Jaguar will stick with supercharging for its high performance models and sports cars, rather than follow the majority of its luxury rivals in opting for downsized turbocharged engines.
Speaking with CarAdvice at the launch of the new F-Type Coupe, Jaguar’s technical specialist for performance and drivability attributes, Tim Clark, said turbocharging is not something the brand is currently investigating for its faster models.
According to Clark, the drawbacks of turbocharging such as low-rev lag and the aggressive application of the engine’s torque all at once means it doesn’t make for an ideal application in proper performance cars.
“They feel laggy, they feel [like they have] gob-fuls of torque – which is great for a certain type of car, but not for a sports car,” Clark said.
“The main thing you miss between a turbocharged engine and a supercharged engine is the torque – [with a turbocharged engine] you can get full torque at 1500rpm. In reality, that doesn’t make a very good sports car,” he said. “You get just gob-fuls of torque. The nice thing about the torque you get with a supercharger, is that it actually feels just like a naturally aspirated engine. You can maximise torque very naturally.”
Clark indicated that turbocharging is bound to be applied across the brand’s smaller engines, as that technology makes more sense in terms of fuel efficiency and emissions.
“When you look at smaller engines, say a 2.0-litre or below with supercharging, the mechanical losses do become a little more noticeable. When you look at 3.0-litres and above, it’s less clear-cut.
Supercharged engines generally aren’t as efficient as turbocharged engines based on the official fuel consumption test cycle: for example, the supercharged 5.0-litre V8 in the F-Type R Coupe uses a claimed 11.1 litres per 100km, while cars such as the Audi RS6 Avant – which is larger, heavier and employs a 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 – use 9.8L/100km.
So while the company may stick with supercharging for now, its hand may be forced in the longer term as stricter emissions regulations come into play. Clark admitted that to be the case.
“Never say never, you know – we may change, we may not,” he said.
The brand will introduce a range of smaller capacity four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines with turbocharging technology. The new range of “Ingenium” engines will replace the current petrol engines that are based on Ford power-plants and the diesel engines which are sourced from PSA Peugeot Citroen. The Ingenium engine range will likely debut in the new XE compact luxury model in 2015.