Jaguar has added some new equipment to its XE saloon range for model year 2017 (no, we're not sure why it's not the 2016MY either, but there you are); however, perhaps the biggest news is the addition of an all-wheel drive model.
Across all 2017MY XEs, customers benefit from the (optional) addition of InControl Touch Pro with its 10.2-inch touchscreen (an eight-inch item for InControl Touch is standard fare), the ability to turn the Jag into a Wi-Fi hotspot for up to eight devices, apps that can allow (for example) iWatch users to remotely check the fuel level, lock/unlock the car and even start the engine for cabin pre-heating and a whopping great 17-speaker, 825-Watt Meridian Digital Surround Sound system. If that sounds like a bit much, there's a still-impressive 380W 11-speaker set-up from the same company.
The two Ingenium diesels (163- and 180hp), with a choice of manual and automatic transmissions, and the three petrols (from 200- to 340hp, all automatics), continue as rear-wheel drive models. It's only on the 180hp Ingenium diesel where AWD can be specified and if you choose it, you have to have the eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox too.
Jaguar's AWD is a torque-on-demand system, meaning the XE AWD operates in rear-wheel drive mode under normal driving conditions. Only when the car's Intelligent Driveline Dynamics (IDD) on-board software detects slip does a multi-plate wet clutch pack engage a chain drive to the front propshaft - and it can do this in 165 milliseconds. Added to it is the Adaptive Surface Response (AdSR) setting in the Terrain Response options, which replaces 'Rain, Ice, Snow' and maps the throttle, transmission and traction control to the best possible effect to ensure smooth progress on all surfaces and in all conditions.
Finally, Jaguar has decided to add some more driver assist systems to all XEs. By using the existing Autonomous Emergency Braking, Traffic Sign Recognition and Lane Departure Warning (LDW) software, the marque has added an Adaptive Speed Limiter (ASL), which can automatically adjust its speed according to varying limits; Lane Keep Assist (LKA), which builds on LDW by gently steering the car back into its lane if it senses the XE is veering; and Driver Condition Monitor, a driver tiredness warning display.
The AWD system adds a not inconsiderable 95kg to the 1,565kg kerb weight of a 180hp Ingenium rear-wheel drive XE auto, leaving you with a 1,660kg car and that's without any further weighty options. This has an effect on performance and economy. While the top speeds of both cars are the same 225km/h, the AWD is a tenth of a second slower to 100km/h from rest than the rear-wheel drive XE (7.9- plays 7.8 seconds respectively), but it's really on the green data where the biggest impact is felt. Fuel consumption slips from 4.2 litres/100km (67.3mpg) on the RWD to 4.7 litres/100km (60.6mpg) on the AWD, while CO2 emissions increase from 109- to 123g/km accordingly.
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