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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Jaguar Wants to Take on the BMW M3


jaguar xe-r v8 photo

When the Jaguar XE first broke cover, its mission statement was plain to see – go head-to-head with the BMW 3-series and Mercedes C-class, and win. So far Jaguar has covered the bottom rungs of the German lineups, but has yet to field an answer for the high-performance M3 or C63. 
The key word there is “yet.” According to a report from the UK’s Autocar, the brand has prepared a challenger in the form of a V8-engined, 488-horsepower XE R sedan. Exact specifications for the claimed XE R are unknown. In fact the standard XE has yet to hit US showrooms (spring 2016), but the publication affirms the ‘R’ will match the M3 in both power and price. In the US, that should make for a starting figure near $62,000.


The Autocar report reveals that the XE R will receive its injection of power courtesy of the F-Type’s 5.0-liter supercharged V8, which will complement the XE’s current lineup of four-cylinder and V6 engines. In talking with Jaguar sources, the publication learned the V8 package is actually easier to fit than the four-cylinder units. It is unknown whether the XE R will pair with Jaguar’s six-speed manual gearbox, though Autocar notes it is expected to mate to a more aggressively tuned version of the eight-speed auto and feature retuned adaptive dampers at all corners.

But if that weren’t enough, Jaguar’s Special Vehicle Operations division is rumored to up the ante further with an eventual 542 horsepower special edition, featuring engine tuning from the hardcore F-Type Coupe R. While surely priced accordingly, that tower of power likely won’t appear for some time.


The report doesn’t provide an exact timeline for the V8-powered XE R, citing a Jaguar official wary of debuting the high-performance model alongside the standard model. A year to 18 months after debut doesn’t seem out of the question.