The AWD XE is priced from £33,825 - £1,800 more than the rear wheel drive auto and £2,750 more than the six-speed manual XE - yet all round performance is largely unaltered.
Top speed for both is 140mph with the four-wheel-drive car achieving 0 to 60 in 7.5 seconds - a fraction slower.
The main difference is fuel economy but even so the XE AWD is rated at 60.6mpg with emissions of 123g/km compared to an official fuel return of 67.3 to the gallon in the two-wheel-drive version.
Jaguar has developed its new 4x4 system in conjunction with off-road experts at sister company Land Rover and it is similar to that which will be deployed on the F-PACE SUV.
It is fully automatic and in regular conditions allows the car to remain rear-wheel-drive, switching power to bring in the front wheels only when required.
The XE AWD also makes use of JLR's Adaptive Surface Response technology which was developed for the Land Rover Discovery Sport and the latest Range Rover Evoque where it has proved capable of giving the vehicles almost go-anywhere ability on wintry or slippery roads.
The new drive system is available only with Jaguar's home-grown 180ps Ingenium diesel engine and the eight-speed ZF automatic transmission but is being offered in all trim levels apart from S grade which is currently reserved for the high performance supercharged V6 XE.
The AWD models will be arriving early next year and come as Jaguar is upgrading its InControl connectivity systems which will include a sat nav system that can memorise your daily commute and map out alternative routes if there is congestion.
It will also feature what Jaguar is calling an Approach Mode where the display will switch into a 360 degree street view of the area as the vehicle approaches within 200 metres of the destination.