In a word – yes! (even if it does look more than a little like the XF…)
Jaguar pulled out all the theatrical stops in order to introduce its newcomer to the world in a bizarre stage-musical style ceremony that included live performances from pop singers Emile Sandé, Eliza Doolittle and the Kaiser Chiefs, culminating in a car chase where the XF was pursued into the Earls Court exhibition hall by a pair of classic Mk2 Police cars.
Set to go on sale early in 2015, Jaguar is withholding a lot of the technical details of the car until closer to its on sale date, though the rear-wheel-drive XE will be the most aerodynamic Jaguar ever, with a drag co-efficient of just 0.26. It is built upon Jaguar’s much-documented new iQ-Al aluminium-intensive monocoque body structure, along with a new range of four-cylinder diesel engines known as Ingenium.
Jaguar Land Rover’s new family of four-cylinder units will initially only be available as a 2.0-litre diesel in the XE from early next year. Codenamed AJ200D, the new unit offers 75mpg and emissions of only 99g/km in the XE (free road tax, then…) and will also go into other new models, including the recently unveiled Land Rover Discovery Sport. A 3.0-litre Supercharged V6 petrol engine will also appear in the more sports-oriented models, with 340PS.
But it’s in the realms of in-car tech where the XE is expected to be an innovator. The infotainment platform, with an eight-inch touch screen, runs a number of built-in features, and also allows iOS and Android smartphone users to access apps via the in-car display.
On top of this, Jaguar’s InControl Remote means smartphone users can control a number of functions – like the door locks, climate control and ignition – from wherever they are. Once back inside, the XE can double as a WiFi hotspot as well, with the vehicle antenna providing a strong enough signal for multiple devices.
Working alongside the multimedia tech will be a range of driver assist systems, including a laser head-up display that can project high-contrast colour images, such as speed and navigation details, onto the windscreen.
To win in the exec market, though, a car has to be as tax efficient as it is desirable. It certainly appears to score on the latter – so here’s hoping the XE delivers when it comes to keeping the accounts department happy. If it does, then JLR could be onto a winner.