The power bulge helped, but we couldn’t have done it without our pop-up bonnet, which gives the clearance over the engine needed if the car collides with a pedestrian.
Q&A with Alan Volkaerts, operations director at Jaguar Land Rover's new Solihull plant
In six years, you’ve seen extraordinary expansion at Solihull. What’s happened?
The Tata acquisition of JLR led first to the establishment of the Range Rover aluminium body shop, then the biggest in Europe. Now we’ve opened the XE-Range Rover Sport shop, plus a trim and final shop to go with it – at an all-in cost of £1.5 billion. We’re making Jaguars inside Solihull, the first time that’s happened in 70 years.
The latest body shop is bigger again, right?
It’s about twice the size of the Range Rover shop – as big as 12 football pitches. Our new trim and final assembly hall is big, too – another 10 pitches.
And you’re hiring new people, aren’t you?
We have 500 new employees so far, and we’ll eventually need 1700 to make XE in the projected numbers. People are talking about new tools in the process called trunnions.
What do they do?
They speed the manufacturing process, increasing flexibility and future-proofing the plant for when it might make even more models.In essence, a trunnion is a huge, five-sided rotating jig that presents parts to a robot, instead of vice versa. When everything’s working to capacity, we’ll make a car every 78 seconds.
See below for a full pricing breakdown of the Jaguar XE
Jaguar XE 2.0d 163PS
0-60mph 7.9sec (manual), 7.7sec (auto); Top speed 141mph (manual), 132mph (auto); Power 161bhp; Torque 280lb ft; Economy 75.0mpg (manual), 71.7mpg (auto); CO2 99g/km (manual), 104g/km (auto)
Jaguar XE 2.0d 163PS SE From £29,775
Jaguar XE 2.0d 163PS Prestige From £30,775
Jaguar XE 2.0d 163PS R-Sport From £32,325
Jaguar XE 2.0d 163PS Portfolio From £32,975
Jaguar XE 2.0d 163PS SE Auto From £31,525
Jaguar XE 2.0d 163PS Prestige Auto From £32,525
Jaguar XE 2.0d 163PS R-Sport Auto From £34.075
Jaguar XE 2.0d 163PS Portfolio Auto From £34,725
Jaguar XE 2.0d 180PS
0-60mph 7.4sec (manual and auto); Top speed 142mph (manual), 140mph (auto); Power 178bhp; Torque 316lb ft; Economy 67.3mpg (manual and auto); CO2 109g/km (manual and auto).
Jaguar XE 2.0d 180PS SE From £30,275
Jaguar XE 2.0d 180PS Prestige From £31,275
Jaguar XE 2.0d 180PS R-Sport From £33,025
Jaguar XE 2.0d 180PS Portfolio From £33,675