Chery Jaguar Land Rover’s latest model will offer more rear cabin space for Chinese executives who prefer to be chauffeured
Jaguar is launching a new long-wheelbase model called the XEL into the Chinese market, where rear passenger legroom remains a priority in the executive saloon segment.
Chery Jaguar Land Rover, the partnership that produces JLR products for China, will build the model, which has a wheelbase 100mm longer than the regular XE. That extends the wheelbase to 2935mm, and the XEL provides rear passengers with additional features including an optional massage function, four-way lumbar adjustment and window blinds.
The XEL will be revealed in the metal at the Guangzhou motor show in November. When it goes on sale, it will be offered with JLR’s 2.0-litre four-cylinder Ingenium turbocharged petrol engine in either 197bhp or 247bhp form.
As with the XFL, which is the long-wheelbase version of the XF produced for China, there are no plans to bring the XEL to Europe. China’s demand for saloons offering larger rear legroom is driven by the popularity for chauffeurs there and such is the scale of the market that Jaguar offers a third long wheelbase variant, the XJL.
Another major brand producing long wheelbase variants in China is Volvo. The Swedish brand launched the Volvo S90 Excellence last year with additional technical features and a rear passenger section that’s unique to the model.