In recent years, Jaguar and Land Rover have unleashed the strongest overall collection of vehicles in either brand's history. Now Jaguar is about to re-enter one of the toughest segments in all of auto-dom, the entry-level sport sedan segment. The 2016 Jaguar XE is the weapon they have chosen as they join the war on the BMW 3-Series. This is it.

The XE is being unveiled right now at a special live event in London, a month before its official debut at the Paris Motor Show.

While Jaguar has said they aren't interested in chasing a 3-Series type of volume with the XE, make no mistake that it is still a critical car for the storied British brand. They're hoping this sedan will lure in a wider range of buyers than they currently have, including more women and younger customers.

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As we've reported before, the XE will make liberal use of aluminum to keep weight down and efficiency up. Rear-wheel drive will be standard, all-wheel drive will be optional, and power will come from a range of 2.0-liter gasoline and diesel four-cylinder engines. The car is also expected to get the fantastic 3.0-liter supercharged V6 from the F-Type, and maybe also a V8 if they feel like going nuts.

The last time Jaguar tried a car in the compact executive class, it didn't go so well because that car was the Ford Mondeo-derived Jaguar X-Type, a product that wasn't terribly sporting, pretty or reliable. But Jaguar is a different company these days, and the XE will almost certainly be better than their last effort.

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If the XE is anything like the other news cars we've seen from Jag and Land Rover lately, it will be a force to be reckoned with. I'll be watching this one very closely.