No matter who you are, JLR has an engine you'll love.
At the 2019 New York Auto Show, Jaguar is displaying a raft of new models like the facelifted 2020 Jaguar XE sedan, F-Pace SVR, Land Rover Range Rover Sport, and Range Rover Velar SVAutobiography. Since the company is clearly on a product offensive, we sat down with David Larson, Director of Product Planning for Jaguar Land Rover North America and Maria Rodriguez, Product Communications Coordinator, to discuss some of the recent model changes and what we can expect in the future.
"The Range Rover Sport just went into production last month," said Larson. "So those vehicles will be arriving shortly. And that's the Ingenium six-cylinder engine which is a mild hybrid." Up until now, Jaguar's six-cylinder models have all used a V6, so this new inline-six engine is an interesting move for JLR.
Larson says the V6 isn't immediately being killed off because JLR wants to offer different engines to suit different types of buyers. "Each customer has different driving habits and our desire is to offer the best powertrain, the most efficient, and the best performer in that category," Larson explained. "So that's why we really have a very diversified portfolio - more choice and delivering the greenest and best performance that we possibly can."
This explains why JLR now has a wide portfolio of engines ranging from a turbocharged four-cylinder up to a supercharged V8. But it doesn't mean the company will simply shove as many engines as possible into each car. "It's also key that we look at the product and what makes sense for that product," Rodriguez said. "For instance, we've reduced the engine offering complexity on XE for '20 model year. So we've removed certain engines because we wanted to focus on what was best for that customer. It's not just throw every engine out there."
So although JLR will still offer a four-cylinder and V6, Larson stressed how good the company's new mild hybrid inline-six feels. "It delivers all the performance that we had [with the V6], brings it up a level, and then increases the fuel economy by 20 percent," he said. "The 48-volt system, it gives you the ability to have a longer duration for that stop-start. Then with the initial launch, because it's a generator motor, you get that thrust off the line. Americans love this zero to 60 performance and the sprint from the light."
We've sampled a 48-volt system in a few competitors and we agree on how much it changes the driving experience. So we asked Larson if we could see this system trickle its way up into a V8 model in the near future. Larson answered, "the objective of SV is to take our existing products and try to elevate them in luxury and refinement as well as power and performance. So as you can imagine, with a diversified portfolio, we're looking at the different things that you mentioned."