2016 Jaguar XE First Look
Filling in Jag's Compact Sedan Gap
The Jaguar clan is finally close to welcoming the family member it's been missing for years: an entry-level compact sedan. Here's our first peek at the 2016 Jaguar XE, which is slated to reach showrooms in the U.K. next year before landing on our shores in 2016.
There's no denying the importance of a compact sport sedan if you're a premium automaker. It serves as an aspirational vehicle to hook in young and affluent buyers, while showcasing a distilled example of the latest and greatest from the automaker. Jaguar has lacked such a car for almost five years, when the last X-Type rolled off the line. Widely overlooked due to heavy hitters such as the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, the X-Type's demise was the catalyst for Jaguar to come up with something better. And at first glance, the XE looks very promising.
For starters, the XE is the first to ride on Jaguar's new modular platform that allows for a rear- or all-wheel-drive configuration. Lightweight aluminum is used extensively throughout the sedan, from its body structure to suspension components.
Jaguar has released details only on the XE S, which will be the top-of-the-line model (for now, anyway). The XE S is powered by a 3.0-liter, supercharged V-6 that's mated to an eight-speed automatic, the same mighty powertrain used in the F-Type coupe and convertible. With 340 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque on tap, the Jaguar XE S will run from 0 to 60 mph in an estimated 4.9 seconds. Top speed is electronically capped at 155 mph. For comparison, BMW says its 300-hp 335i sedan (with the eight-speed auto) goes 0-60 in 5.1 seconds, while the 306-hp Lexus IS 350 F-Sport is listed at 5.6 seconds.
Not only does the Jaguar XE S have more power than those two cars, but its aluminum-extensive body also gives it an advantage when it comes to curb weight. The automaker says the 2016 XE S tips the scales at about 3249 pounds, making it more than 300 pounds lighter than the Lexus and BMW. Also a first for a Jaguar is the XE's electric power steering system.
For now, the Jaguar XE S is only confirmed for the U.K., though this variant will undoubtedly be offered in the U.S. Other engines will come from Jaguar's new lineup of Ingenium powertrains. Details on the Ingenium engines will be revealed at a later date, though a gas- and a diesel-powered turbo-four should be among the choices.
Overall, the XE's sheetmetal looks very muscular. The design is also aerodynamic, giving the XE a drag coefficient of just 0.26. Its lines are clean, and design cues mimic other Jag models. The front clip, for example, features a rectangular grille similar to the XF's. The lower air dams are very aggressive, and the J-Blade LED running lamps are another familiar Jaguar design trait. The 20-inch wheels shown in the photos are optional and emphasize the sedan's short front overhang. Out back, the taillight treatment is inspired by the F-Type. The XE's 111.6-inch wheelbase and overall length of 183.9 inches are comparable to its main competitors, and Jaguar promises ample interior space.
Inside, the center console sets the tone for a simple layout. Two rows of buttons are dedicated to the climate control system. Below that is Jaguar's familiar rotary gear-selector knob, cupholders, and the emergency brake switch.
As previously reported, the 2016 Jaguar XE will get the automaker's new infotainment system, dubbed Jaguar InControl. Jaguar claims the 8-inch touchscreen is quicker to respond to inputs and features sharper resolution. Other features include Wi-Fi hotspot capability, plain speech voice command, and smartphone integration. Owners will also be able to use their smartphones (iOS or Android) to remotely control a number of functions such as starting the engine and locking and unlocking doors.
The Jaguar XE will also host a long list of advanced safety tech. A stereo camera system, for example, serves as the basis for the emergency braking system, traffic sign recognition, and lane departure warning. A laser head-up display will be optional, as well as an adaptive cruise-control system, a blind spot monitor, reverse traffic detection, and a semi-automatic parallel and perpendicular parking system. Standard on the XE will be Jaguar's new All Surface Progress Control technology, an advanced traction control system.
Thanks to its modular platform, expect to see other variants following the 2016 Jaguar XE sedan. A Jaguar XE coupe would be a no-brainer and the folks in Europe will likely enjoy a shooting brake. Perhaps more exciting, however, is the idea of R and R-S versions sporting Jaguar's potent supercharged V-8, which many would consider a necessity if Jag truly wants to pounce on the BMW 3 Series, Cadillac ATS, and Lexus IS.