CAT SCRATCH FEVER
2017 Jaguar XE 3.5t Supercharged AWD Prestige
This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!
Published on Wed, Apr 26, 2017
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
Words and pictures by Harvey Schwartz
The new Jaguar XE 3.0 supercharged all-wheel drive compact luxury sport segment sets its sights on the German competition with unique styling, power, performance, luxury, connectivity and safety. The compact sedan is a great fun ride with plenty of power, performance through its AWD and lightweight chassis systems, luxury appointed interior, state-of-the-art connectivity and safety.
The new car was developed in parallel with the new Jaguar modular JLR modular architecture. This makes it possible to realize perfect proportions: short front/rear overhangs, and a wide, cab-forward stance. This enables the XE to feature both a low, sporty driving position and a sleek, coupe-like profile.
The power-dome hood is taut, the rising waistline adds to the sense of motion when parked, while the rear quarter takes inspiration from the F-TYPE Coupe. The signature J-Blade DRLs are a Jaguar design element, and the rear horizontal rear LEDs intersect a circle that is a powerful styling feature taken from the iconic E-Type. The honeycomb chrome surround grille sits perfect as does the lower grille, the splitter helps with front down force while the sides are open for better airflow.
The low coupe-like profile features power-folding, aero-styled/heated/self-dimming side view mirrors, big pullout door handles, a full perimeter chrome strip and deep lower extensions. The signature Jaguar spear on each fender furthers the look of motion while resting. The rear features a lower diffuser with dual exhaust tips at either side. A lip spoiler on the trunk increases the balance of down force.
Manufacturing of the aluminum-intensive XE occurs at Jaguar Land Rover’s Solihull plant in an all-new facility. Much of the aluminum is high-strength 6000-series alloy. The body sides are a formed by one-piece complex pressings. Riveting and bonding the lightweight body structure consumes less energy than traditional spot welding. The XE also contains 101 pounds of recycled plastics and renewable materials. The XE is strong and light, perfect for extreme handling on and off the track. Offering greater tuning and greater efficiency is the new electric power steering system with variable ratio settings.
The ultimate performance 35t model that I tested has exhilarating performance and speed. The all-aluminum, 3.0 liter supercharged V6 engine makes 340hp at 6,500rpm and 332 pound feet of torque at 4,500rpm. Direct injection and fully variable valve timing optimize power and torque throughout the rev range. The aluminum engine’s 90-degree cylinder bank angle provides space for the twin-vortex Roots-type supercharger, a balancer shaft ensures the engine runs smoothly. Mated to a new 8-speed ZF all-wheel drive transmission, the XE zooms out to 60mph from a standstill in just 4.9 seconds with a speed limiter set at 155mph. Driving is sheer pleasure, and thrilling!
Much of that is the result of the AWD system that was engineered into the XE from the beginning. Like the XF and F-PACE, the XE uses a torque-on demand AWD system featuring a transfer case with a multi-plate wet clutch pack and a chain drive to the front propshaft. It’s a very fast-acting system and can make the transitions from purely rear-wheel drive to all-wheel drive in just 165 milliseconds.
In normal driving, all of the engine’s torque is sent to the rear axle, preserving the rear-wheel drive dynamics of the XE, and ensuring that steering feel remains uncorrupted. This would not be possible with permanent AWD where higher parasitic losses also affect driving dynamics. How much torque is transferred, and when, is determined by Intelligent Driveline Dynamics (IDD)-a highly sophisticated control technology developed and calibrated entirely in-house and first used on the F-TYPE AWD.
Taking data from the yaw rate, lateral acceleration and steering wheel angle sensors, IDD continuously estimates the friction between the tires and the road, and also how much of the available grip is being exploited at each tire contact patch. IDD can then apply predictive, feed-forward control strategies as well as reactive feedback control. IDD is also networked to the Dynamic Stability Control system, the torque vectoring system and Jaguar Drive Control to make the AWD system even more effective, especially when maneuvering around tight curving roads.
The new XE features a sophisticated double-wishbone front suspension with electronic shocks, springs and anti-roll bar. The front also features two strut braces for even more precise turns. The aluminum front spindles are light and stiff-forged from cast blanks using a patented production process while the independent rear setup features an integral link system featuring electronic shocks, coil springs and anti-roll bar. This system delivers lateral and longitudinal stiffness for precise handling, and a supple ride. You can change the suspension from Sport/Standard/ECO/Snow/Ice/Rain with a touch of a console-mounted button.
