It's a bit disheartening to think that the fact a slick sport sedan like the Jaguar XE will come with a manual option is news—but that doesn't make it any less welcome.
At this point, it appears the six-speed stick will only be offered on models with the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, with the range-topping supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 models getting an eight-speed ZF automatic. Offering the manual only on models equipped with the smallest engine would be consistent with the British brand's XF lineup, where the 5.0-liter V-8 is only available with the automatic.
At this point, no power figures are available for the force-fed four-pot, but we expect to see a figure somewhere around 250 horsepower, which would put it on par with its chief rival, the BMW 335i. And while it would be great to see the V-6 with a third-pedal option, we think the fun factor will more than make up for the power deficit.
Of course, what the take rate on manual XEs will be is anyone guess. But given that less than 20 percent of XF buyers opt for a stick, we can't imagine it'll be too high—which makes it even better that Jaguar is catering to purists. Look for manual models to arrive in mid-2016, following the XE's spring arrival in U.S. showrooms.