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New baby Jaguar to be called XE

Wed, 05 Mar 2014

Jaguar has revealed its new small saloon rival to the BMW 3 Series will be called XE.

The new Jaguar XE, which will be revealed this year before going on sale in 2015, will be the first all-aluminium car ever launched in the premium small saloon sector – and prices are expected to start from £30,000.

Jaguar is promising a range of cars that stretch from a sub-100g/km model (something the BMW 3 Series doesn’t yet achieve) to one that can reach a top speed of 186mph (a speed that’s also faster than every 3 Series).

It will use all-new British-built four-cylinder turbo petrol and diesel engines from jaguar’s new engine facility currently being built in Wolverhampton. Jaguar revealed at the show this new engine family will be called Ingenium.

Jaguar XE to become a sector benchmark

Jaguar Land Rover CEO Dr Ralf Speth promises the new Jaguar XE will be a benchmark in the sector: the firm says the target is for it to be the most advanced, efficient and refined sports saloon in its class.

Given the excellence of the current benchmark, BMW’s new 3 Series, plus the expected excellence of the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class, anticipation is thus high for the new Jaguar XE.

Jaguar XE revealed: first look at Geneva show

Jaguar also revealed a teaser image of the new car, which designer Ian Callum says is “every bit a modern Jaguar: more compact in size but visually striking.

The XE will be a sporting Jaguar and will challenge the German establishment

“Customers will expect a great deal from a mid-size Jaguar – it must be practical but premium… it must be as exciting to look at and drive as it is brilliant to run and practical to own.

“We believe we’ve done just that with the Jaguar XE.”

The teaser shows an imposing front end with four strong feature lines on the bonnet which feed into a very large F-Type-inspired grille with Jaguar badge prominent in the centre.

The front bumper has three large air intakes and the centre one is shaped into a lower air feed that mirrors the large grille above it – a distinctive feature that gives a high performance appearance. Distinctive LED running lights also give the car an eye-catching rear-view mirror look.

Jaguar also revealed a shot of the all-aluminium bodyshell, which appears to show a more fastback-style rake to the rear end than is traditional for a sporty saloon. Bulging rear wheelarches are also apparent, and the curved wraparound for the rear wings means Jaguar may have introduced some of the F-Type feel to the new XE.

Jaguar Land Rover group marketing director Phil Popham promised MSN Cars during an interview that “the design will be fantastic”.

Jaguar XE will be “alive”

The firm is under no illusions as to the challenge it faces in this competitive sector. It acknowledges the excellence of the Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz establishment – but is nevertheless convinced it can take them on.

Dr Speth told MSN Cars this will be through basing the car around the Jaguar DNA: innovative technology, seductive design, intelligent performance. The Jaguar XE will be a sporting Jaguar, added Popham, and will challenge the German establishment by feeling ‘alive’.

“Our founder Sir William Lyons said a car was the closest thing we can create to something that is alive. We plan to back up all the rational logic we’re building into the car with an emotional connection that will connect with buyers.”

More details of the new Jaguar XE will follow throughout the year, with first drives expected to take place before the year is out. Keep coming back to MSN Cars to learn more on the crucial new baby Jaguar.

Follow all the news from the Geneva Motor Show LIVE on the MSN Cars hub

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By Richard Aucock, contributor, MSN Cars