Jaguar’s new small sedan to rival the BMW 3-Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class will be known as the XE, the British automaker has confirmed today at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show. Global sales will commence next year but we won’t see the car in the U.S. until 2016, when it arrives as a 2017 model.

Apart from this single teaser image, Jaguar is keeping the design of its XE a secret. We’ll get to see the covers come off later this year though. As expected, the XE is set to borrow design cues from the larger XF but with a sharper and more focused look.

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The XE is essentially the spiritual successor to the X-Type, but while the previous car borrowed a platform from Ford, the XE will be an all-Jaguar design. It will be the first model spawned from the brand’s new aluminum platform, which is code-named iQ[Al]. And it will also be the first to be powered by Jaguar’s new range of Ingenium 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines. Jaguar has also designed its iQ[Al] platform to be able to accommodate its 3.0-liter V-6 already offered in the F-Type sports car, so expect a V-6 option on the XE too.

The iQ[Al] platform shares some commonality with the Premium Lightweight Architecture (PLA) found in latest Land Rover Range Rover models and was first previewed in Jaguar’s C-X17 crossover concept at the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show. In addition to the XE, the platform will be used for a production version of the C-X17, the next-generation XF and possibly a new coupe.

2016 Jaguar XE aluminum construction

2016 Jaguar XE aluminum construction

By adopting aluminum construction, the XE should benefit from a new level of lightness and rigidity not seen in the segment, guaranteeing it exceptional handling, performance, refinement and efficiency. Prototypes for the car have been tested extensively at Germany’s Nürburgring race track.

As for Ingenium engine design, Jaguar says it has been configured to suit inline and transverse installations, hinting that we may see a front-wheel-drive Jaguar at a future date. The Ingenium engine also supports all-wheel-drive configurations, which should be offered on the new XE. Rear-wheel drive will be standard.

Interestingly, rumors of the Jaguar XE date back as far as 2008 when it was revealed that Jaguar had filed for the XE trademark. Back then it was thought that the XE name would be used for the F-Type sports car but its use for Jaguar’s new small sedan is more appropriate, as it is in keeping with the brand’s current naming practice for sedan models.

For more on the 2017 Jaguar XE, including spy shots, click here.


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