Jaguar have been punting the shared bloodline between their Nürburgring record-setting XE SV Project 8 and their XE range, and have now released a special edition model, called the XE 300 Sport.
Mike Cross, Chief Engineer, Vehicle Integrity, Jaguar Land Rover was quoted as saying, “The aluminium-intensive body construction of the XE enabled Jaguar to create a car as special as Project 8. These two sedans share the same DNA, delivering excellent handling, peerless performance and unrivalled dynamics.”
Sure it makes exactly half the power of its track-focused sibling, but the XE 300 Sport is no slouch. Powered by JLR's latest turbocharged 2.0-litre 4-cylinder Ingenium motor, it produces peak power of 221kw and maximum torque of 400nm available between 1,500 and 4,500rpm, and is capable of 0-100kph in 5.7 seconds and a top speed of 250kph. Unlike the Project 8, this model is rear-wheel driven, but also uses an 8-speed automatic. Jaguar claim it will sip fuel at a rate of 6.7L/100kms.
On top of four exterior paint choices including Caldera Red, Santorini Black, Indus Silver and Yulong White, the exterior of the 300 Sport features a selection of model-specific enhancements such as a Dark Satin Grey finish for the grill and window surrounds, side sills and vents, rear valance, mirror caps and boot spoiler. It rides on 19-inch alloys, but these can be upgraded to 20-inch wheels, also with Dark Satin Grey finishes, while special black brake calipers get 300 Sport branding.
The interior also gets the treatment, and is finished with matching 300 Sport badging on the steering wheel, sill treadplates, carpet mats and headrests, while striking yellow contrast stitching can be found on the instrument panel, door casings, carpet mats, armrest, multi-function steering wheel, split-fold rear seat and standard 14-way electric front seats.
Also standard on all XEs, All Surface Progress Control is a low speed cruise control that helps with low traction situations in all weather conditions so that drivers can concentrate on steering, while JaguarDrive Control allows drivers to select various drive modes at the touch of a finger. Settings range from Dynamic with faster gear shifts and sportier kickdowns to Eco with earlier upshifts and more efficient transmission programmes. There is also Torque Vectoring by Braking that is standard across the range.
The XE 300 Sport is priced from R792 800, and competes against the Mercedes-Benz C300, Lexus IS 300 F-Sport, and BMW 330i. It includes a 5-year/100 000km maintenance plan as standard.