Jaguar's forthcoming new small saloon will pinch a number of design touches from the F-Type sports car range in order to make the newcomer a formidable rival to the BMW 3 Series.
Speaking exclusively to Motors.co.uk, Jaguar’s UK marketing director, Ken Forbes, revealed the British marque has to make its new XE saloon look and feel sporty in order to steal premium buyers away from German rivals such as the 3 Series, Audi's A4 and the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class.
“You will see a lot design cues from the F-Type on the XE,” Forbes told us. “Design touches like the instrument binnacle and the rear light cluster will be very similar. It will be very deliberate in order to show there is connectivity between our products.”
Along with the new F-Type convertible, recently launched F-Type Coupe and forthcoming SUV models, the new XE will be spearheading a transformation for the British brand – both in image and in profits.
“We’ve got to stop the default setting – which is people buying 3 Series BMWs."
But despite being offered in two model styles and a raft of engines and drivetrains, Jaguar’s last small saloon, the X-Type, never catapulted itself onto the shopping lists of premium saloon buyers in the way its German rivals had an ability to. And for the new XE, Jaguar knows it will have to work hard to convince people not to buy the default choice – a 3 Series.
“It's an unusual situation to occupy but we are a challenger brand in the UK,” said Forbes. “We’ve got to stop the default setting – which is people buying 3 Series BMWs – and get them to stop and think: ‘Don’t buy another German car, buy an alternative’, and the alternative is Jaguar.
“We have got to clearly demonstrate that choosing a Jaguar is a great choice and people should actively consider it. If we’re not disruptive, people will love our products but will stick with what they know.”
With the company’s new F-Type coupe having been launched to critical acclaim, we’d say the smart money is on Jaguar succeeding in its aims.
If you’re not convinced, you can search for a used BMW 3 Series here