Jaguar leapt into the 2015 LA Auto Show with two North American debuts. In the company’s own words, it was unveiling the next generation. There’s some substance to that statement, since the brand has traditionally been all about big luxury cars and the occasional gorgeous sports machine, but these show vehicles represent a foray into a new territory and a second chance to make an old idea right.
2017 Jaguar F-PACE
The brand isn’t above a play on words. It calls this “the world’s most practical sports car.” It’s really a premium midsize crossover, but it will appeal to the enthusiast as well as well-off families. It can do so through an aluminum construction, something Jaguar does well. It keeps the vehicle light yet rigid and maintains a low center of gravity, despite the elevated ride height.
Technical details are scarce right now, but the show car had an R badge set into its grille, which leads us to surmise a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 could be an option. In the F-Type sports car, the engine can develop a breathtaking 550 horsepower. Considering this is Jaguar’s first-ever attempt at making a crossover, the signs look more than promising.
2017 Jaguar XE
Remember the old, front-wheel-drive X-Type? It was supposed to be a compact executive sedan, like a BMW 3 Series or an Audi A4, but it never really caught on. That was the old, underfunded Ford-era marque. Now, it’s rejuvenated and confident enough to build a car to go wheel-to-alloy-wheel with those illustrious rivals, the XE.
Like the rest of the range, the XE’s construction is principally aluminum. A light platform means the ability to be more deliberate in weight placement. This model is rear-wheel drive, as well (although all-wheel drive will be available for some variants), so it can echo BMW’s famed 50/50 weight distribution.
When it goes on sale in 2016, the XE will start at around $35,000 and pack a 240-hp, 2.0-liter, turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, along with a competitive amount of equipment. There’s going to be a diesel version and a hot version, the latter deploying a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 for an energetic 340 hp.