Brian Joss –
The new Jaguar XE which will be launched in South Africa later this month, marks Jaguar’s return to the hotly contested sports saloon segment – a segment that Jaguar created over 50 years ago with iconic models like the Mark II. With its aluminium-intensive architecture and Integral Link rear suspension, the XE will be a true driver’s car; one that will set a new benchmark among its competitors.
Built using lightweight technologies, and using a range of efficient and powerful Jaguar engines, the XE combines thrilling performance, agile handling and precise, responsive steering, with outstanding levels of refinement.
“Jaguars have always been renowned for a balance of precise handling and a high-quality ride. The XE is the culmination of everything the company has learned over the years,” says Mike Cross, Chief engineer of Vehicle Integrity at Jaguar. “The Integral Link rear suspension delivers major benefits over conventional multi-link designs. By providing lateral and longitudinal stiffness, the integral link delivers sharp response and handling while retaining a refined, luxurious ride.
Many components of the Integral Link suspension have been forged or hollow-cast in aluminium. These are the optimum production techniques to produce a strong, lightweight solution.
Mounted to a subframe with cast aluminium suspension towers, the XE’s double wishbone front suspension delivers the highest levels of handling and road holding.
The advanced design is based on Jaguar’s flagship F-TYPE sportscar and includes some key components designed to deliver Jaguar XFR-levels of stiffness. These ensure the XE enjoys a similar level of agility and ‘connected’ steering feel. Like the rear suspension, many components are made from cast and forged aluminium and some are produced using a patented process.
Jaguar is renowned for its steering feel and this will now move to the next level, as the XE is equipped with Jaguar’s latest generation Electric Power Assisted Steering (EPAS).
The latest software algorithms allow much greater scope for tuning than hydraulic-based systems and deliver better-quality steering feel. Other benefits include variable steering damping, ease of low-speed manoeuvring and the ability to adapt to Jaguar Drive Control settings. EPAS also enables a range of Active Safety and Driver Aid features.
Jaguar has developed All Surface Progress Control – a new feature in its class. ASPC can electronically gain traction with far less drama than a human driver can achieve. The system works like a low-speed cruise control to deliver optimum traction in the most slippery conditions without skidding and without the driver using the pedals.