed is electronically-limited to 155 mph.
Jaguar is launching the XE with a new family of engines called “Ingenium.” This in-house modular design began from a clean sheet and is manufactured at Jaguar Land Rover’s new £500 million UK Engine Manufacturing Centre. Ingenium will eventually form the cornerstone of Jaguar’s future low-CO2 powertrain strategy.
The first Ingenium engines to come off the line are 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesels – all of which meet latest Euro 6 standards. Jaguar claims the diesels provide fuel consumption and CO2 emissions from 75 mpg and 99 g/km.
Chassis-wise, Jaguar’s engineers have opted for a double wishbone configuration instead of a MacPherson strut at the front. At the rear, a conventional multilink rear suspension couldn’t deliver Jaguar’s dynamics targets, so the solution was “Integral Link” – a system usually found only in larger, more expensive vehicles and which Jaguar says delivers the ideal lateral and longitudinal stiffness values needed for the XE’s handling and ride.
The XE also becomes the first Jaguar to use electric power steering, which has helped reduce CO2 emissions by up to three per cent.
To be built at Jaguar Land Rover’s Solihull plant in an all-new purpose-built facility, the XE will go on sale in 2015, with the high-performance S model at the top of the range.