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Jaguar vs. BMW: With XE, XF and F-Pace against 3, 5 and X4

Christian Schulte
Jaguar vs. BMW
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S you think that's not fair? A comparison of the Jaguar and BMW brands does indeed look like the much-cited battle between David and Goliath. Just to put it into perspective: Jaguar sold 81,570 cars worldwide last year (plus nine percent), while BMW sold 238,253 vehicles in Germany alone (plus 2.8 percent) in the same period. Nevertheless: The once old-fashioned British luxury brand, which is about to expire, is back in full force. And it comes up with the claim to at least annoy the sporty German premium brand BMW, well, let's say. In any case, the Jaguar bosses know what makes BMW tick. Many of them have worked at BMW over the course of their careers. Jaguar Land Rover boss Ralf Speth even worked for the Munich car maker for a very long time. The central areas of research, development and production are also in German hands at Jaguar and Land Rover - all of them occupied by ex-BMW managers.

Competition for BMW from June 2015

And this is what the model timetable looks like: After Jaguar has set an emotional scent mark with the F-Type, the XE is now supposed to scare the BMW 3 Series with tangible virtues. The limousine will be dealt with in June 2015. But that's not all. Internal discussions are about a coupé version that can be made quite inexpensively and compete against the BMW 4 Series, as well as a station wagon version.

The latter is only in demand in a few, but important European markets. 'If Jaguar wants to serve the important business customers in Germany in the future, the brand cannot ignore the station wagon,' says an insider. Both derivatives have not yet been decided, but would be the next logical step.

Because the technical basis has been laid. A new, lighter platform has been developed for the Jaguar XE, which will also be used in the new XF. In addition, with the Ingenium engine family made of aluminum, competitive four-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines are now available. The engines should be particularly low-friction and therefore economical.

Jaguar with a clear no to three-cylinders

Less than two Liters of displacement or even a three-cylinder like in the next BMW 3 Series - that is unthinkable with the British. It is clear, however, that Jaguar has to position itself more broadly. So it should be below the 200-horsepower gasoline engine in the course of the model cyclealso give a weaker, more economical version for the Jaguar XE. Fans of powerful diesels can look forward to a more powerful diesel engine. At the market launch there are only 163 or 180 hp.

All-wheel drive - initially only available with a three-liter V6 petrol engine - will later be available in combination with four-cylinder engines. For comparison: The 3 Series will in future range from the 136 hp three-cylinder to the M3 with 431 hp. The entry into diesel is also much more modest with 116 hp than with the Jaguar XE. Almost exactly at the same time as the XE start, the 3-series facelift also takes place, which makes the mid-range BMW even more active when driving: The 3-series gets the rear axle configuration of the 4-series and is therefore even more agile.

Jaguar XF as a counterpart to the 5 Series

Even before the Jaguar XE rolls to the dealers, Jaguar introduces the new XF - the counterpart to the BMW 5 Series. It is based on the architecture of the XE and should come in weight below the level of the current model (1,660 to 1,987 kg). The reduction should be limited, however, insiders reckon with a maximum of 20 to 30 kg. For comparison: Thanks to the new composite construction of carbon, aluminum and steel, the 5 Series will slim down by around 100 kg to well below 1,600 kg.

Visually, the XF will in future be based on the design language of the XE. Unlike the little brother, the Sportbrake combination version is set. With the 5 Series, little changes in terms of dimensions and appearance. As with the X5, the headlights move directly to the kidney grille, and the hood also closes with the familiar grill. This eliminates the unattractive joint between the hood and the front.

While many brands in this class rely on digital instrument clusters, the XF is initially denied that. Jaguar will only renew this technology with the new XJ, which is expected to be presented at the end of 2016, and will then also introduce it in the lower model series. When it comes to lighting technology, the British, like Mercedes, rely on full LEDs, laser light like BMW is not an issue for cost reasons.

