UK-only Jaguar

celebrates French

win

Jaguar XE Reims Edition, front action 1
Jaguar XE Reims Edition, overhead static
Jaguar XE Reims Edition, front action 2
Jaguar XE Reims Edition, side static 2
Jaguar XE Reims Edition, side action
Jaguar XE Reims Edition, dashboard
Jaguar XE Reims Edition, rear action
Jaguar XE Reims Edition, side static
Jaguar XE Reims Edition, wheel

PITY the poor French admirer of Jaguar cars - while the company's latest offering pays homage to a famous race victory deep in the heart of la belle France, it's for sale in the UK only.

And just 200 versions are being built, all in right hand drive and finished in bold French Racing Blue paint, paying tribute to the win by a Jaguar D-Type two seat racer in the 12 hour race on the long defunct Reims circuit in 1954.

Your French Jag lover would pronounce the track 'rrance' not the 'reems' favoured this side of the Channel, where you'll need to find £38,295 for your own Jaguar XE Reims Edition.

Based on the £35,505 XE R-Dynamic S this special edition adds bespoke features, from black contrast roof to black mirror caps and black sill inserts and is fitted with 19ins alloy wheels in gloss black.

Options standardised for the Reims Edition include privacy glass, heated seats and the cold climate pack that includes heated windscreen, heated steering wheel and headlight washers.

In common with recent upgrades across the XE range, the special edition has all-LED headlights, Apple CarPlay, a rear parking camera and front and rear parking peepers.

Power comes from a 247bhp version of Jaguar's 2.0-litre, four-cylinder Ingenium petrol engine and power is transmitted to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox.

Jaguar says the XE Reims Edition is the first of a series of Jaguar Factory Specials that will be produced in limited quantities and come with unique features.

Slipping into the driving seat of the newcomer, first impressions are a cockpit that, in common with the entire post-upgraded XE range, can hold its head up in company with rivals bearing German badges on the boot.

That was not the case with earlier XE versions and must have contributed to a sales performance that left this four-door Coventry cat trailing a long way behind the opposition.

Now it deserves a revisit from anyone who fancies a sporty four seater (five at a pinch in the XE, which is not over-endowed with back seat stretching room) and that's before you press the start button and set off.

The XE has always been up there for driving pleasure with the best from the likes of BMW and a fine example of Jaguar's long term ability to mix crisp reactions to a driver's demand with solid comfort for everyone on board.

The XE Reims Edition is a delight to point down a demanding British road and especially relishes the sort of wide open bend where you can see there's nothing coming the other way... and have some (legal) fun.

Pressing on a bit won't help the fuel consumption from the nicely potent powerplant that remains discreetly distant under pressure. Jaguar quotes an official 36.2mpg best average but expect this to dip into the twenties if you're having fun.

Which, with 155mph on tap (for that German autobahn adventure) and a sprint to 62mph in 6.2 seconds available at the flex of a right ankle, you most certainly will be having.

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