Last year has been a good one for Jaguar Land Rover, seeing as its sales were up nine percent compared to 2013. It was also the fifth consecutive year posting an increase in deliveries – though Jaguar’s North American sales were up by a mere 276 units.
The British luxury brand hopes that its all-new XE compact saloon will be a major asset in posting better results in 2015. Although it was first unveiled last October in Paris, the XE is making its North American debut at the 2015 North American International Auto Show.
Scheduled to go on sale in 2016, the XE will be available with both petrol and diesel engines, both combined with an eight-speed auto and available with rear- and all-wheel drive.
The first is a 3.0-liter supercharged petrol V6 churning out 340hp and 436Nm (32 lb-ft) of torque for the S version, which accelerates from 0-60 mph (0-96 km/h) in 4.9 seconds and goes on to an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph (250 km/h). JLR did not disclose details of the diesel powertrain, though we expect it to be the 3.0-liter V6 that was also unveiled today in the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport.
“Our mission was to create an exciting and dynamic design clearly reflecting the XE positioning as a serious driver’s car”, said Jagurar’s director of design Ian Callum. “The cab-rearward proportions and tight packaging achieve that and give the XE the appearance of movement even when it’s standing still. It bears a strong family resemblance to the F-Type and will stand apart in the crowd.”
The XE is the first model to be based on Jag’s new modular platform. Made of aluminum, which helps keep the weight (and thus consumption and CO2 emissions) low, it features a double-whishbone front and multi-link rear suspension and an electronically assisted power steering (EPAS).
“The XE is as strong and light as it could possibly be thanks to exhaustive analysis and by bringing the latest engineering techniques to bear on its design. It has been challenging to accomplish but the XE structure is absolutely at the cutting edge of what is achievable today”, commented Dr. Mark White, chief technical specialist at Jaguar.
Jaguar’s first foray in the compact premium segment since the disappointing (and best forgotten) X-Type also comes with the all-new InControl infotainment system that includes voice control, audio streaming, USB and iOS and Android connectivity and a range of Meridian audio systems.