Jaguar will launch a facelifted version of its XE next year, UK boss Rawdon Glover has confirmed.
Scooped by Autocar earlier this year, the BMW 3 Series rival will receive an update in 2019, said Glover, four years after the model launched.
Glover said the updated XE was “critical to maintaining its market place”. However, he admitted that CO2 emissions won’t be reduced in the facelifted XE, an important factor in business car buying decisions.
“CO2 won’t change, we have what we have,” said Glover. “It’s about understanding where we can play – small and medium businesses and affinity schemes, for example.”
The fact that CO2 emissions won’t change suggests a plug-in hybrid powertrain won’t be introduced into the XE, despite the technology coming on board imminently at sibling brand Land Rover. It will introduce a plug-in hybrid version of its new Evoque in the next 18 months.
However, the facelifted XE is expected to employ a 48V mild hybrid, boosting the efficiency of the four-cylinder petrol and diesel line-up.
It is thought that the new, more stringent WLTP emissions tests mean that CO2 with the mild hybrids will remain the same as the existing line-up.
The recently introduced range-topper, the four-wheel-drive 300 Sport, is expected to carry over largely unchanged.
The 2019 XE will receive a series of tweaks to the exterior design, which is expected to take cues from the XE SV Project 8, while the interior will be inspired by the I-Pace, including a Touch Pro Duo infotainment system. Alongside this, we can expect improvements to the cabin, centring on boosting material quality and general fit and finish.
Technology is also an area in which the XE is starting to fall behind some key rivals, so alongside infotainment and connectivity upgrades, we’re likely to see the introduction of some semi-autonomous driving features.
Minor upgrades to improve refinement should feature, too, while tweaks to the suspension would ensure the XE balances ride comfort and handling with even more aplomb than the current car.
The XE has already been spotted hot weather testing in Nevada, US, as well as near Jaguar Land Rover’s base at Gaydon, Warwickshire, as our spy photos show.
The updated model is due to go on sale in April.