Camouflaged Jaguar XE mules have been doing the rounds for a few months now, but this official image released by the company strips away a little bit more of the disguise, revealing more the new car’s shrunken XF-styling. The new aluminium car – a class first – which will be built at Solihull and powered by the new range of Ingenium engines made at the new engine plant near Wolverhampton, will be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show, and is expected to cost from less than £30,000 when it goes on sale in 2015.
Jaguar Land Rover is following the established procedure of drip-feeding information of its upcoming car and ramping up interest via a new bespoke Twitter campaign. Showing it with a light cladding means that the upcoming scoop agenda will be led by Jaguar – just as was the case with the Range Rover Evoque. However, for all those with an allergy for Twitter hashtags, we’ll be keeping the story updated here.
What we already know about the car is that is intended to bring proper volume to the Jaguar marque, and will re-tread the path already taken by the underrated X-TYPE, which went out of production in 2009. Unlike the old car, the XE continues Jaguar’s move away from harking back to the past, incorporating many design elements first established in the XF. And although the mule image (above) hints at a miniaturised XF, an insider has confirmed to us that it will be ‘bristling with delightful little surprises.’
The car will be rear-wheel driven, with the option of four-wheel drive, and the new engine line-up will span a 99g/km company car special to rival the BMW 320Ed to a 400bhp-plus version which will take the fight to the M3/M4 and Audi S4/S5. Jaguar will need to present a full range of cars within months of the XE’s launch as the D-Segment executive market is currently a bloodbath, with Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz all offering multiple variations across the range.
The Jaguar XE won’t be built at the million-plus per year volumes of the sector’s big three, but at the same time, the company will want to rapidly establish the XE as an important niche model in the sector – hopefully, with more appeal than simple ‘badge-denier’ kudos. It will go against some pretty talented cars in that end of the market, too – the Lexus IS and Volvo S60 come to mind – but, if the XE makes a similar impact to the Range Rover Evoque, it’s going to do very well indeed.
Stay tuned as the story unfolds…