Next 5 series more comfortable and agile

BMW doesn’t have to save a wide range of innovations from its mouth, can use the 7 series in the next 5 series (coming in 2016). With the new flagship - which will be premiered at the IAA in September - BMW is offering not only laser light and gesture control, but also for the first time a large number of systems that enable semi-autonomous driving. The next 5 Series will master automatic parking as well as predictive recognition of bumps in the road. So it should manage the balancing act between comfort and agility even better than the current model.

At Jaguar, on the other hand, they are happy to at least be on with systems such as lane departure warning and change assistant or traffic sign recognitionto be up to date. The highlight of the British is the All Surface Progress Control (ASPC), derived from the Land and Range Rover models, which ensures the right traction on slippery roads. However, it only works at low speeds between 3.6 and 30 km /h and is only available in conjunction with the eight-speed automatic. Then there is the razor-sharp head-up display.

XJ and F-Pace from 2016

Both Companies are working independently of one another on a technology that enables the driver to 'look through' sheet metal parts, such as A or B pillars, with the help of sensors and camera images. The real outside image is projected onto displays that are attached to the pillars inside the car. The XF is to get this technology in the course of the model cycle, a market launch has not yet been set at BMW.

After the XF and XE this year, 2016 at Jaguar is all about the XJ and F-Pace models. While not much is technically changing with the XJ, the British are entering a completely new segment with the F-Pace based on the XE. The approximately 4.70-meter-long SUV largely has the modern cockpit of the Jaguar XE with a large monitor.

The range of apps that you can use to unlock your car or check the amount of fuel left on your smartphone, for example , is again significantly expanded. Despite its dynamically styled body shape, the F-Pace offers enough space with around 500 liters of luggage space. The space available corresponds pretty much to that of the BMW X4 launched in April, the price level of which the Jaguar SUV should also be based on. Coincidence? Probably not.

Jaguar in the future with 600 HP engine

With F-Type Coupé and Roadster Jaguar has already hit the bull's eye. At the end of the year, the engineers are going one step further with the V8. Then the top engine produces almost 600 hp, which thanks to the new all-wheel drive system can also be properly put on the road. BMW can't keep up with the Z4. Will there be a successor to the roadster? Probably not in the familiar form.

Although BMW is working together with Toyota on a conventional sports car, it currently only has the eco-sports car i8 in its range. It scores points with its unusual design and its light carbon chassis. Its three-cylinder hybrid, however, only has a good half of the horses that the F-Type will soon have under the hood. Then the next M5 must be ready. With its 600 hp and all-wheel drive, it should be the more suitable opponent - despite the less sporty body shape.

So Jaguar can only do combustion? That is not right. Although the British cannot afford expensive showcase projects like the BMW i, a purely electric SUV should be ready for the market by 2018. Yethowever, it has not been decided whether the model should operate under the Jaguar brand or as Land Rover. A first plug-in hybrid model should be in the program by 2017.

Close victory for Goliath

BMW already has electric cars and plug-in hybrids. With the i5, there will soon be a second pure electric car, the new editions of the 3, 5 and 7 series will all be available with plug-in hybrids. While BMW is consistently working to reduce the CO2 fleet consumption to such an extent that there is no risk of fines even after 2020, Jaguar is withdrawing to the status of small series manufacturer, which allows the British to use higher fleets.

Overall 'Goliath' BMW superior to the 'David' Jaguar thanks to both the breadth of the model range and the high level of innovation. But cars like the Jaguar XE, which made a very good impression in the first driving comparison, show the brand's potential.

Financing check

Now cheap leasing: Jaguar XF Sportbrake

Surprise at auto motor und sport financing check: the Jaguar Despite its higher basic price, the XF 2.2 D Sportbrake is currently cheaper to lease than the BMW 520d Touring.

When it comes to purchasing a new car, leasing is a popular option in the premium segment. And at this point the station wagon version of the XF can keep up with the German competition, as a comparison with the BMW 520d Touring shows. The 2.2 D diesel version of the British car is on par with the BMW model anyway. If you only look at the costs, then the XF is even the first choice - even if that doesn't appear when looking at the base price: It is more than 3,000 euros higher than that of the BMW.

