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Jaguar Extracting Big Power From Its Smallest Engine To Make Us Happy

Engine / 10 Comments

Jaguar is starting to get good at the same trick that Ford and the German automakers have mastered.

Those who consider themselves car nuts love to hate on automakers that downsize their engines to better combine horsepower with fuel efficiency. To those outside the car geek club, the reasons for the hate are stupid. Sure, there's turbo lag and less noise to be enjoyed from a smaller engine, but more power also means more fun. But not everything about the trend is all good and well. The high cost it takes to build these engines mean smaller automakers are left behind the technology curve. Luckily, that's not the case for Jaguar.

Fresh off the design bench and soon to be seen on production lines and order catalogues is a new 2.0-liter turbocharged four-banger that will sit as the top pick among the collection of four-cylinder Jaguars. It shares displacement with the only other gasoline four-banger that makes it to the US, a 247 horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine available on base trims of the XE, XF, and F-Pace. The new unit has been tuned to make more horsepower and torque. Total power rises to 295 ponies and torque output has been pushed forward an additional 26 lb-ft for a total of 295 lb-ft of twist. The extra power comes from the help of new twin-scroll turbos that use ceramic ball bearings to reduce friction as well as a high flow compressor wheel.

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The increase may not sound like much but it enables the XF to hit 0-60 mph in a brisk 5.5 seconds, propels the XE to the same speed from standstill in only 5.2 seconds, and allows the F-Pace to race off into the horizon with a 0-60 mph time of 5.7 seconds. Each car remains fuel efficient enough to keep the EPA from losing its shit by attaining impressive ratings of 40 mpg, 41.5 mpg, and 37 mpg respectively when tested on the European cycle. You don't have to be a Nobel laureate to know that upcoming fuel economy standards will render these numbers meaningless, but it's important to see an automaker like Jaguar, which doesn't have the same sort of R & D budget as Mercedes or BMW, keeping up with its peers in this high stakes arena.

Combine the new engine with other next-generation technology, which includes Gesture Boot Lid for the XF and XE and Jaguar Configurable Dynamics that allows drivers to personalize the automatic gearbox, throttle, and steering settings, and you have a new generation of British luxury that, for the first time in decades, brings usable value to the table along with the traditional recipe of sexy styling and emotional driving experience. Our only issue with the announcement is that it places Jaguar one step closer towards the days of doom and gloom spelled out by a report indicating the automaker would soon do away with the supercharged V8 engines we all love.