Strong, power-assisted steel disc brakes quickly and safely slow the all-new Jaguar XE down from speed. Up front are 14 inch vented discs clamped with large double-piston calipers while the rear brakes are 13 inch vented discs with large single-piston calipers. ABS, BA, EBD and traction control come standard and are a factor in greater braking power and balance.
The new XE 3.5t sits on large wheels and tires. Up front are Pirelli 225/40R19 and 255/35R19 inch Cinturato P7 low-profile, high-performance tires. The optional Venom 5 Twin-Spoke Black wheels are 19X8 inches up front and 19X9 inches in the rear. These custom wheels make the Odyssey Red paint scheme look more menacing.
Not menacing is the luxury comfortable, sporty, luxurious, connected and safe interior. The spacious cabin cocoons front seat passengers with deep, glossy black piano trim on the center stack and center console. Textured aluminum and contemporary wood veneers enhance the luxurious, hand-crafted fee. There is also optional ambient lighting with ten available colors. Fine-grain leathers and details such as contrasting twin-needle stitching give the cabin a bespoke quality. The F-TYPE instrument cluster dials and the cluster needle sweep on the red push on start-up button further emphasize the sports sedan attributes of the all-new XE. The power tilt/telescopic/heated/leather-wrapped steering wheel feels great in your hands. The optional Head-Up Display enables drivers to see their speed/gear without taking eyes off the road.
More standard equipment in the Prestige model include all express up/down windows, power door locks, cruise control, self-dimming rearview mirror, 10-way power/heated front bucket seats with 4-way lumbar, folding rear seat, dual map lights, dual climate control, Smart Key with Keyless entry and start, panoramic one-touch moonroof, rearview camera, InControl Touch Navigation, 380-watt Meridian Surround System/HD Radio/Sirius/traffic/weather/Bluetooth/iPod /USB connection, grab handles above each seat, and rain-sensing wipers/washers.
No-charge Vision optional equipment include Xenon headlights with LED signature, headlight powerwash, intelligent high beam assist, front/rear parking sensors, Blind Spot monitor and reverse traffic detection. The standard Technology package includes InControl Touch Pro 10.2 capacitive touch screen, SSD based navigation, Meridian 825-watt Surround Sound system with 14-speakers, InControl Wi-Fi, Odyssey Red Metallic paint, 19 inch Venom 5 Twin-Spoke Black wheels and the Heads-Up Display.
The new light and stiff unibody structure has been engineered to meet demanding safety crashes. Passenger safety system include driver/front passenger Front/Side airbags, side curtain airbags, seat belt pretensioners, front/rear crumple zones, anti-theft engine immobilizer, tire pressure monitor and LATCH system for child seats.
The new Jaguar XE 3.5t with AWD is a giant step forward for Jaguar as it expands its presence in the U.S. It is just as fun to drive as the 3-Series and A4 including Jaguar’s signature luxury comfort and safety.
© Words and pictures by Harvey Schwartz
For more information about Jaguar products, go to jaguarusa.com
SPECIFICATIONS Name of vehicle: 2017 Jaguar XE 3.5t Prestige Price: $45,600.00 (base) $46,595.00 (as tested, including destination) EPA Fuel Mileage: 21mpg/city, 30mpg/highway-24mpg combined Engine: 3.0 liter Supercharged V6 Horsepower: 340 at 6,500 rpm Torque: 332 pound-feet at 4,500 rpm Transmission: ZF 8-speed automatic with paddle shifters and rising rotary dial gear selector Steering: Rack & pinion electric-assist power steering Suspension Front: independent double-wishbone Rear: independent Integral link Brakes: F-14 inch dual piston calipers/vented R-13 inch single-piston calipers/vented Tires: F-225/40R19 inch R-255/35R19 inch Pirelli Cinturato P7 Wheels: F-19X 8 inches R-19X 9 inch Venom 5-Twin-Spoke Black painted forged alloy Dimensions Length: 184.5 inches Width: 77.4 inches with mirrors folded Height: 56.1 inches Curb weight: 3,795 pounds EPA size classification*: Compact car * Passenger car classes are designated by the EPA based on interior volume index or seating capacity, except the ones classified as special vehicle. A two-seater is classified as a car with no more than two designated seating positions.