Just in case we needed more evidence that Jaguar is working on a smaller, entry-level sedan, we spied a prototype of the 2015 Jaguar XS testing in the U.K.
As was the case last time we spotted the 2015 Jaguar XS, the prototype car is clearly a mish-mash of body parts from the existing Jaguar XF and the forthcoming smaller sedan. Giveaways to the size reduction include the fact that the wheels don't fill out the wheel arches, the rear doors appear shorter than on a Jaguar XF, and there is a gap between the edge of the rocker panels and the front fenders. The trunklid also doesn't sit flush against the rear fascia, and the XS's taillights differ slightly from those on a Jaguar XF.
The 2015 Jaguar XS will be based on Jaguar Land Rover's Premium Lightweight Architecture, which makes extensive use of aluminum to trim weight. Codenamed X760, the XS will be a slightly smaller sedan designed to compete with the likes of the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Once the sedan debuts in 2015, it is expected that the model will spawn a crossover version (potentially called XQ) a year later.
The XS will likely share most of its underpinnings with the all-new Jaguar XF, which could debut later this year. The XF will shift from its current Ford-sourced DEW98 platform to the aforementioned PLA -- thus allowing Jaguar to easily craft a slightly smaller chassis for the XS sedan. As for what will power the XF and XS, we can probably expect Jaguar to offer a 2.0-liter turbo-four and 3.0-liter supercharged V-6, with a choice between rear- and all-wheel drive.
Jaguar desperately needs to expand its lineup and to produce a more affordable entry model in order to lure more customers. The luxury carmaker sold just 37,636 cars worldwide in the first half of this year -- during which time German rival Audi delivered 74,277 units in the U.S. market alone. Even though Jaguar sales are up 29 percent year-over-year, the company clearly has a long way to go if it's determined to fight Audi, BMW, and Mercedes.
We expect that Jaguar will confirm plans for the smaller XS sedan, its crossover derivative, and the Jaguar XF next month at the Frankfurt Motor Show.