Meet the 2016 Jaguar XE, Britain's long anticipated 3-Series fighter

Meet the 2016 Jaguar XE, Britain's long anticipated 3-Series fighter

It's been talked about for sometime, but today, finally, the 2016 Jaguar XE has arrived. While the BMW 3-Series has been the segment ruler for years, Jaguar's new XE promises a real threat of dethronement.

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.

Speaking of electrics, the XE will debut Jaguar's first attempt at electric power steering. 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.

The XE is the first car to be built on JLR's aluminum "modular vehicle architecture," helping ensure a low curb weight of 3,249 lbs. The lovely 8-speed ZF auto box carries over as expected (only it's now lighter), and the rear-wheel drive platform is capable of accepting all-wheel drive -- so expect an AWD XE in the future, just like the AWD XF and XJ.


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.

For one, it claims that it is "Good to be Bad," and that message has been working well, partly because driving a modern Jaguar is a far cry from the Gentleman's Cigar Lounge of old. 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.