Jaguar has long indulged us with sharp-edged high-performance models, as a brand whose heritage is anchored in sports cars should. Although sales may be small, the fast cars in Jaguar’s range showcase the firm’s ability to push the envelope.

However, Jaguar’s plans for fast XEs add a new dimension. They take its new small executive saloon into a territory where the biggest mistake would be to try to beat rivals on paper. A bigger power output and quicker 0-62mph time may earn bragging rights, but the very best driver’s cars require a delicacy that extends much farther than that.

It’s something that Jaguar has long demonstrated an understanding of, even if the company has chosen to build cars to cater for both sides of the equation. The sublimeXFR has a range of finesse that the faster, sharper XFR-S simply can’t match, for instance.

Already it’s clear that the new XE saloon has the right underpinnings to be a great performance car. Aim it just so and Jaguar’s bid to join the premium elite will take anothergiant leap forward.

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