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Jaguar Magazine 02/2018 – American English

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ROAD TEST Getting back

ROAD TEST Getting back into the XE 300 SPORT with eyes suitably widened by caffeine, I take in my immediate surroundings once more. The yellow stitching that adorns the leather really is quite a clever touch. It’s not overbearing or garish, but the contrasting combination has connotations that instantly quicken the pulse. Think of where it appears in nature: on wasps or poison frogs or some snakes it makes you sit up and take notice. In here, it’s a little reminder that you’ve got 296HP and 295 lb-ft of torque at your disposal. Talking of which, the Ingenium engine is an interesting powerhouse, and a key factor in why the XE handles the roads so well. Being a four-cylinder turbocharged all-aluminum engine means it is light and this helps the nose of the car feel responsive. The power delivery is pleasingly progressive too, keen to rev and gaining in enthusiasm as it rises toward its red line. Of course all that power and torque wouldn’t be any use if the car couldn’t transmit it to the road, but the XE 300 SPORT has another trick up its sleeve all-wheel drive. Even under fairly abrupt throttle applications on less than pristine surfaces, the XE doesn’t waste any of its power. The way the systems deploy the power means the XE still feels slightly rear-biased in its demeanour and that sense of driving out of a corner pushing from the rear rather than pulling from the front is crucial to a properly dynamic-feeling AWD system. As we head toward Catania, the island’s most imposing feature increasingly dominates the skyline. At 10,991 feet high, Mount Etna is Europe’s highest active volcano. I’m in the right color car for it too, as my XE is painted Caldera Red; a caldera is a cauldron-like volcanic feature, formed when part of the volcano collapses. Etna’s is the Piano Caldera, formed 2000 years ago, near the base of its summit cone. “THE POWER DELIVERY IS European model shown. 26 THE JAGUAR