Don't be too surprised if it's going to be a China-only affair.
On the occasion of the 2016 Beijing Auto Show, Jaguar stretched the wheelbase of the XF midsize sedan to introduce the XFL featuring an additional 6.1 inches (157 mm) of rear legroom. Available only in China, the elongated premium sedan goes up against the likes of Audi A6L, BMW 5 Series Long Wheelbase, and the Mercedes E-Class L.
It now seems the smaller XE compact sedan will receive the same treatment to fight the German trio consisting of the A4L, 3 Series Long Wheelbase, and the C-Class L. It’s not know at this point by how much Jaguar will increase the distance between the two axles, but we should remind you the regular XE has a wheelbase spanning at 2,835 mm (111.6 inches).
By the looks of it, the XEL will have virtually the same design as the standard model, with the obvious exception being the longer rear doors making it easier for passengers to get in and out of those rear seats.
When will we see it without the camouflage? Probably at a major auto show in the People’s Republic. It could debut at the Beijing Motor Show in April 2018. The event is organized once every two years as it alternates with the Shanghai show and next year is Beijing’s turn.
As you can imagine, the Jaguar XEL will target buyers in need of a model with a more spacious interior than what the regular XE can offer, but at the same time not as expensive as a standard-wheelbase XF.
It’s not just sedans such as the Acura TLX that are being stretched in China as SUVs are receiving the LWB recipe as well. For example, BMW is selling a longer X1 and rumor has it Audi will come out with a Q3L towards the end of the year. That one too will probably be restricted to within the Chinese borders.