The downsizing trend could spell the end of JLR's celebrated super eight.
V8 engines are something of a dying breed, slowly being replaced at so many automakers by smaller turbocharged engines. With its celebrated supercharged eight, Jaguar Land Rover has been one of the few holdouts (this side of supercar manufacturers like Ferrari and McLaren). But the latest rumors, we're sorry to report, suggest that JLR's celebrated V8 may not be much longer for this world.
Jaguar first rolled out its AJ-V8 engine in 1996 for use on the XJ sedan and XK coupe/convertible. It's since been enlarged, supercharged, and slotted into a wide array of vehicles – not only from Jaguar and Land Rover, but Ford, Lincoln, Aston Martin, and the defunct Daimler brand as well.
In its latest, most potent form, it displaces 5.0 liters, and with the help of a supercharger, produces as much as 600 horsepower in Jaguar's XE-based SV Project 8. It kicks out 575 hp in the F-Type SVR and the latest XJR, and 550 in the Range Rover Sport SVR.
Though no timeframe was given for the engine's discontinuation, word has it that (nearly) as much power could be extracted from a new generation of engines with as many as six cylinders and a pair of turbos to make up for the lost pistons. We're hopeful that proves to be the case, especially given how much JLR has managed to extract from the old V8 – not to mention the 800 or so horses it managed to coax out of the 1.6-liter turbo four in the C-X75 concept that was sadly aborted before it ever reached production.