Jaguar touts aluminum features on upcoming XE

Jaguar released this photo of the XE on Tuesday.
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Jaguar Land Rover is touting the aluminum features on its upcoming Jaguar XE sedan, promising it will be the most fuel efficient vehicle in brand history.

U.S. fuel economy estimates for the vehicle are not yet available, but Jaguar's efforts underscore how automakers -- particularly Ford Motor Co. with its aluminum-bodied 2015 F-150 -- are accelerating their use of the metal to cut weight and improve fuel economy. 

The XE, expected to compete with the BMW 3 series, Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C class, will feature a body made of more than 75 percent aluminum, the company said in a technology update on Tuesday.

The car will include an integral link rear suspension to improve ride and handling, and electric power steering that will allow engineers to incorporate active safety and driver-aid features.

It’s the first vehicle to use Jaguar Land Rover’s new aluminum-based rear-wheel-drive architecture. The automaker said the XE will be the first car to use a new grade of high strength aluminum dubbed RC 5754 that has been “developed specifically for the XE.”

Jaguar will unveil the XE on Sept. 8 in London, but is already promoting the vehicle. It is not expected in U.S. dealerships until 2016.

The aluminum “gives us a body structure with unrivalled low weight: it's light but also immensely strong with extremely high levels of torsional stiffness,” Mark White, Jaguar's chief technical specialist, body complete, said in a statement.

“We've made sure our aluminum-intensive body structure exceeds all global safety standards without compromising on vehicle design or refinement."

You can reach Vince Bond Jr. at vbond@crain.com. -- Follow Vince on Twitter


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