But Jaguar is currently offering an inexpensive kilometer leasing, with which the model costs almost 90 euros less per month than the 520d Touring - and that with the same conditions (20 percent down payment and a mileage of 20,000 km /year). The bottom line is that the customer saves over 3,000 euros with the Jaguar during a contract period of 36 months - that is impressive. Those who prefer to pay for the car in cash will get higher discounts with the XF. This partially compensates for the difference in the basic price of both models.

Gulde's connectivity check

The infotainment -BMW is ahead of the game at the moment, but Jaguar is catching up. Online services have been expanding the range of functions of BMW navigation devices since 2001, and there are now around 75 apps and web functions that are specially adapted for cars. You can have e-mails read out to you and answered by voice, browse hotel and restaurant guides or real-time traffic data for route guidanceuse. The most important online functions are integrated in the vehicle and run via a built-in SIM card. In addition, apps from the smartphone can also be displayed on the on-board monitor and operated via iDrive. These include, above all, data-intensive services such as Internet radio or the music streaming provider Spotify, but also highly personalized apps such as Facebook or Twitter.

The smartphone still plays the main role at Jaguar for contact with the outside world. Approved mobile phone apps can be displayed on the on-board monitor via the 'InControl' interface, which is compatible with Android and Apple. To do this, the mobile phone must be connected via a USB cable, which will also charge it immediately. Apps such as Parkopedia (free parking spaces), Stitcher (podcasts) or audiobooks (books) can then be operated via the touchscreen.

Jaguar has announced the Pro version of InControl for 2016, which, like BMW Bringing online functions (e.g. the important live traffic jam services) into the car using a permanently installed SIM card, regardless of the mobile phone. Until then, you can expect an extended voice control that is no longer tied to given input structures. Wi-Fi hotspots, through which passengers can access the Internet with their mobile devices, are already available at both brands, as are remote apps that reveal the location of the car or lock its doors.

That the Bringing the two brands closer in terms of operation is primarily due to BMW: at this year's CES, the turn-push pioneer showed a cockpit with a large touchscreen and gesture control. Hand movements in the room are recognized by a camera and converted into commands such as 'louder' or 'quieter' or 'take a call'.

Readers 'survey on brand image: Jaguar increases significantly, BMW loses quality

As part of the Best Cars readers' poll, auto motor und sport also asked its readers about the image of the individual car brands . Not only did they choose four Jaguar models in first place in the 2015 import rankings, they also rate the brand's image as significantly better than in the previous year. The drivers of the brand in particular see Jaguar as being greatly improved in terms of important criteria such as 'good workmanship', 'high reliability' or 'advanced technology'.

Although BMW scores even better with its drivers overall, it wins a clear minus for the important value 'processing'. Criticism of the quality impression, for example in the interior of the current 3 Series, could have an impact here. Approval for the design is still high. Since the introduction of the i-models with electric drive, BMW has also scored points in terms of environmental compatibility.

Conclusion

Much more is possible

It is naturalalways easy to be small and humble. If you don't arouse expectations, nothing great is expected of you. But Jaguar has made people sit up and take notice with the F-Type and XE. And if the ball is already in half of the opponent, Jaguar has to play the attack to the end. XE and XF are raising the alarm this year, F-Pace and XJ will follow in 2016. But if you look at BMW, that's not enough. XE Coupé and Sportbrake - what else is there to consider, dear Jaguar management? The wave of sympathy for Jaguar is so huge that you have to surf it now.

Of course, BMW's lead seems unattainable, but it is also not a natural law that Jaguar is a brand with a mini-sales of only a good 80,000 units per year must remain. Now would be the perfect time for the Indian owner Tata to put some real money into hand to enable Jaguar a wider range of models and, above all, investments in future technologies. Because without substance, sympathy quickly evaporates.

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