The 2016 Jaguar XE is an important car for its maker. As a competitor to the vaunted BMW 3 Series, it’s set to grow Jag’s sales volume while giving fans of fun driving something to look forward to.
That significance may be why Jaguar has let quite a few details slip before the XE’s September 8 unveiling. The latest has to do with the car’s aluminum-intensive construction.
Jaguar is no stranger to aluminum. It’s used the lightweight metal on multiple generations of the full-size XJ sedan, as well as the F-Type. Public relations types will also be quick to point out that Jag’s Castle Bromwich assembly plant also built Spitfire fighter planes during World War II.
To face an implacable German foe of its own, the XE’s chassis will have 75 percent aluminum content. Because of its lower price point, the XE will likely be the best-selling aluminum car Jaguar has ever made.
It will also be the most fuel efficient production Jaguar ever. The lightweight aluminum chassis and fuel-efficient Ingenium engines should help it achieve over 75 mpg on the European combined cycle, according to the company.
That comes with a few caveats, though. The 75 mpg figure likely applies to one of the diesel engines, which probably won’t make it to the United States, and the European testing cycle is much more optimistic than the U.S. EPA cycle.
So while the XE probably won’t use less fuel than a Toyota Prius, it will likely be one of the most efficient compact luxury sedans around.
The light weight and extra stiffness of its aluminum chassis will hopefully make the baby Jag one of the best to drive, too.