Aiming at Porsche Boxster levels of performance, the upcoming 2014 Jaguar XE has already been spied in testing. The styling is certainly not what you'd call retro in any way, but the lines are still all Jaguar, just interpreted in a smaller package.
That's just as we've expected, but according to an unnamed "insider" speaking with Autocar, the new XE's styling is part of a new design language that "express[es] lightness."
Jaguars are generally light for what they are--the company's extensive use of aluminum has been a core part of its process since the last few years of the previous XJ--itself a smart and spry performer in supercharged trims, despite the vintage clothes.
What, precisely, can we expect of the XE? It's still too early to tell. We guesstimate that the car will sport a V-6 engine in the 300-horsepower range and weigh in somewhere around the 3,000-pound mark, if its goal is to keep pace with the Boxster. Being more powerful and lighter wouldn't hurt--perhaps in an XE-S variant--as the Boxster's mid-engined design gives it certain inherent advantages over a front-engined car. We expect the car to debut late in 2013 for the 2014 model year.
We'll keep you posted as more details develop. To read more of what's been said about the XE, check out our previous coverage.