Jaguar has given its slow selling XE saloon a mid-life facelift and a price cut amid reports that within four years future models may be electric.
The leaping-cat car-maker hit by sluggish saloon sales and 5,000 job cuts said the revamped XE has a ‘more assertive appearance’ as well as ‘more luxury, more technology and better value’.
It might only be around for another four years, though, as the British brand is reportedly considering bringing a new electric or plug-in hybrid version to market as early as 2024 in an effort to kick-start sales.
A mid-sized electric saloon would pit Jaguar against Tesla’s Model 3 and build on the success of the I-Pace, which has won rave reviews since its launch.
Electric intentions: Reports suggest this could be the last of the Jaguar family saloons to be made available without an electric or hybrid drivetrain, as JLR looks to recover from the recent downturn in diesel demand that have strangled the manufacturer’s operations
The wraps came off the updated XE at a special launch event in trendy Shoreditch, East London on Tuesday night with guest appearances from a raft of celebrities, including male supermodel and Jaguar ambassador David Gandy.
Priced from £33,915, the XE’s entry-level specification has been treated to more equipment and the model line-up has been simplified to narrow down the choice.
Costs have been trimmed elsewhere across the range.
For instance, the XE D180 R-Dynamic S, priced at £36,145, is £670 cheaper than its outgoing equivalent – while adding around £1,100 of extra equipment.
But buyers may not have much that time to snap them up.
That’s because respected motor industry magazine Autocar reported recently that Jaguar Land Rover bosses were considering turning the Jaguar XE and XF models electric within four years.
Autocar said: ’While facelift versions of the cars are just months from the showroom, it is believed that company planners are now working on a strategy for the launch of new replacements for early 2023.’
Citing company sources, it said: ’JLR is starting with a blank sheet of paper for the project.
‘The options include the XE and XF being merged into a single model, and any new vehicle could be either an an electric model or a plug-in hybrid.’
Priced from £33,915, the XE’s entry-level specification has been treated to more equipment and the model line-up has been simplified to narrow down the choice
Other models across the range have had their prices reduced in a bid to tempt buyers out of BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class alternatives
The XE is due to be replaced in 2024, and Autocar says an all-new electric model could be line-up by then
The introduction of electrified examples would also help JLR meet tougher EU regulations on CO2 emissions.
And these aren’t the only models to get plug-in powertrains in the near future.
The all-new flagship XJ saloon due next year is expected to be fully electric to appeal to chauffeur-driven Chinese customers, Autocar added.
Jaguar Land Rover’s corporate strategy chief Hanno Kirner has also briefed how the firm is expecting to create a number of ‘mid height’ cars – which commentators have dubbed ‘Road Rovers’.
While just a facelift model, Jaguar has made a great deal of effort to freshen up the cabin of the XE
The XE is also the first car in its segment to offer a diesel variant that complies with stringent new NOx emissions limits, well ahead of the legal deadline of January 2021
The XE is the most compact of saloons sold by Jaguar (as you can see from the rear legroom offered), sitting below the XF and XJ in the range
What’s new about the facelifted Jaguar XE?
Changes to the current Jaguar XE include subtle updates to the chassis, a more assertive exterior and significant enhancements to completely transform the interior.
The XE’s entry-level specification now features an automatic transmission, 18-inch wheels, electric leather seats, all-LED headlights and tail-lights with updated signature graphics, front and rear park aid, rear camera and lane keep assist.
New technology includes a ClearSight rear view mirror which uses a wide-angle rear facing camera for an unobscured view behind. Images are fed from the camera to a high-definition screen within the frameless rear view mirror.
The XE is also the first car in its segment to offer a diesel variant that complies with stringent new NOx emissions limits, well ahead of the legal deadline of January 2021, helping reduce first year road tax and company car tax.
New bumpers and revised lights from and back are the only changes of great significance on the outside of the XE
The new XE is available with a choice of clean and efficient Ingenium petrol and diesel engines
Jaguar’s latest diesel engines offer about 25 per cent better fuel economy than petrol engines, produce around 15 per cent less CO2 and emit around the same amount of nitrous oxides (NOx)
The new XE is available with a choice of clean and efficient Ingenium petrol and diesel engines.
The 2.0-litre Ingenium petrol is available with 250PS and 300PS. The 300 PS petrol engine, equipped with all-wheel drive, accelerates from 0-60 mph in 5.4 seconds (0-62mph in 5.7 seconds).
The 2.0 litre 180PS Ingenium diesel offers fuel consumption of up to 57.6mpg.
Jaguar’s latest diesel engines offer about 25 per cent better fuel economy than petrol engines, produce around 15 per cent less CO2 and emit around the same amount of nitrous oxides (NOx), proving more cost effective for higher mileage drivers covering more than 12,000 miles a year.
The new XE features an automatic transmission as standard and is available in rear and all-wheel-drive variants.
Jaguar Land Rover managing director Rawdon Glover said: ‘XE remains one of the sharpest handling and best-looking cars in this class.
‘The improvements over the outgoing XE don’t come at the expense of our loyal customers – in fact, the new XE is actually better value for buyers.’
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