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Jag christens new small saloon ‘XE’

We have known for a while that Jaguar is soon to add an entry-level saloon to its range, a four-door to sit below the XF and go nostril-to-nostril with the BMW 3-Series (the current XF, though it doesn’t look it, is actually longer than a 5-Series).

Now we know what that entry-level saloon shall be called. It shall be called… XE.

What do you mean, you’d already guessed that, what with ‘E’ coming directly before ‘F’ in the alphabet? Well, had you guessed that the XE, according to Jaguar, will be the first aluminium-monocoque car in its segment?

You had? Damn. Anyhow, that aluminium shell means the XE should be lighter than its competition, meaning improved economy, performance and, erm, aluminiuminess.

Said performance will come courtesy of a new JLR engine family dubbed ‘Ingenium’, built at the firm’s new powerplant manufacturing facility in the West Midlands and definitely not sharing a name with a leading brand of indigestion treatment.

Both petrol and diesel Ingenium engines will be two-litre four-cylinders, and, says Jaguar, will allow the XE to span the gamut from sub-100g/km of CO2 emissions to 186mph-plus pace. Though presumably not at the same time.

As with the XJ and XF, the XE will come in both rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive flavours, though it’s not clear whether we’ll get the latter in the UK.

What we don’t know is how the XE will look. So far, Jag’s only shown us a single shadowy teaser shot of the saloon’s front end, which looks… well, which looks very XF indeed. Like its big brother, Jaguar promises the XE will be a looker.

“We never forget we are designing a Jaguar, and that means it must be […] exciting to look at and drive,” says Director of Design Ian Callum. “We believe we’ve done just that with the Jaguar XE.”

We’ll find out later this year if they’ve pulled it off.

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