Jaguar XE: A shift from Exclusivity to Affordability
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With almost every mainstream luxury brand going the affordable way, Jaguar has had that space vacant for a model which could give its relatively slow-trickling sales chart a noticeable peak. And as it is said, necessity is the mother of invention, XE sedan- the smallest Jaguar ever came into existence. Expected to hit the roads by end of this year globally and early next year in India, the model will most likely be priced close to INR 35 Lacs, making it the most affordable offering from company's stable till date.
The XE is the brainchild of Jaguar's design chief- Ian Callum and is based on British car manufacturer’ newly developed aluminum architecture, that is capable of underpinning a whole portfolio of products, ranging from the smallest XE to the large XJ-sized luxury saloon and crossovers and SUVs as well. The XE’s uni-body, just like the elder sibling F-type, is majorly build of bonded and riveted aluminum, which according to the company is a new alloy that is predominantly recycled.
In terms of design, there’s a lot of ‘XF’ appeal in both the face and rear of the XE, and its broad headlights and wide mesh front grille provides an extra longer and lower stance. Also, what Jaguar claims that the XE is its most aerodynamic car ever, with a drag coefficient of just 0.26.
On the inside, a lot of typical Jaguar elements can be witnessed, such as the rotary shifter and the streamlined sill line that stretches from the top of the doors around the base of the windshield. Also it will be the first Jaguar to use electrically assisted power steering, which has been sourced from the German expert, ZF. Other new and notable equipment onboard the model includes a stereo-camera-based driver-assistance system that enables automatic braking, lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and automated parking.
The range-topping XE S, which is very much unlikely to come ‘ever’ in India, gets the supercharged 3.0-litre V6 found in the F-type, putting out 340bhp along with 450Nm of peak torque. These power numbers enables the XE to boast a 0-100 km sprint in less than 5.0 seconds, on its way to a governed top whack of 250 kmph.
While the lower-spec models will be fitted with either of a pair of new 2.0-liter turbocharged fours, petrol or diesel each. These four-cylinders will be the first engines from the all-new ‘Ingenium’ family shared with the sister company Land Rover, all based around a standard 500cc cylinder each.
A six-speed manual and a ZF-sourced 8-speed automatic transmission will be offered, depending on the market demand. Four-wheel drive will also be available at some point of time, though no official words regarding this have come out yet.
Jaguar is betting high on the XE and has invested about $2.5 billion in facilities for the model’s manufacturing at its Solihull, UK plant.
There was a time when Jaguar actually used to sell about 20,000 to 30,000 X-types annually, but now it stands behind the prime players in the XE’s segment, the BMW 3-series and Mercedes-Benz C-class, which clock around 3,50,000 units a year cumulatively.