Jaguar has been known recently to rely heavily on the V8, particularly their AJ-V8 ever since the brand retired their proverbial inline-six that virtually powered every Jaguar since the beginning of Jaguar—if they weren’t already powered by the automaker’s racing-derived and extremely complex V12.
And it wasn’t until 1997 did the Leaping Cat introduce their first ever production V8, displacing 4.0L much like the outgoing last generation six, which saw duty in every Jaguar until the AJ-V6 for the S-Type, X-Type and the next generation XJ of 2004, saw the light of day. That though was just a modified version of Ford’s Duratec 30 V6.
But even then, just as we were getting accustomed to the luscious Jaguar AJ-V8 currently seeing duty in many Jaguar and Land Rover models—much like the rest of society and history got used to Jaguar’s inline-six prior to 1997—word in the pipeline via Drive.com of Australia is that Jaguar might have to depart from its infamous V8.
“We are not wedded to V8s. Can Jaguar exist without a V8?,” Jaguar’s Steven de Ploey told Drive, the automakers marketing director. “The answer is yes, but is it our intention at this stage to eliminate the V8 from our engine palette? Clearly not because we need it for our performance.”
And if there was any indication as to what technology could be used in future Jaguars should the automaker make the change, de Ploey said that such technology can be found on the original C-X75 Concept. Though any sort of consumer level technology taken from the C-X75 isn’t feasible for at least another decade.
On the upside though, de Ploey said Jaguar is adamant about sticking with supercharging, a defining characteristic for the Coventry automaker’s modern era.
“For the time being, supercharging is very much at the heart of our performance proposition,” de Ploey continued to Drive,“Moving forward, the pressure is higher on improving emissions and we are already addressing to current trend of downsizing engines such as replacing our naturally aspirated V8 with a 3.0-litre supercharged V6.
“But the future is open to different types of boosting performance, whether it is supercharging, turbo charging or some form of electrification. Sustainable performance is a critical challenge for us and that will require new technologies to come from us,” he concluded.
What would really be nice to see Jaguar do, if they depart from the standard V8, is to reintroduce a completely modernized version of their legendary straight-six. Though it’s hugely unlikely that would happen.
- By: Chris Chin