Two decades ago، a small saloon with 380bhp would have represented the pinnacle of automotive firepower. Today، this Jaguar XE S is merely a stepping stone to a forthcoming SVR model with 500bhp، UK-based Auto Express magazine reported.
While that car is still a little way off، JLR is maintaining interest in the current XE flagship with a power boost and extra kit. As a result، the supercharged V6 S model now develops an Audi S4-beating 375bhp from its uprated 3.0-litre V6.
The revised engine is from the F-Type S، and it helps to shave a tenth of a second off the XE’s 0-62mph time، as it now completes the benchmark sprint in five seconds flat. The less powerful Mercedes-AMG C 43 manages it in 4.7 seconds، although that car benefits from four-wheel drive، compared to the rear-drive Jag. The sporty set-up doesn’t come at the expense of grip; the XE turns in sharply and corners with remarkable poise. It drives beautifully، in fact; the standard XE was a great base to start from، and the flagship S takes things up a notch.
There’s so much control in the chassis and the steering is full of feel. Plant the throttle، and the saloon picks up pace at an impressive rate – despite losing out to its two main rivals for peak torque. Still، with 450Nm on tap، there’s no lethargy from the raucous supercharged V6.
Without the F-Type’s lairy sports exhaust it doesn’t feel quite as characterful، but for many buyers that’ll be just the ticket; the XE’s dual personality is part of its appeal.
The S has 19-inch wheels، plus a sports bodykit، S badging and subtle boot spoiler. Elsewhere، the XE is now available with Jag’s optional 10-inch InControl Touch Pro infotainment and digital 12.3-inch dials. It lifts what was a slightly old fashioned-feeling interior، but the fit and finish is still excellent، and everything is easy to use.
The 2018 model year XE also features a suite of new safety kit، including Blind Spot Assist، Forward Vehicle Guidance and Forward Traffic Detection technologies. The car’s automatic emergency braking now works at up to 37mph، too.