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Jaguar XE sedan touches down in London

XE S life: Jaguar’s important sports sedan was launched overnight at a lavish three-hour party in the centre of the UK’s capital.

Jaguar’s vital XE mid-size sports sedan guest of honour at Earls Court extravaganza


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9 Sep 2014

JAGUAR has finally unveiled its long-awaited XE sports sedan, presenting the crucial new model at a lavish party in London’s Earls Court after an extended campaign of drip-fed information and tantalising teaser pictures.

Little new information was released at the official unveiling, but the Indian-owned British car-maker has confirmed that the flagship XE S will have the performance to match its aggressive and now fully revealed styling, reaching 100km/h from standstill in 5.1 seconds.

Its supercharged 3.0-litre V6 engine has been lifted from the entry-level F-Type sportscar and will take the newest Jaguar sports sedan to a limited top speed of 250km/h with 250kW of power and 450Nm of torque.

Jaguar has also confirmed a 2.0-litre ‘Ingenium’ diesel engine variant will sit below the XE S flagship with class-leading fuel economy, consuming less than 4.0 litres of fuel per 100km on the European combined cycle and producing less than 100 grams of CO2 per kilometre.

The remarkable fuel economy is a result of lightweight aluminium monocoque construction, its newly developed Ingenium engine and a super-slippery drag coefficient of 0.26Cd – the lowest of any Jaguar to date.

Previous teaser images have only allowed a glimpse at how the front of the XE will look and an obscured profile view, but the full unveiling confirms that the XE’s back end will follow the design language of its bigger XF and XJ siblings.

The first images of its interior also accompany the XE debut, offering a first look at its simple and minimalist but well-equipped cabin.

Two trim versions have been showcased with a stark all-white leather interior most likely destined for the lower end of the range, and a vivid two-tone red-on-black option to match the metallic red exterior of the XE S.

The pictures confirm top-performing versions of the XE will sit on unique 10-spoke alloy wheels and low-profile tyres, which were first seen on a rolling chassis schematic revealed in July.

London’s Earls Court was the venue for Jaguar’s official launch party, where the XE arrived via a helicopter trip over the British capital, a Thames barge river trip and with a 1960s Jaguar Mark II police car escort.

Jaguar’s design director Ian Callum presented the new model, describing it as a “breakthrough moment and an attainable Jag”.

“The XE will take the brand to a whole new group of customers around the world.

Customers who want performance, customers who love driving, and of course customers who want efficiency,” he said.

Jaguar is directly targeting the sports sedan segment with the XE range, which is dominated by the big three German brands Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

The first vehicles will arrive in Australia next year.

With its notable diesel efficiency, the XE already has the edge on Audi’s A4 2.0 TDI (4.8L/100km) and BMW’s 320d (4.5L/100km).

At the other end of the scale, the flagship XE S has performance to match BMW’s 335i and the Audi S4, with room in the naming system to allow an XE R which would go head-to-head with the fiery BMW M3, Audi RS4 and as yet unseen new-generation Mercedes C63 AMG.

Further details of the XE range will be revealed at its outing at the Paris motor show early next month, with possible additions including smaller-engined petrol and more powerful diesel variants.

As previously reported, the British-built Jaguar XE will be the lightest and stiffest Jaguar sedan to date, with an “unmatched” chassis and a development of rear-drive traction control Jaguar calls All Surface Progress Control.

All XE variants will be available with a lightened version of the ZF eight-speed automatic transmission found across the Jaguar range, while diesels have a six-speed manual gearbox option.

Information and entertainment systems are accessed via an eight-inch touchscreen and voice control, with Bluetooth and USB connectivity.

All smartphones can connect to the XE and the vehicle can act as a WiFi hotspot with full access to the internet, allowing control of the vehicle’s functions remotely, including air-conditioning and locking/unlocking.

Environmental sustainability was an important factor in the XE development, with Ingenium engines produced at Jaguar’s new high efficiency UK factory, while 46 per cent of plastics used are recycled and structural aluminium is largely recycled too.

In the UK, the new XE range will cost from the equivalent of $A47,000 but Australian pricing has yet to be announced.

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