It’s not hyperbole to state that the new Jaguar XE is one of the most important cars that the manufacturer has ever produced.

Not only because it has the potential to restore the company to the profit margins not seen since the days of Sir William Lyons but also because it’s an all-new car, with an all-new engine, built in two new factories in the West Midlands.

It will also see the company squaring up to BMW, Audi and Mercedes on an equal footing for the first time.

Even so, it’s going to be tough for Jaguar to make a dent in this German hegemony. Not least because it will require the XE to have a much broader appeal than Jags of late – an appeal based on rational and not just emotional reasons.

So while the XE has bags of glamour, it’s entering a world where CO2-related tax and monthly contract hire payments are key. Gimlet-eyed fleet managers and user-choosers won’t touch it unless its numbers are a match for its rivals’.