Jaguar has added a third variant into the BMW 3 Series-fighting XE mid-sized luxury sedan range with a new P300 R-Dynamic Black option heralding a significant injection of technology for the entire trio, along with traction-boosting all-wheel drive.
The new arrival slots in as the new mid-range offering of the Jaguar XE line-up priced from $69,990 driveaway and introduces a number of model enhancements that are now shared with its two other existing siblings.
That includes an all-wheel drive transmission which replaces the previous rear-drive only layout, along with the latest version of Jaguar’s Pivi Pro dual-sim information system, the second generation of its innovative activity key, updated cabin details, and more safety features.
Just as significant as the changes are the Jaguar EX features that haven’t changed.
Despite the extra weight of the all-wheel-drive system, the zero-to-100km/h acceleration time of 5.9 seconds is unchanged thanks to a traction advantage, while the equipment additions to the existing variants have not affected their price.
Opening the range at $65,670 is the P300 R-Dynamic SE, while the P300 R-Dynamic HSE remains the flagship of the range at $71,940.
The pair of XE range bookends are priced before on-road costs so the new Black appears to be the value pick of the XE family, taking the SE specification as its basis.
In addition to the standard features offered with the base P300 R-Dynamic SE, the Black adds a number of aesthetic enhancements including black boot spoiler to match 19-inch five-spoke alloy wheels housing red brake calipers, and standard metallic paint in a choice of five colours.
The extras continue on the inside with more gloss black touches, alloy pedal trims and an upgraded Meridian sound system.
That’s on top of the treatment given to all XEs for the 2021 overhaul. New for the latest update is a suite of driver assistance systems such as adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, rear collision monitor plus a 3D surround camera now fitted as standard.
All interiors feature redesigned seating and a new steering wheel as well as a special cabin filter and air ionizer which can remove smaller particles and unpleasant odours from the cabin atmosphere.
With the latest version of the Pivi Pro system, the XE offers more connectivity features including the option to pair two devices simultaneously, while a dedicated power supply does not require the complete vehicle system boot-up before its features are available.
Android Auto and Apple Carplay are now integrated as part of the deal, as are over-the-air software updates, while a new signal booster is integrated into the high-rate 15-watt wireless charger to improve device reception when onboard the XE.
Jaguar’s Activity Key is also updated; while it still allows the vehicle to be locked and unlocked whilst leaving the conventional key fob in the car, the rechargeable, water-resistant band now also incorporates a watch to keep an eye on how many hours you’ve been in the surf.
Beyond that, it’s business as usual for the XE range.
The three-car line-up continues to be powered by the sophisticated and efficient Ingenium 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder petrol which has mild-hybrid technology to make each drop go further.
It’s bolted to the same eight-speed automatic transmission albeit now plumbed into all four wheels, and the chassis has not been retuned – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
The arrival of the new XE P300 R-Dynamic Black is the first addition to the range since a major cull in which 14 options were pruned back to just two.
And the same rationalization has been going on in many of the Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) model lines including the XE’s larger XF sister, which was trimmed down to a single option from 13 for 2021.
From now, customers interested in Jaguar’s large sedan model have only the P300 R-Dynamic HSE to choose from, which comes with a $100,200 asking price.
As is the case for both Jag sedans, there is no diesel on offer for now, nor is any engine with a greater number of cylinders (or less) than four.
Excitingly though, the company’s newest engine is starting to surface in a number of models and a debut of the powerful but efficient 3.0-litre Ingenium in-line six-cylinder turbo petrol may soon be confirmed for the XE and XF.
Jaguar’s new XE offering is available to order now, with the first examples expected to start rolling in during the first quarter of 2021.