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The Jaguar XE Sport 300 has an F-Type engine

Jag's special edition sports saloon gets a 296bhp turbo and *many* badges

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Jaguar doesn’t like to do big facelifts. Instead, it gives each model a sneaky little update each year so that we get all the benefits of new tech and cleaner engines, but without really knowing about it.

Latest to get a friendly tickle are the XE and XF, and the headline is a new Sport 300 variant for each. As most of the pictures are of the XE Sport 300, we’ll assume that’s the one Jag expects to sell most of.

In short, it’s the engine from the cheapest F-Type popped in the front of the XE and teamed up with all-wheel drive, though the image above suggests skids are still on the menu. That engine is a 296bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol turbo, tested against the Porsche 718 Cayman here.

You get lots of other stuff too; an aesthetic makeover brings dark trim details (rather than chrome), a lot of Sport 300 badges and some yellow stitching for the interior. There’s no forgetting which one you’ve picked. The XF gets the same option, too, but its Sport 300 trim also has a 296bhp V6 diesel option alongside the petrol. Yep, you can have the Sportbrake estate, too.

Prices start at £45,160 for the XE Sport 300, meaning it’s not cheap. An XE with the same engine but in regular trim is about seven grand cheaper. And if you don’t need back seats, an identically powered F-Type is a smidge over £50,000.

But before you ponder whether the Sport 300 is priced rather too closely to the wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing XE S, we have bad news: the over-engined, supercharged V6 XE is no more. Low sales and increasingly tight emissions regs have killed off the 375bhp petrol engine in both XE and XF models. Boo.

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