At the 2013 Frankfurt auto show, Jaguar confirmed its plans to launch a smaller sedan by 2015, and at the 2014 Geneva auto show, the British company announced that the car will be called the XE. The XE name positions the new model in line with the existing Jaguar XF and XJ sedans, as well as with the XK coupe/convertible.
The Jaguar XE is a small sport sedan that is designed to compete with the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. It will be built from a new “aluminum intensive” chassis, the basis of which was previewed last year by the Jaguar C-X17 crossover concept. Aluminum helps keep the car light, which Jaguar claims will improve the XE’s efficiency, handling, and acceleration.
Propulsion will come from new 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline and diesel inline-four engines that are part of Jaguar’s new Ingenium engine family. The engines can apparently be configured to fit in longitudinal or transverse engine bays and can be equipped with rear- and all-wheel drive. The Jaguar XE will be the first application of these engines.
While Jaguar has so far only teased the front end of the XE, shots from our spy photographers suggest that the Jaguar XE will likely have a long hood, a swept-back windshield, a stubby trunk, and a strong bodyside crease.
“The new Jaguar XE is every bit a modern Jaguar,” design director Ian Callum said in a statement. “We never forget we are designing a Jaguar car, and that means it must be as exciting to look at and drive as it is brilliant to run and practical to own.”
The Jaguar XE will make its official debut later this year, possibly at the 2014 Paris auto show in October, and goes on sale in Europe in 2015. The Jaguar XE will make its way to the U.S. market in 2016. Because the XE takes the position of the XF as the entry-level Jaguar, a larger, more upmarket Jaguar XF will arrive by 2016. We reported that it will have, “improved space utilization, refinement, and efficiency.”