Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has unveiled the extended wheelbase version of the XE in China. Christened the Jaguar XEL, the wheelbase on the sedan has been extended by 100mm. The British manufacturer came up with the new Jaguar XEL for the Chinese market and it will be sold exclusively in China. Jaguar XEL will be manufactured at Chery Jaguar Land Rover's plant in Changshu and will go on sale in the country in January 2018. An extended wheelbase means that the distance between the two axles has been increased to 2,935 mm, which has led to an enlarged cabin space, especially for the second row. The new Jaguar XEL has an additional 112 mm of legroom and 100 mm of knee room for the rear passengers. The cabin has also been modified compared to the XE in order to incorporate the larger space.
In terms of the exterior and styling, the Jaguar XEL remains largely similar to the standard XE, except, of course longer rear doors. The other aspect distinguishing the XEL from the XE is the 'XEL' badge on side window finisher and the chrome finish on the door handles and side sill.
Jaguar XEL will be powered by the same 2-litre four-cylinder Ingenium petrol engine that powers the XE is China and India. The diesel engine option is not available in China, but the petrol unit is offered in two states of tunes - 197 bhp and 246 bhp. An eight-speed automatic transmission sends power to the rear wheels. Jaguar XEL will be available in four variants - Pure, Prestige, Prestige+ and Portfolio.
Almost all of the Jaguar XEL buyers will be chauffeur-driven, and keeping that in mind, Jaguar has introduced some new features to add to passenger comfort and convenience. It gets a sliding panoramic sunroof, cabin air ionisation, a Wi-Fi hotspot that can support up to eight devices and a front passenger seat away feature that allows even larger space at the rear.
Luxury car brands have long practised introducing long-wheelbase versions of the existing cars in China and it is highly unlikely that the left-hand drive car will ever come to India. However, Mercedes-Benz launched the E-Class with an extended wheelbase, which rattled the segment a bit. So, Jaguar may consider bringing a right-hand drive version of the XEL to India. Or perhaps, if not yet, the trend may be set over time.