1. It looks incredibly cool
Not surprisingly, the first thing that's apparent about the 2018 Jaguar XE S is that it's gorgeous. Jaguar has managed to refine and distill the visual essence of its brand over the years into what you see here. It's sexy, it's aggressive, and it looks great in Firenze Red.
2. It's got a monster engine
The Jaguar XE S features a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine that produces no less than 380 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. Thanks to the supercharger, a gut punch of power comes quickly and sustains itself through each gear. Remember, the XE is technically a compact car, like a Chevy Cruze or Nissan Sentra; that much engine in that small a car means fun times are ahead.
4. Oooooh, that upholstery
You can get the Jaguar XE S with two-tone leather upholstery featuring a rich Pimento Red color with Ebony accents. It's a shocking site upon first opening the doors, but suits the car well once you experience its shocking performance. Such a car should have the clothes to match.
5. Wheels to match
These 19-inch wheels pair well with the red-and-black interior because they, too, are two-tone. You might not notice at first glance, but they feature 15 spokes in total with 5 colored bright silver and the remaining 10 in black.
6. Digital-age gauges
It's surprising that such a storied brand like Jaguar has jumped feet first into the digital age, but here's a prime example: there are no analog gauges in my XE S. In their place is a large 12-inch digital display with four pre-made themes and a full-on map view that fills the screen. It's a headlining feature in the $3,265 Technology Package.
7. It's got an Eco mode
It's not a joke. One of the driving modes in the Jaguar XE S is for increased fuel economy (see the ECO button), and it actually works. Despite this engine being tuned specifically for performance, it can still manage up to 29 miles per gallon highway. Your results may vary, as burying the throttle into the carpet tends to use a lot of fuel, but efficiency can be found if you resist.
8. AWD, AWD, AWD
Nothing helps get power to the ground and converted to forward momentum like all-wheel drive. This Jag's got it, and it's enhanced with torque vectoring for better cornering. Torque vectoring brakes the inside wheel in tight turns to prevent understeering, and also directs the engine's torque to the wheel with the most grip. The end result is, coincidentally, like a cat clawing the Earth to get up to speed.
9. Real tips!
Don't laugh. Too many cars today come with fake exhaust tips built into their rear bumpers that aren't even connected to the exhaust pipes themselves. Not so here. The Jaguar XE S has a pair of honest-to-goodness chromed exhaust tips that burble out a nice tune at idle.
10. Theatrical gear select knob
A bit of theatrics happens when you turn on the XE S. The gear selector knob emerges from the center console like a sci-fi ship's control panel has just come alive. It's a neat bit of flair, and partly makes up for the fact there's no traditional shifter, manual or otherwise.
BONUS: There's a 200-MPH version
Jaguar chose the XE as the platform for a very ambitious performance project: the XE SV Project 8. Graced with a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 sending 592 horsepower to all four wheels, this XE can hit 200 miles per hour in a straight line, and has tamed the Nürburgring to the tune of 7 minutes 21.23 seconds – a full 11 seconds ahead of the previous four-door champ, the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio. Not too shabby.
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