This came in tonight from Naomi Epsley in the UK, who will be writing for Jaguar Journal from time to time.
Naomi writes: The column inches may have been all about the F-TYPE for a year and more, but the car that is truly the most significant new Jaguar in a decade, the XE, has just been officially launched today at a glitzy media event in London, UK. The venue was Earls Court – which has hosted many Jaguar launches since the 1930s and this one could eventually turn out to be as important for market share as the Earls Court debut of the XJ was in 1968.
The XE – which arrived in its 340 bhp supercharged ‘S’ form, is a sporty, V6 3-liter streamlined smaller sedan that nevertheless keeps much of what is by now the conventional Jaguar ‘family’ DNA. The long bonnet, short trunk and set back cabin give a sleek profile that Ian Callum describes this way: “We decided to stick with the Jaguar design philosophy…People have started to get used to Jaguar and what they look like.”
The window line is very Jaguar too. The rear end is very short and the rear light graphics are similar to the F-Type (and will be seen on every new Jaguar from now on).
With a total investment of around £2bn in a new factory on Land Rover’s home turf in Solihull, West Midlands, Jaguar are set to exploit and enhance their industry leadership in aluminum bodyshell construction. The XE S boasts tunable electronic power steering and a manual box with an all-new six-speed cluster. A driver’s car for sure.
A choice of five engines will be offered, across the range, built in another brand new plant about 20 miles away. The XE’s debut in the US, in 2016, will then coincide with the launch of the four-wheel-drive models.
We’ll keep you posted on details, prices and specs after the XE debuts at next month’s Paris Motor Show. For now, all Jaguar is saying is that it will start at £27,000 ($44,000).”
Good luck to Jaguar as once more Tata prove their excellent custody of, and investment in, our favorite marque.
This is now up on the North American web site along with more info.
Pete Crespin, Gaithersburg, MD, 66 D-type, 70 FHC