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Early interest in Jag’s XE flagship
Strong customer interest in F-Type V6-powered Jaguar XE S
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31 Aug 2015
THE supercharged V6 performance flagship of Jaguar’s new mid-size XE range is expected to be one of the more popular variants, with the company’s local chief confirming more stock has been requested.
Jag’s all-new BMW 3 Series-chasing XE is in showrooms from September 1, with the range kicking off from $60,400 plus on-road costs for the base Prestige 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol version, topping out at $104,200 for the most potent XE S.
Under the nose of the XE S is the same 250kW/450Nm 3.0-litre supercharged V6 of the F-Type sportscar, making for a 0-100km/h sprint time of 5.1 seconds, and offering buyers an alternative to other spicy mid-sizers such as the Audi S4, BMW 335i and the forthcoming Mercedes-Benz C450 AMG Sport.
While the more sedate 2.0-litre petrol-powered versions will probably prove to be the top sellers in the range, Jaguar Land Rover Australia managing director Matthew Wiesner said that the XE S will be one of the more popular variants.
“We are already seeing demand through the network for that car,” he told GoAuto at the XE media launch in Far North Queensland. “Obviously picking up on all the global focus on XE, which a lot of it has been centred around the S. We have already gone back and asked for some additional production on the S.”
Mr Wiesner said Jaguar’s marketing and advertising for XE would connect the car to its F-Type halo, but the extra demand for the shared drivetrain could put pressure on manufacturing.
“For the last six to eight months we have been investing a lot more into Jaguar broadly and using F-Type as the hero in that context, so we are just constantly making sure that relationship between F-Type and XE – especially the S given the drivetrain – is understood and that is helping that process at the same time. It is a nice way to start.
“I suppose the other challenge there is sharing that drivetrain with F-Type will mean there is going to be some pressure on that drivetrain, which is a nice problem to have I suppose.”
The XE shares a similar double wishbone front suspension set-up with the F-Type – as will the forthcoming F-Pace crossover – as well as a torque-vectoring system, that brakes the individual inner wheels as required to mitigate understeer.
Mr Wiesner said he expected the S to make up more than 10 per cent of overall XE volume, and added that the company’s focus on aftersales service and financing options will ensure sales of a broad mix of variants.
“From a planning point of view, we would like to think it does a bit better than that,” he said. “Typically it will start stronger and then settle down into a mix further down the track.
“I think it's because … the focus that we have got is very much around driveability and the rear-wheel drive dynamics and the like, we are going to hopefully attract a fairly broad range of those that love the ‘dynamicness’ of what XE stands for,” he said.
“It’s great to have an entry point of a bit over $60,000, but what it means is, especially with other stuff we are doing around financial services, it means that affordability and so on becomes far greater, so we are probably putting ourselves in a position where our mix might be a bit stronger than otherwise people might think.”
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