Jaguar Plans Competitor For BMW M3
The Germans will soon be under fresh assault from new British competitors coming out of Jaguar. Jaguar is purportedly working on a variety of high-performance vehicles aimed at BMW’s M division and Mercedes’ AMG tuning house, as Jag hopes to pump up its sporting credentials with new top-rangers that raise brand perception across its catalog.
Autocar is reporting that Jaguar has the M3 in its crosshairs with a possible addition to the XE line. Using the same V-8 from the F-Type roadster, the new four-door would receive the moniker XE-R and boast 488 horsepower and 461 pound-feet of torque, enough to propel the car from a standstill to 62 mph in under five seconds. The XE-R would also come with returned versions of the F-Type S’s adaptive dampers and eight-speed ZF automatic transmission. Pricing would mirror the Bavarians, starting around $85,736
While well-suited to battle with the M3 and C63, the XE-R would also allow for an even faster SVR version from JLR’s own tuners, Special Vehicle Operations. Stuffed with 542 horsepower and 501 pound-feet of torque from a supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 plucked from the F-Type R Coupe, it’s believed the SVR will have carbon-fiber components, a reduced curb weight and aerodynamic updates.
Tap-dancing elephant-lovers should be delighted to learn the upcoming F-Pace will likely get its own go-faster editions as well, with one company source saying “The V-8 will definitely be fitted to the F-Pace.”
Called the F-Pace R, it’s believed this pumped-up crossover will come with the same 488 horsepower and 461 pound-feet, with a price tag roughly equivalent to the Porsche Macan Turbo at $93,561. That would also open up the possibility for an even faster SVO version if demand is deemed high enough.
Continue reading to learn more about Jaguar’s future sports sedan.
Why it matters
It would appear as though there’s a whole lot of fast coming down the pipeline from Jag. Already confirmed is an SVR version of the F-Type, which is expected to pack more than 600 horsepower. However, an SVR version isn’t necessarily the definitive expression of the two-door, as confirmed by vehicle director Ian Hoban: “We have ideas. Look at the very successful sports cars and to me they have a reason to repurchase every year – that 12-month cycle to keep them at the front of your mind. I’ve a list as long as my arm of what could be done to F-Type,” adding, “SVO are a very creative bunch. They’re all petrolheads to a man and woman.”
And while Jag has stated an interest in focusing on cornering over contributions to the “power race,” the beefier engines make a lot of sense for a variety of reasons. For example, sources have confirmed that the eight-cylinder powerplant from the F-Type roadster is actually easier to fit to the XE platform than the Ford-sourced four-cylinder gas engine or Ingenium four-cylinder diesel. What’s more, the Germans are seeing renewed competition in the sporting luxury category from several directions, including from the U.S., with vehicles bearing the Cadillac badge.
The question is: how long will BMW and Mercedes stay at the top of the pecking order in this hotly contested segment?
The new XE was first unveiled last year sporting a revised aluminum architecture and a variety of engine options, including two 2.0-liter oil burners, two 2.0-liter gasoline powerplants, and a supercharged 3.0-liter V-6. A sprint to 60 takes the 3.0-liter just under five seconds, placing it well behind the 425-horsepower, 4.1-seconds-to-60 M3. But the chassis can definitely handle more power, with a brand new suspension package (also made from aluminum) based on the same design seen in F-Type. The body brings with it several XF cues in a sleek shape that cuts through the air with a drag coefficient of only 0.26. The interior is well-appointed and comes with enough options to go blow-for-blow with the Germans in terms of luxury and technology.
Read our full review here.