There’s been a ton of press around Jaguar re-entering the compact luxury sedan market with its new XE, and we’re going to add to it, although less about its striking design and more about the company’s plans for what’ll be stuffed under-hood.
The curvacious model shown in pictures is the top-line S, which will get a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 with 340 horsepower, an eight-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. Jag claims it’ll hit 60 mph from rest in just 4.9 seconds, which is on par with its German competition.
The remaining powerplants for North America haven’t been announced, but will be part of the company’s new Inginium engine family. We’d guess something like a reworked turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, like the one found in the larger XF and Range Rover Evoque, would be the most popular. And since the XE is built on the new modular architecture, there’s a good possibility of seeing all-wheel drive in the near future.
In Europe, there will be a 2.0-liter turbodiesel version with around 160 horsepower that Jaguar claims will produce CO2 emissions as low as 99g/km, or the equivalent of 3.8 L/100 km or 61.9 mpg US, which seems too good to be true. And while the estimates were made on the European testing cycle, customer cars will almost certainly never achieve anywhere near that in the real world.
The other surprise was that despite Jaguar Land Rover researching the electrification of its vehicles, and that both Mercedes-Benz and BMW will offer plug-in hybrid versions of their C-Class and 3 Series in the next two years, that there’s no firm date in mind for a hybrid XE.
In a conversation with Motoring.com.au, XE Vehicle Program Director Nick Miller wasn’t feeling pressured to commit. “We haven’t put a timeline on it,” he said. “We don’t need to put the hybrid technology in at this point. In terms of fuel economy and in terms of saving [road] tax, especially in Europe, [the diesel engine] delivers alright. Why [add] the weight or expense of a hybrid system?”
However, Miller did confirm that “…the ingenium engine range has been designed to link in with all the different combinations of hybrid technology.”