Two old-school models get a rev up as Jaguar NZ also looks to introduce the car that could drive it into a new future.
SPECIAL editions of Jaguar sedans whose international status has diminished have arrived in New Zealand.
Announced today, the ‘300 Sport’ versions of the medium XF and more compact XE four door models carry allure of being significantly cheaper than ‘R-Sport’ editions they bump off the sales register, when full recommended retails are considered.
Jaguar New Zealand says that, in starting respectively at $82,900 and $94,900 excluding on road costs, the XE and XF 300 Sport models are up to $25,000 cheaper than their outgoing equivalents. In the XE family, the 300 Sport replaces the 25t R-Sport while the XF 300 Sport supplants the 30t R-Sport Edition.
The new numerical references the output of the cars’ 2.0-litre Ingenium engine when measured in metric horsepower (PS). That equates to 220kW. The engine creates 400Nm. Jaguar says the XE variant will hit 0-100kmh in 5.9 seconds.
The Sport editions’ exterior identification runs to dark satin grey detailing of the door mirror caps, rear spoiler and grille surround, ‘Sport’ badging on the front grille and bootlid and grey satin-finish wheels and branded brake callipers.
XF and XE Sports come in white, silver and black; XE buyers can also take their choice in red.
Special design accents continue inside with yellow contrast stitching on the steering wheel, seats, door casings and armrest. The Sport tag features on treadplates, sport carpet mats, badged steering wheel and embossed headrests.
The XE and XF enable customers to be more connected, with Jaguar’s advanced Touch Pro 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system as standard.
How much longer the model lines might continue has been open to question in recent weeks, with growing conjecture that Jaguar will ultimately abdicate sedans altogether.
Even though its I-Pace electric car has been well-received, and despite it now making good ground within the SUV-sphere - having found success with the F-Pace and E-Pace - Jaguar is nonetheless battling a slump in sales this year, mainly as result of diminished interest in its trad booted models, whose modest international sales performance against all obvious rivals is reflected here as well.
XE year-on-year volume has dropped 25 percent while the XF is down 17 percent; a situation that has forced the brand to move the Castle Bromwich plant that produces both models to a three-day working week.
The development of crossovers – the next being a big luxury model called J-Pace, coming within two years – reminds how Jaguar has already begun to steer away from its historic base.
However, another rebirth still might yet occur. British media reported recently that the brand’s product planners have presented an outline strategy in which they propose Jaguar phases out all its conventional cars over the next five to seven years and replace them with pure electric vehicles of a wholly different ilk.
Under the plans being considered, a full-on large luxury sedan, to replace the XJ – now only produced in diesel format as the supercharged petrol V8 no longer makes the cut – could be on the road within two years, according to Britain’s Autocar.
The magazine has suggested that as the XE and XF reach the end of their lives in 2023, they could be replaced by an all-electric crossover slightly larger than Audi’s E-Tron.
It further speculates that an all-new generation of the I-Pace will arrive in 2025 as the E-Pace and F-Pace crossovers are phased out.
This talk occurs, of course, when Jaguar has yet to locally release the current I-Pace, though the local distributor has finally confirmed when the ground-breaking electric model will be available for purchase (from April), what variants are incoming (S, SE, HSE) and for how much: $159,900, $169,900 and $179,900.
Demonstrator units arrive in January and orders are being taken now.
All variants provide around 470kms’ range and run a 90kWh lithium ion battery, with the electric motors’ output rated at 294kW and 696Nm.