Long-wheelbase Jaguar XEL debuts in China

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2018 Jaguar XEL

2018 Jaguar XEL

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Jaguar’s lineup has spawned its second long-wheelbase sedan in the form of the XEL, based on the XE small sedan. The first was the XF-based XFL introduced in 2016.

Like the XFL, the XEL is offered exclusively in China where it’s common among the wealthy class to have a professional driver on hand. Consequently, the extra length is designed to benefit those in the rear.

The wheelbase is 3.9 inches longer than in the standard XE, measuring 115.3 inches all up. To accommodate the extra length, Jaguar’s design team has stretched the length of the rear doors.

Some of the special touches those seated in the rear can look forward to are likely to include an infotainment screen, foldable tables, an entertainment package and electric side window blinds. The XEL should also benefit from Jaguar’s rear traffic warning system that helps those in the back avoid opening a door when traffic is approaching from the rear.

Only one powertrain is available, a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 paired with an 8-speed automatic. Buyers are able to choose from 200- or 250-horsepower outputs, though.

The XEL made its debut on Friday at the 2017 Guangzhou auto show. Production will take place at a plant in Changshu, China owned in a joint venture with local automaker Chery. It will be the fourth vehicle from Jaguar Land Rover to be built in China. The others are the aforementioned XFL, plus the Land Rover Discovery Sport and Range Rover Evoque.

Sadly, the car represents the final body style for the XE. Jaguar Design Director Ian Callum has confirmed the XE won’t get a wagon to slot in below the recently revealed XF Sportbrake. There also won’t be sporty 2-doors such as a coupe or convertible.

 
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