The upcoming Jaguar XE will use its new all-aluminium platform and a specially developed range of efficient engines to take on premium rivals when it launches next year.

After three years of hints and glimpses at heavily-disguised prototype models, Jaguar finally revealed the name of its BMW 3-series and Mercedes C-class competitor at the Geneva motor show last week.

The XE, which will slot underneath the XF in Jaguar's line-up, is aimed at the booming global compact premium car market.

Likely to be priced from £29,000 to remain competitive, the XE will be adorned with a high-tech aluminium platform and a new range of efficient four-cylinder engines, currently being developed by Jaguar Land Rover and dubbed 'Ingenium'.

These are just some of the technical highlights of the new baby Jaguar.

Scalable platform

JLR's new iQ[Al] architecture has been at the core of the car's development. It's scalable, and design boss Ian Callum says it could be used for a wide range of vehicles in the future, likely including the C-X17 SUV and a longer XF replacement: "It it a hugely flexible architecture and we will make full use of it," he said "as there's no point in just doing one car". The architecture means the XE could be available in both rear and all-wheel drive forms.

Futureproofed design

The XE's platform is made from a mixture of pressed aluminium sheets, extrusions and castings joined with rivets and aerospace adhesives. Using rivets and adhesives to join the components means that other materials - such as carbonfibre - could be used on future versions.

Efficient engines

According to Jaguar, the 'Ingenium' range of 2.0-litre, four-cylinder engines use the most flexible engine architecture ever made by the firm. Described as being "a new family of premium, lightweight, low-friction, low-emission four-cylinder petrol and diesel units",  the range is currently set to enter the pre-production phase at JLR's engine factory in the Midlands. 

Once built, the Ingenium engine family will allow the XE to travel at over 186mph with CO2 emissions of less than 100g/km on some models. High performance versions with around 400bhp are also planned.

Both the petrol and diesel Ingenium engines have also been designed to take a wide range 
of forced-induction set-ups, from single turbos to twin turbos and combined turbos and superchargers.

Advanced suspension

Jaguar flashed up an image of the XE’s front suspension at Geneva. It’s a sophisticated, lightweight aluminium double-wishbone arrangement that will also underpin the next XF.

Additional reporting by Darren Moss