What we see here is Jag's equivalent to the BMW 335i. The XE S will be at the top of the XE tree when the car launches in global markets during 2015 (2016 in North America), and with the F-Type's glorious 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 pushing 340 hp and 332 lb.-ft. of torque, it has a 40 hp advantage over the Bimmer.
No details were revealed on the XE's base motor, but we expect it to be a 2.0-liter. The XE S will sprint to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds before topping out an electronically limited 155 mph.
While necessary in today's strict economic climates, Jag's hydraulic steering was one of the best in the business, and I'm curious to see if it can translate that communicative feel into the new unit -- something other automakers initially struggled with.
Sitting below both those models, the XE will be the most affordable Jaguar on the market, but how affordable remains to be seen.
What we do know is that British-made sedan will feature plenty of innovative tech, such as All Surface Progress Control, a system that works a bit like low-speed cruise control, controlling the brake and engine to maximize traction when traveling between 2 and 19 mph (said to be far superior to a run-of-the-mill traction control system).
It also has autonomous emergency braking that works via a camera, utlizing the sensor to better determine precise speeds and distances of objects ahead.
The laser heads-up display also shows navigation details to accompany the typical speed and RPM data.
All in, the XE looks to be quite an interesting alternative to the array of German competition, much like the XFR-S is to the BMW M5, or the F-Type to the Porsche Cayman S. The last time Jag tried to enter the compact executive segment, it did so with the X-Type. That whole foray didn't go well, but today, things at Jaguar are very different.
They feel downright angry most of the time, and if the XE possesses those same traits, at a reasonable cost, expect the Germans to have a mighty fight on their hands.