Jaguar has announced that its new XE compact sport sedan will make its public debut in London on September 8. While most carmakers tease the outside of their new cars before talking about what’s under the bonnet, Jaguar is working from the inside out with a preview of the XE’s engine, suspension, and aluminum-intensive architecture that the company claims "redefines the concept of the sports sedan."
The only glimpse Jaguar has released of the XE’s exterior is a view of the front with its aggressive headlamps, neatly balanced air scoops, and pronounced bonnet lines. But it’s what’s behind the grille that Jaguar is eager to talk about. The Jaguar XE features the company’s new Ingenium engine, which is designed to have what Jaguar calls a configurable, scalable, and flexible architecture for simpler manufacturing.
The Ingenium is based on a 0.5-liter aluminum block, and weighs up to 176 lb (80 kg) less than equivalent engines. It comes in both diesel and petrol versions that use common internal components, and both are turbocharged for better low-speed performance and improved fuel mileage with lower emissions.
The reasoning behind the Ingenium’s design is to anticipate change by making the engine able to accommodate new technologies. Jaguar says that the engine can not only fit the XE, but also new Jaguar and Land Rover rear-, all-, and four-wheel drive vehicles. In addition, it can can handle manual and automatic gearboxes, and electric hybrid systems.
The Ingenium features high-pressure, central direct fuel injection, variable valve timing, and start-stop technology for better fuel economy. To keep friction down, it replaces machined bearing surface with roller bearings on cam and balancer shafts. In addition, it has computer-controlled oil pumps to provide the proper amount of oil at all engine speeds, loads, and temperatures; electronically controlled piston cooling jets to improve oil circuit efficiency; computer controlled water pumps; a simplified cam drive system; and offset crankshafts.
Another feature of the Jaguar XE is its advanced suspension system based on the F-Type car with a double-wishbone front suspension set on a subframe with aluminum suspension towers. According to Jaguar, this provides the XE with performance and feel similar to that of the F-Type. Meanwhile, the integral link rear suspension made from forged or hollow-cast aluminum gives the XE lateral and longitudinal stiffness and sharp responsiveness.
Jaguar says that the XE will be the company’s first car to have the latest generation Electric Power Assisted Steering (EPAS), which provides better tuning than hydraulic systems for improved feel, variable speed damping, and easier low-speed driving. In addition, there’s the All Surface Progress Control (ASPC) for electronically modulated traction control, that Jaguar says acts like a low-speed cruise control when the road’s slippery.
"The XE is the culmination of everything the company has learned over the years," says Mike Cross, Chief Engineer of Vehicle Integrity. "The Integral Link rear suspension provides a combination of supple ride and crisp handling that is unmatched in this segment."
The Jaguar XE goes on sale in Europe next year, and in North America in 2016.
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