Tata Motors-owned British luxury car manufacturer Jaguar recently launched the updated XE sedan in India. It held a media event at the Richardson and Cruddas mill in Byculla, Mumbai, where the car was launched in the presence of Rohit Suri, President & Managing Director, Jaguar Land Rover India Ltd (JLRIL) and other leaders of the company.
The car was presented after a short introduction and description of the car, after which the company offered a chance to take the car for a short spin.
Jaguar had created a mini test course in the premises of the mill, allowing drivers to experience a little of everything. From 90-degree corners to a full-fledged slalom test, to a speed run, Jaguar knew what their new launch was capable of.
Though the XE is a lengthy sedan, its bulk was hidden well among its curves and edges. Its doors open smoothly and allow entry into an almost isolated cabin. The fully digital driver's display does its job of providing all the necessary information well and the prominent steering wheel gives the driver a firm sense of control. The SportShift Selector slid easily into drive mode and the car was ready for the drive. I was also accompanied by a navigator and instructor to guide me through the course.
The XE is equipped with an 8-Speed Electronic Automatic Transmission with Jaguar Sequential Shift, which takes care of everything except letting the car accelerate and brake. Upon accelerating, it drove seamlessly past the start line and reached the first corner in the blink of an eye.
The 2-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine which runs the car makes 250BHP of maximum power and 353Nm of peak torque. This provides enough power to offer a smooth yet exhilarating drive. The XE also gets a driver fatigue sensor, which detects the driver’s fatigue and suggests the need for a break.
The system uses an internal timer, along with optic sensors and driving style analyses to determine if the driver needs a rest. My navigator told me about the XE’s different driving modes, which alter the power delivery and rpm modulation to offer distinctive yet seamless driving experiences, depending on the selected mode.
After completing the first half of the course and going through the slalom, we lined up to the beginning of the speed run. I stepped on the pedal after receiving the green signal and pushed it all the way down, to open the throttle completely.
In petrolhead lingo, this phenomenon is called “Pedal to the metal”. The acceleration pushed me back into the seat, letting me feel the power of the engine. Its low-rumbling grunt could not penetrate the soundproof cabin initially, but the engine's noise grew prominent as the revs climbed.
The speed run ended and I knew immediately that the XE was not just a luxury car, it was an emotion.
Driving the Jaguar XE is a unique experience, as it showed me the difference between going fast, and going fast while looking good.
Every element of the XE reeked of elegance, sophistication and technological advancement. It is a luxury sedan that you won’t want your chauffeur to drive, simply because you will miss out on the fun.