Jaguar XE chief programme manager Nick Miller told CarAdvice at the launch of the new mid-size model that the engine range is modular, much like the new architecture upon which the XE is built.
“The Ingenium range is really all around a single cylinder. A single cylinder is half a litre. So four-cylinder, two-litre,” Miller said of the new diesel engine that will first be seen in the XE.
“That is the same modular system that will apply to the petrol version as well. The idea behind it is that you apply exactly the same piston technology to your petrol and diesel,” he said.
“We’ll be starting with four – but you can drop cylinders, you can add cylinders. The plant they’ve designed up in Wolverhampton is flexible enough to build those derivatives. The world’s our oyster from that point of view.”
That means that, feasibly, a three-cylinder is on the way, not to mention a six-cylinder – possibly an inline six that the British brand became renowned for over its time, rather than the V6 that currently graces its model range.
“We haven’t packed an inline six in to here,” Miller said of the new XE. “But we could do changes to enable that kind of engine.”
Jaguar’s chief engineer of the Ingenium engine family, Paul Whitwood, reiterated the possibilities of the new range of powertrains.
“We work on a core 500cc combustion system in the engine,” he said. “That’s important to avoid the need to continually go through this long-winded and expensive development process.
“It’s just scalable,” Whitwood said.
When asked about a new six or potential new turbocharged V8 for the rumoured XE SVR performance model, Whitwood gave little away.
“I’m not going to tell you if we’re going to do a V6 or an I6 (inline),” he said. “But I will say an I6 has less moving parts than a V6, and when it comes to fuel economy and emissions, the less moving parts you’ve got the better you are.
“Straight six-cylinder gives some challenges for vehicle packaging – it’s obviously longer and more difficult to crash. But, the engine will be inherently more efficient, it’ll be lighter and it’ll be cheaper,” he said.
“And when it comes to customer attributes, everyone wants their performance, wants their drivability, wants their refinement – but they want their economy as well.”
That point is perhaps most critical when considering what form of eight-cylinder engine the brand will employ for its future model offerings, as it current has a thirsty 5.0-litre supercharged V8.
Whitwood wouldn’t comment on that, but he did suggest there’s going to be plenty happening under the bonnets of the XE and all other Jaguar Land Rover models in the coming years.
“We launch the XE diesel in January, and then roughly every three to six months we’re launching a new engine throughout all of next year, all of the year after and half a year after that,” he said.
“So in two-and-a-half to three years, Ingenium will be right across the range of Jaguar Land Rover products.
“Then we’re into the next generation of development, because the world’s not standing still.”
Stay tuned for more news on the engine range to be offered in the Jaguar XE line-up at the Paris motor show in early October.