New details of the Jaguar XE sports car, which is set to open in 2011 or 2012, have come out. The possible platform derivation of the latest Jaguar XE is a trimmed down XK. It will come with a potent 450bhp V6 powerplant.
In contrast to the XK, the XE will be smaller. Since the Jaguar XK's molded and cast aluminum frame is much easier to shorten compared with the riveted and bonded chassis of the XJ, it is probable that the Jaguar XE will employ the platform of the XK.
All the same, it will be a big challenge to strip off the XK's 4.79 meter length and 1.89 meter width to make something with a length of 4.08 meters and a width of 1.78 meters against the rival Mercedes-Benz SLK.
There are also speculations that Jaguar might produce other versions from a longer wheelbase variant of this narrowed platform, possibly offering range to develop four-seater niche entries to stand up against the competition in the compact premium class. The V6 engine will be new, taken from the new 5.0-liter V8 lineup and the engine program has just been started.
This makes some in the company to think that a streamlined, supercharged 4-cylinder powerplant might be a better solution with better fuel economy, emissions ratings and lesser weight.
Rolls-Royce would, in an ideal scenario, provide both powerplants to go with both the US and European markets, but it must first find a dealer of the base architecture of a 4-cylinder powerplant since it will not prove profitable for Jaguar to develop this by itself.
In this vein Jaguar has already solicited the assistance of Lotus to develop the XE in the area of the XE's aluminum construction, production viability and chassis development. [source autocar]