Jaguar’s new small sedan to rival the BMW 3-Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class will be known as the XE, and a prototype has been spotted at the Nürburgring. As our spy video confirms, the new XE is shaping up to be a very capable sport sedan, with the prototype making short work of the German race track’s many corners.

A couple of teaser shots

released by Jaguar  shows that the styling of the XE will borrow elements from the XF but also feature some sharper lines. The final design is said to be wide, low and very sporty. Don’t worry about the frumpy rear section on this prototype as most of it is added to mask the car’s true shape.

Underpinning the XE will be an all-aluminum platform code-named iQ[Al]. The platform has some commonality with the Premium Lightweight Architecture (PLA) found in the Land Rover Range Rover and was first previewed in Jaguar’s C-X17 crossover concept at the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show.

2016 Jaguar XE prototype with clear bodywork

2016 Jaguar XE prototype with clear bodywork

So far iQ[Al] has only been confirmed for the XE, but there will be at least three other models spawned from it, including the next-generation XF. Other models spawned from the iQ[Al] platform will be a production version of the C-X17 crossover, a prototype for which has already been spotted, as well as some likely derivatives of the XE such as a wagon or perhaps even a sporty coupe.

Powered by a range of Ingenium 2.0-liter four-cylinder engines coming in both gasoline and diesel flavors, as well as the supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 from the F-Type, the XE should match the Germans and Americans in the sport sedan segment step-for-step. It's thought that the a V-6 variant is being tested here. Rear-wheel drive will come standard, though customers will be able to opt for all-wheel drive, and an eight-speed auto should be standard across the range.

A reveal of the new Jaguar XE may take place as early as the 2014 Paris Auto Show in October. Unfortunately, Jaguar has confirmed that the car won’t reach U.S. showrooms until sometime in 2016.


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