Jaguar XE Will Get AWD Version And V-8 Powertrain
Looks like Jaguar will indeed be offering an all-wheel-drive version of its upcoming XE sedan. This news comes by way of Jaguar XE program director Nick Miller in an interview with Car Advice; with Miller first noting the need for such a car in various European and Northern U.S. markets.
According to Miller this is part of Jaguar’s intended list of technical upgrades to the XE throughout its lifecycle and was not a result of development issues. “Developing a whole new architecture, there’s a lot of work involved in that,” Miller says. “Obviously we want to introduce it in stages so we can ensure that it gets introduced with all the quality standards met, and it was just in our second phase of technology as part of the architecture.”
As Jaguar’s newest sedan grows in popularity, performance versions will inevitably follow. Miller says the company is still looking at the potential of performance variants and whether AWD would be a logical addition. “It depends what kind of car you want to do because certainly all-wheel-drive brings its benefits in terms of traction, but it brings weight as well.”
Why would traction be an issue with a 3.0-liter, V-6 engine under the hood? Well, Miller continued by saying the 5.0-liter supercharged V-8 used elsewhere in Jaguar’s ‘R’-branded cars does fit into the XE’s engine bay. This gives Jag the ability to crank out an XE R or even XE R-S version with as much as 550 horsepower.
Also confirmed is a 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder derived from Jaguar’s new 2.0-liter four-cylinder. Even with the extra length, the six-cylinder “would theoretically fit,” says Miller.
In the Car Advice interview, Jaguar reveals some pretty telling ideology and vision about its future XE plans and other product ideas. Be sure to follow the link for more. For more EX news on TopSpeed click past the jump.
Click past the jump to read more about the Jaguar XE.
Why It Matters
Automakers like BMW and Mercedes have proven that AWD can be a critical feature in a vehicle’s lineup, especially when sales are global. Offering AWD will certainly open Jaguar’s customer base to those seeking all-weather capabilities. However, it isn’t as likely to make the cut as a performance system. Jag will likely stick with RWD for its future XE R and XE R-S vehicles and rely more heavily on fat, sticky summer tires to increase traction without adding too much weight.
The inclusion of the supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 is a welcomed addition, giving Jag a stout vehicle to compete directly with the BMW M3 and Mercedes C63 AMG.
Jaguar’s latest product looks to be a well thought-out sedan with its sights set firmly on beating the competition. The current XE shares some visual design cues and Jaguar’s super popular F-Type Coupe, while also borrowing its supercharged 3.0-liter V-6. Making 335 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of toque, the V-6 gives the XE the grunt to hit 60 mph in just 4.9 seconds.
With its construction heavily based in aluminum, the XE promises a stiff structure for solid performance without excess weight. Its suspension is also shared with the F-Type, so we can count on it being a competent handler.
While pricing hasn’t been announced, expect the Jaguar XE to start around the mid $30,000 range and go north from there.