Ingenium power for

Jaguar XE Sport

Jaguar XE 300 Sport, 2018, front
Jaguar XE 300 Sport, 2018, rear
Jaguar XE 300 Sport, 2018, side
Jaguar XE 300 Sport, 2018, interior
Jaguar XE 300 Sport, 2018, instrument panel, normal
Jaguar XE 300 Sport, 2018, instrument panel, dynamic
Jaguar XE 300 Sport, 2018, rear seats
Jaguar XE 300 Sport, 2018, rear spoiler
Jaguar XE 300 Sport, 2018, brake callipers
Jaguar XE 300 Sport, 2018, grille
Jaguar XE 300 Sport, 2018, badge
Jaguar XE 300 Sport, 2018, steering wheel badge

THE most powerful iteration of JLR's Ingenium petrol engine is making its way into the Jaguar XE as a special edition 300 Sport model.

With 300ps on tap from its 2.0-litre turbocharged engine it's good for 0 to 60mph in 5.4 seconds and limited to a maximum of 155mph.

That's true sports saloon performance and although not quite as quick as the V6 supercharged version it replaces the new XE Sport is certainly more economical.

It's also all-wheel-drive and that results in great grip under all conditions - and with some clever electronics it can handle wintry weather with confidence.

Priced from £45,640, the Sport is the new range topper to the XE range and some £2,500 cheaper than the V6.

Official fuel economy is 36.7mpg and with emissions of 175g/km it is almost 20g/km cleaner than its predecessor and on our run in the new 300 Sport we saw an average of 27.2 to the gallon.

On the road the 300 Sport is more refined than the V6 and with four drive modes plus a sports setting to go at there's plenty of fun to be had.

The engine is the same as Jaguar is fitting to the entry level versions of the F-Type two seater and it is certainly no slouch.

Mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission - complete with paddle shifters for manual operation - it can work through the gears with some venom if required.

Left to its own devices and it is a smooth as any other Jaguar saloon but the Sport in the name of this model gives a clue to what it does best.

Engage dynamic mode and switch the transmission into sport and the XE is transformed with a throaty roar from the exhausts, stiffer handling all round and rapid response under acceleration.

Change drive mode and the instrument panel changes too, with central dial switching from a speedo to a rev counter with the remaining information displayed in a smaller cluster to the right.

The chassis of the XE has always been one of the best and with power automatically adjusted for optimum traction on all four wheels it can deliver one of the most rewarding drives around - certainly a match for anything from the German car makers.

It's best appreciated on the track where it comes into its own in a specific mode which relaxes the stability controls but even on regular roads - and without the track setting engaged - it impresses.

The XE Sport is dressed in proper fashion too and comes with black brake callipers, bright metal foot pedals, 300 Sport branded tread plates and plenty of yellow stitching on black leather sports seats and the steering wheel.

Sat nav, Bluetooth and a full set of safety aids are standard and so are parking sensors.

The car we tried came with a number of extras including 20-inch alloys, adaptive dynamics, electric rear sunblinds and an active safety pack which adds the likes of adaptive cruise control and lane keeping.

As such the car cost £59,500 yet nevertheless that is still competitive with alternatives from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

Outside, the XE 300 Sport has subtle design cues such as a small but effective boot spoiler finished off in dark grey as are the side vents on the front wing, the sills and the door mirror caps.

There's also 300 Sport badges on the grille and boot, highlighted in yellow and repeated on the steering wheel and the brake callipers.

And as with other XEs the Sport comes with Jaguar's All Surface Progress Control system which works like a low-speed cruise control and gives the car plenty of grip on poor surfaces such as snow and wet grass.

In this class of car it's a traction management system none of the others have and is standard on all XE models with auto boxes, regardless of engine.

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