Dubbed the Reims Edition, the newcomer is designed to celebrate the famous Jaguar D-Type’s maiden victory, which took place at the French track in 1954. Today, the track is disused, although the stands and pit garages still stand beside the road, and the Jaguar-Daimler Heritage Trust has fitted a plaque on the preserved Jaguar branded pit.
Jaguar itself, however, is honouring the achievement of drivers Ken Wharton and Peter Whitehead, by building just 200 Reims Edition XEs, with each car based on the sporty R-Dynamic S model. That means every car will come with front and rear parking sensors, a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system and leather upholstery - all of which are standard across the XE R-Dynamic S range.
But the Reims Edition adds French Racing Blue paintwork - a colour previously only seen on the hardcore XKR-S and XFR-S models - and a host of black contrast trim pieces. The special edition’s door mirror caps, roof and sill inserts are all finished in a glossy black paint job.
The Reims Edition also gets glossy black 19-inch alloys, a gloss black grille and tinted rear windows, while the interior boasts heated seats. There’s also a Cold Climate pack that includes heated windscreen, heated steering wheel and headlight washers.
Powering this four-wheeled homage is the 2-litre P250 ‘Ingenium’ petrol engine that’s already well established in the XE range. The four-cylinder turbocharged motor produces 247 bhp, which is sent to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox. The combination is potent enough to take the four-door saloon from 0-62 mph in 6.2 seconds, before it tops out at 155 mph. According to the WLTP economy and emissions test, the engine’s capable of returning between 33.3 and 36.2 mpg, with CO2 emissions of 159 g per kilometre.
Prices for the new XE Reims Edition start at £38,295, and the cars are already available to order through Jaguar dealerships. However, the company has not said when the first deliveries will commence.
Whether you will be able to count yourself among the lucky 200 or not, it seems likely there will be more chances to buy vehicles such as this one, after Jaguar confirmed a whole fleet of ‘Jaguar Factory Specials’. Details are scarce at present, but the company says these limited-production vehicles will offer “bespoke features and details” fitted to models in the existing Jaguar vehicle range.