Coventry’s smallest takes a leap into a new era.
British marque Jaguar are coming into 2019 with a full schedule at hand it seems, with its smallest (and most affordable) model, the XE, is set to receive a mid-life facelift. But rather than limiting the revision to just the aesthetics, Jaguar intends to go a little further and have a little play with what’s going on under the skin too.
The facelift itself shouldn’t be all too extensive, as the XE is a handsome machine that doesn’t demand any major changes to its exterior to keep it fresh. Expect to see some new bumpers, alloys and lights, as is the usual assortment of updates whenever a facelift like this is called for.
However, Jaguar seems to be preparing to offer the XE for the first time with a mild-hybrid powertrain, much like the ones fitted to the Range Rover Evoque, which basically involves the fitment of a belt-driven alternator-starter to an existing Ingenium engine, and a small lithium-ion battery tucked away somewhere into the architecture. With the 48V electrical system, the XE will benefit in terms of overall fuel economy & CO2 emissions, which is always a good thing.
With any luck, the MHEV setup will also give the XE a little bit more poke, which is always welcomed even if the existing vehicle has adequate power already. Additionally, it’ll enable things like engine-deactivation when coasting (or when idling), as well as offer a smoother stop/start system that’s more befitting a luxury vehicle.
The inclusion of the MHEV powertrains most likely spells the end of the 3.0-litre supercharged V6 engine, which will either bow out with the arrival of the facelifted XE, or enjoy a very short sunset phase. But what’s more certain to go the way of the dodo is the manual transmission because really, who bothers with those in this segment anyway?