British luxury carmaker Jaguar has launched the cheapest car in its history aiming to go head to head with German premium brands BMW, Audi and Mercedes.
The highly anticipated XE sports sedan features the most aerodynamic design of all Jaguar’s vehicles and an ultralight frame made of recycled aluminium. As part of the XE series project, Jaguar has developed a new aluminium alloy, reducing energy consumption and the project’s carbon footprint.
"Recycling does allow you to reduce the cost of the aluminium,” said Nick Miller, chief programme engineer of the XE series, explaining that the purpose-built frame together with economies of scale enabled the firm to return to the entry-level luxury market it exited in 2009 after ending its X-type production.
The rear-drive car’s average fuel consumption based on EU criteria is less than 4litres per 100km.
Jaguar hopes the XE, unveiled at a celebrity-packed event in London’s Earl’s Court, will help change the image of the brand traditionally associated with older wealthy men and attract younger clients including women.
The car is expected to hi the market in spring next year with a £27,000 price tag.
The XE, the first in a series of anticipated vehicles to be detailed during the Paris motor show in October, is a product of a £2bn investment at Jaguar, which has been bought by India’s Tata Motors in 2008.
1,100 new jobs were created during the development of the five-door sedan at Jaguar’s facilities in Soligul and Wolverhampton in England and further 2,000 positions are expected to follow next year.
Sales at Jaguar Land Rover rose 19 per cent last financial year, helped by demand from China, and it has been rewarded this year with £3.5bn of investment.