Geneva Motor Show: Jaguar confirms the XE, an all-new compact sedan
Jaguar put months of rumors and speculation to rest Tuesday, confirming at the Geneva Motor Show that it is indeed developing an all-new compact sedan called the XE.
The rear-wheel-drive sports sedan will target the likes of the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Audi A4, Cadillac ATS, Lexus IS and Infiniti Q50. Jaguar hopes the new XE will follow in its competitor’s footsteps and be a volume-selling model for a brand keen on dramatically increasing its global sales.
“The all-new Jaguar XE compact sport sedan will bring Jaguar into the largest segment of the luxury car market with a dynamic new entry that will challenge the status quo of luxury car brands,” Jeff Curry, vice president of Jaguar North America, said in a statement announcing the new model.
The all-new XE will debut in production form this year, and will arrive in the U.S. in 2016. When it does, Jaguar is hoping its position in one of the most popular luxury segments will drive sales for the automaker.
In addition to the XE, Jaguar is planning to dive into the compact crossover SUV space, another of the biggest-selling luxury segments. The company debuted the C-X17 concept crossover in 2013, and the production version of this vehicle will share much of the XE’s drivetrain options and aluminum platform.
Jaguar is already a company on the upswing, with U.S. sales in 2013 up 41 percent to 16,952. Still, that’s a mere drop in the bucket compared with U.S. sales for BMW (309,280) and Mercedes (343,614).
When the new baby Jag does debut this year, expect a car with many of the visual cues of current Jaguars, including the ultra-sexy F-Type coupe and convertible.
“We never forget we are designing a Jaguar car and that means it must be as exciting to look at and drive as it is brilliant to run and practical to own,” Ian Callum, Jaguar’s design director, said in a statement. “We believe we’ve done just that with the Jaguar XE.”
Powertrain details have yet to be announced, though Jaguar has said the XE will accommodate rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive setups. The company has also announced a new line of compact, four-cylinder gas and diesel engines called Ingenium. The XE will be the first place you’ll see these engines used.