It has been no great secret that Jaguar have had a new small saloon under development to replace the generally unlamented, although reasonably capable Ford Mondeo-based X Type. Jaguars recent models have just been getting better and better, so the new small saloon will have a lot to live up to. The first of four preview teaser details released today by Jaguar certainly suggest that this is likely to be the case.
Jaguar intend the new car, the XE, to be a true driver’s car; one that redefines the concept of the sports saloon – a segment that Jaguar created over 50 years ago with iconic models like the Mark II. The XE is expected to bring levels of innovation never seen before in this segment, with its lightweight construction expertise and sophisticated chassis technology. Additionally, it will feature the new family of Ingenium engines – all designed, engineered and manufactured in the UK.
Built around an all-new, aluminium-intensive architecture, the XE promises to combine thrilling performance, agile handling and precise, responsive steering, with outstanding levels of refinement. Mike Cross, Chief Engineer of Vehicle Integrity, said: “Jaguars have always been renowned for a balance of precise handling and a high-quality ride. The XE is the culmination of everything the company has learned over the years. The Integral Link rear suspension provides a combination of supple ride and crisp handling that is unmatched in this segment. We are on target to deliver a vehicle that dynamically outperforms our rivals.” Unique to this segment, the integral link suspension delivers major benefits over conventional multi-link designs. By providing lateral and longitudinal stiffness, the integral link delivers sharp response and handling while retaining a refined, luxurious ride. Many components of the integral link suspension have been forged or hollow-cast in aluminium, the optimum production techniques to produce a strong, lightweight solution.
Mounted to a subframe with cast aluminium suspension towers, the XE’s double wishbone front suspension delivers the highest levels of handling and road holding. The advanced design is based on Jaguar’s flagship F-Type sportscar and includes some key components designed to deliver Jaguar XFR-levels of stiffness. These should ensure that the XE enjoys a similar level of agility and ‘connected’ steering feel. Like the rear suspension, many components are made from cast and forged aluminium and some are produced using a patented process.
Jaguar is renowned for its steering feel and this will now move to the next level as the XE becomes the first Jaguar to be equipped with the latest generation Electric Power Assisted Steering. Their latest software algorithms now allow much greater scope for tuning than hydraulic-based systems and deliver better quality steering feel. Other benefits include variable steering damping, ease of low-speed manoeuvring and the ability to adapt to Jaguar Drive Control settings. EPAS also enables a range of Active Safety and Driver Aid features.
Even with the best traction control, rear-wheel drive cars can struggle to pull away from rest on very slippery surfaces. For that reason, Jaguar has developed All Surface Progress Control, a completely new feature in its class. Developed with the input of decades of Land Rover experience in off-road traction systems, ASPC can electronically gain traction with far less drama than a human driver can achieve. The system works like a low-speed cruise control to deliver optimum traction in the most slippery conditions without skidding and without the driver using the pedals.
The world premiere of the all-new Jaguar XE will be held in London on September 8th. Leading up to the launch, three further technology previews are planned to be released, highlight further technical, design and engineering features in the XE and further information both on its advanced aluminium architecture, unique driver aids and new Ingenium engine range.