Jaguar has made a splash-success comeback on the shoulders of its sexy new Jaguar F-Type, and the latest rumors are that a high-output turbocharged four-cylinder engine could join its ranks. Positioned below the existing 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 and supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 engines, the new engine could, according to Autocar, debut in the Jaguar F-Type as early as the Frankfurt auto show in September of 2015.
The 2014 Jaguar XF 2.0T currently utilizes a 240-hp turbocharged inline-four, and a tuned twin-turbo version of this entry-level engine — possibly called Hotfire — is expected to produce 300 hp in the entry-level Jaguar F-Type, as well as an upcoming go-fast Land Rover Evoque R-S. Jaguar F-Type vehicle line director Ian Hoban told Autocar that there was “great potential” in using a turbocharged four-cylinder engine in the F-Type.
According to a recent report from our European bureau chief Georg Kacher, Jaguar’s decision to expand its engine lineup is part of a strategy to keep models fresh and interesting with mid-cycle powertrain additions. A higher output, smaller displacement turbo-four will also better prepare Jaguar (which currently uses mostly supercharged V-6 and V-8 engines) for the low-emissions European Union legislation on the horizon in 2020, and potentially find a home in the soon-to-arrive Jaguar XS, which will face off against the BMW 3-Series when it hits the market by 2016. It’s also possible such an engine could be used in the A-Type compact that is rumored to arrive by 2020.
All-wheel-drive is another element in this new recipe for the Jaguar F-Type, and this capability will likely be in the mix when the four-banger F-Type arrives in 2016. Jaguar already sells V-6-powered Jaguar XF and XJ models with all-wheel drive, and those models have performed well in terms of U.S. sales. Autocar notes that this new four-cylinder would represent a significant weight loss and balance improvement over the current larger displacement engines, which would compensate for the traditionally heavier all-wheel-drive assembly.
The first production four-cylinder Jaguar F-Type engines to roll off the line will be diesels, although these versions will not make it to the U.S. market. The gasoline-powered U.S.-spec turbo-four Jaguar F-Type is anticipated for the second half of 2015, and could very well bow at the 2015 Frankfurt auto show.