Details Emerge on Jaguar’s XE; Expect Great Things

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Jaguar (NYSE:TTM) has shed some light on its forthcoming BMW 3 Series fighter, which amounts to a long-overdue replacement for the X Type sedan. Jaguar’s talents have been put to good use in developing the gorgeous and warmly welcomed F Type Coupe, but it’s time for Jaguar to play hardball on the mass market level, and the XE is the car to do it.

Jaguar says that the new sedan will be the first aluminum monocoque product in the segment, as well as “the most advanced, efficient and refined sports sedan in its class.” Naturally, the company is fluffing up its product a bit, but from the other products in Jaguar’s stable, the company seems to have the means to make good on its promise.

The XE will be built on the same aluminum architecture that the company showcased in its CX-17 SUV concept last year, and the car will also be the first to use Jag’s Ingenium line of engines, including a four-cylinder, 2.0-liter gasoline unit and diesel variants (but don’t get your hopes up for a stateside release of the latter). They will be produced and constructed at Jaguar Land Rover’s shiny new U.K. engine manufacturing facility.

By going with aluminum, Jaguar is hoping to keep the weight down to improve both handling and efficiency, and ensure that the power produced by the new engines is put to good use. Exact horsepower figures were withheld, but Jag promised top speeds in excess of 186 miles per hour.

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“The new Jaguar XE is every bit a modern Jaguar; more compact in size but visually striking,” said Ian Callum, Jaguar’s director of design, in a press release. “Customers will expect a great deal from a mid-size Jaguar — it must be practical but premium. We never forget we are designing a Jaguar and that means it must be as exciting to look at and drive as it is brilliant to run and practical to own.”

Price, power, and fuel economy figures all remain undisclosed, but for an idea of where the Jaguar is playing, the BMW 3 Series with a similar 2.0-liter gasoline engine develops 180 horsepower, returns 35 miles per gallon (when equipped with all-wheel drive), and costs about $35,000. For the Jaguar, it’s likely safe to expect at least 200 horsepower, comparable fuel economy, and a price tag of around $40,000 to start.

“The engineering development of the XE has focused on delivering customers with the most advanced, efficient and refined sports sedan in its class,” said Kevin Stride, Jaguar’s vehicle line director for the XE. ”We are excited about our progress to date and are looking forward to soon being able to demonstrate what we have achieved.”

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