The forthcoming facelift for the Jaguar XE has been spied on the road for the very first time. The car was caught testing around the firm’s HQ in the West Midlands, ahead of its launch in 2019. 

While the car in these pictures is heavily camouflaged, Jaguar isn’t expected to change the car’s styling too much with its first proper refresh. Expect slimmer LED lights front and rear, as well as tweaked bumpers and fresh interior trim. We could see the implementation of new semi-autonomous tech, as well as infotainment upgrades across the range.

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But the biggest changes are likely to feature under the skin. With Jaguar recently launching its revolutionary I-Pace SUV, it looks well set to forge ahead with its extensive plans for future electromobility. As a result, the XE is expected to adopt fuel saving mild-hybrid (MHEV) tech for the first time. It’s unlikely we’ll see a EV version of the BMW 3 Series rival in this generation, however. 

The 12 and 48-volt mild-hybrid tech would help lower emissions by switching the engine off when it’s not needed. It should provide a coasting function, as well as a seamless stop/start system for stop-go city driving. While nothing has been announced, this should help improve efficiency by around 10 per cent. 

There’s little reason why the tech couldn’t be fitted to JLR’s latest range of Ingenium engines, so it’s highly likely the current range will be carried over wholesale. That means a choice of four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines – with each unit boasting a belt alternator starter and lithium-ion battery. 

Jaguar will continue to offer the XE with a choice of rear and four-wheel drive, although it’s not clear whether the entry-level manual box will be dropped. As the six-cylinder XE S was removed from the range earlier this year, it’s not expected to feature at all in the revised 2019 line-up. 

Given the styling and kit upgrades, as well as the potential extra tech, we expect a slight rise in the current Jaguar XE’s £28,300 starting price. With the brand targeting a 2019 launch, there is a good chance we’ll first see the undisguised car at the Geneva Motor Show in March.

Read our in-depth review of the Jaguar XE right here

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