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With a launch date set for January 28, the new Jaguar XE has been spotted ahead of its local debut in Jaguar Land Rover’s showroom in Glenmarie, Shah Alam. These photos were sent in to us by reader Fikri (thanks buddy!), and give us an initial preview of the coming model.

Specifically, what we’re looking at here appears to be the Jaguar XE R-Sport 2.0 Petrol. The sportier version of the four-door sedan is dressed up in an athletic exterior and interior kit, and features a 2.0 litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine.

Speaking of which, while Thailand has received a lower-tune 2.0 litre engine which makes just 200 PS, the Malaysian-market XE spied here does appear to have a “25 T” badge at the rear. This suggests that we could be in for the more potent 240 PS version, rather than the weaker 200 PS one Thailand gets.

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At the moment, we can’t say for sure if this is the only variant of the XE that JLR Malaysia plans to launch here. In Thailand, we recall that two versions of the car were made available – one being the R-Sport variant you see here, another being the top-shelf XE Portfolio 2.0 Petrol.

The hotter 2.0 litre turbo mill is rated to have 240 PS at 5,500 rpm and 340 Nm of torque from 1,750 to 4,000 rpm. Jaguar claims that its zero to 100 km/h sprint can be sorted in just 6.8 seconds, with top speed limited to 250 km/h. The vehicle is also paired with a ZF-sourced eight-speed torque converter automatic transmission.

Comparatively, this would put the Malaysian-spec Jaguar XE in competition with the 211 hp/350 Nm Mercedes-Benz C 250 (RM288k), the 252 hp/350 Nm BMW 330i (RM309k) and the 225 hp/350 Nm Audi A4 2.0 TFSI (RM312k).

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In any case, while the XE does compete against the 3 Series, C-Class and A4, this is, after all, a proper Jaguar. As such, do expect a slightly higher price tag to match the acclaimed distinction – we hear that local prices are expected to start from around the RM360k mark.

In Thailand, the top-spec XE Portfolio with its lower-tuned 2.0 turbo-four is listed at 4.19 million baht (RM508k), while the XE R-Sport retails for 3.99 million baht (RM485k). We’ll have to wait till we get a little closer to the its local launch event to confirm more details.

GALLERY: Jaguar XE official photos