Welcome to my first ever blog.
The build-up is finally over
The long awaited baby Jaguar has arrived, and boy, did it arrive in style. Called the XE, it was unveiled to the world on the banks of the River Thames in London after what has seemed like an eternity of teaser pictures and sneaky spy shots.
The XE is Jaguars answer to the BMW 3-series and will take the fight straight to its German rivals. Britain vs Germany, sound familiar? Something tells me Jaguar is quite impressed with its efforts by launching the XE with a bang. Instead of the usual motor-show unveil like any typical manufacturer would do, Jaguar decided it wanted to stand out. The XE was flown into London by helicopter rather than being driven in, something which was quite an unusual spectacle for the London commuters that day. After being flown across some of London’s famous landmarks it was placed on the banks of the river. The waiting media were not only treated to the unveil of the new Jaguar but also by a song which had been specially commissioned for the car’s release and sung live that night by the talented singer, Emeli Sande. Quite a special car then.
The car itself is very much a Jaguar; unveiled in ‘ S ‘ guise, the styling has taken cues from current models. If you removed all badging you would easily be able to distinguish the car as a Jag. Smaller than the XE the car still manages to look imposing with its square face. To me, the front reminds me more of an XJ rather than an XF but that could just be me. It has the familiar Jaguar grille and narrow headlights making the front seem angry. This car means business. However, for some quite bizarre reason, the rear end of the XE is not the usual pretty Jaguar bottom that we have come to expect and love.
The rear lights seem a bit too fat and unsightly. I know it may seem like a small minor thing to pick on but they ruin the whole rear end of the car. They could have just stolen the rear lights from any current Jaguar model and stuck them on the rear but tried to create a new design for them. Personally they are reminiscent of an old Audi A4 rear lights. I feel Jaguar could have tried a bit harder with them but that may be a matter of opinion.
There have been some interesting changes to the interior of the car as well. The dashboard still has a familiar Jaguar feel to it but there are no gimmicky air vents unlike in the XF and the F Type. Instead what you get is a new 8 inch high definition touchscreen with many new features. A new system called Connected Car allows the driver (or passengers) to sync their apps from their phone onto the touchscreen. The XE also gets in car Wi-Fi, an optional head up display and much better visual graphics on the touchscreen. One exciting new feature on the new XE is a new app which can be downloaded to the driver’s smartphone. The app, InControl, allows the owner to monitor certain parts of the car such as the air-conditioning and can even remotely start the engine. Admittedly, the engine starting is more of a novelty rather than a useful feature but the remote setting of the aircon and heating could be very useful in the summer and winter months. All this new technology help put the XE nose to nose with its German competitors and makes the XE feel like a more premium choice. Under the bonnet the XE uses JLR’s new Ingenuim engine which is aluminium blocked engine and can be altered in 500cc segments meaning there is room for more power from the engine. The new Ingenuim engine also allows for the addition of hybrid elements to be added to the car so we could soon be seeing hybrid models across the JLR range. The Ingeuim engine will first appear in the XE before being rolled out across the full JLR range in the coming years.
A release date has yet to be confirmed but it is likely to be towards the end of this year or the beginning of 2015. Expect prices to be around £30,000 to £40,000 depending on the engine and trim choice. Speculation of an XE R version are circling and will probably be confirmed too but not until mid-2015, going head to head with the BMW M3 and Audi RS4. The price for the R version is expected to be around the £50,000 mark. Other variants of the XE are also rumoured to be coming, such as an estate version and an R estate. I have a string feeling that the estate will be conformed before the end of the year. The XE is using JLR’s new Ingenuim engine so a hybrid version could also be on the cards although talk of this is very quiet at the moment within Jaguar.
This or a BMW 3-Series? Tell me your pick and also your opinion on the car in the comments section below.