At launch, the XE comes in two flavors, the more powerful of which uses a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 making 340 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. That engine propels the XE-S to 60mph in just 4.9 seconds and on to an electronically-limited top speed of 155mph. Those figures are just about on par with BMW’s 335i, but still a ways off the M3.
To take on BMW’s M3 and Mercedes-Benz’s C63 AMG, Jaguar will need quite a bit of extra muscle, and that’s exactly what the UK automaker has planned.
The XE-R is slated to borrow the V8 from the F-Type Roadster, developing approximately 488 hp. That’s a full 63 horses more than the new M3 and just under the 2015 C63 AMG’s 503 hp. Strangely, Jaguar revealed the V8 is easier to wedge under-hood than both the Ford-sourced four-cylinder and Jaguar/Land Rover’s own Ingenium four-cylinder diesel.
Besides the added grunt, the XE-R will gain a retuned suspension, a sportier chassis setup, and a remapped ZF eight-speed gearbox for quicker shifts and longer gear holds. Expect the XE-R to be priced in M3 territory at about $62,000.
Oh, but it gets better. Jaguar will turn the XE over to its Special Vehicle Operations team with the sole mission of making the Germans quake in fear. Rumor has it the 542 hp V8 from the F-Type R Coupe will nestle under the XE’s bonnet. This SVR version will also feature a more aggressive body, lighter materials like carbon fiber, bigger brakes, and a stiffer suspension setup. It’s hard to imagine BMW, Mercedes-Benz, or Audi pumping out a more powerful vehicle at least for the current generations, but competition has spurred crazier results before.
In related news, Jaguar is planning high-performance versions of upcoming vehicles like the F-Pace. An F-Pace R version would match up against the Macan Turbo with the same 488 hp V8 from the F-Type, and if the people want it, an SVR edition could spice things up further.
It looks like power-hungry consumers will get their fix from Jaguar for years to come.