Remember the X-Type?
Lucky for Jaguar, most people don’t. A half-baked rebranding of a Ford product, the ill-fated attempt at a compact luxury sedan in the early 2000s never caught on. But Jaguar is back with a new compact sedan, the XE. And this time, it’s a complete in-house design.
Completely new from the ground up, the XE is ready to take the heavyweights of the compact luxury sedan market head on; literally. Slotting between the BMW 3-Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class length-wise, the Jaguar XE is a quite a bit lighter than either of those cars. Compared to the 320i automatic, the XE shaves off 100 pounds and when it comes to the all-wheel drive-only C 300, the Jaguar undercuts it by 350 pounds.
A lot of this weight savings comes through the extensive use of aluminum as well as the first use of electric power steering in a Jaguar vehicle. Taken things a step further, even the 8-speed automatic has been lightened-up for use in the XE.
Although turbocharged four-cylinder engines will be offered in the XE, for now, Jaguar has only announced specs on one engine, the supercharged 3.0-liter V6 that makes 340 HP and 332 lb-ft of torque. This puts it on par with the Audi S4 and Jaguar expects the XK to go from 0-60 MPH in 4.9 seconds.
To make sure the XE handles well, a double wishbones set-up is featured in the front suspension.
Jaguar is also introducing All Surface Progress Control (ASPC) that the company says works like a low-speed cruise control. Enabled between 2 and 19 mph, ASPC controls the brakes and accelerator for optimum traction in slippery conditions.
Like all car companies these days, Jaguar has slapped a trendy name to its new infotainment unit debuting in the XE called InControl. Capable of turning the Jaguar into a Wi-Fi hotspot, InControl can allows owners with Android or Apple smartphones to control the car remotely for things like the vehicle’s door locks, climate control system or pre-setting a timer to start the engine.
The XE should arrive in the U.S. sometime in 2016 by which point there should be an all-wheel drive option. If looking for a compact luxury car, it seems like Jaguar may finally have a serious contender in a few years.
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GALLERY: 2016 Jaguar XE Live Photos
GALLERY: 2016 Jaguar XE
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