Blog : Where next for Jaguar?

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

Keith Adams

There’s going to be a Jaguar launch at the upcoming New York motor show. Now I’m not a betting man, but I’d be fairly confident in putting a bit of a punt on JLR’s new arrival being the production version of the C-X16 prototype (above). Given the excellent response this car has received from the press and potential customers so far, you can also be quite sure in the fact that it’s going to sell well when it hits the market early next year. The final piece of the Jaguar jigsaw is in place. Or it will be once the small X-Type replacement goes on sale within the next 18 months.

So, all’s good for the UK’s shining automotive star?

Of course – but there’s definitely more to come on the powertrain – as well as product – front. Within a couple of years, the company will be making its engines at a brand new factory in the West Midlands. And this is bigger news than many people currently think. Because Ford’s contract (read obligation) to supply JLR with engines is due for renewal in 2014, and the word on the street is that Uncle Henry isn’t interested in extending the agreement. This is why JLR is looking currently for 1000 engineers – it’s working hell for leather on backing out of the Ford arrangement.

But this is good news, yes? Absolutely. Although no one would ever accuse JLR’s current range of lacking ‘Britishness’, it’s clear that any carmaker without its own engines lacks the strength in depth of engineering of one that does. Think back to the early 1980s when Harold Musgrove and Ray Horrocks fought so passionately to ensure BL received government funding for the K-Series programme, even in the face of the financially-appealing option of just buying in Honda power units. Horrocks knew that BL’s engineering base would be seriously undermined without the ability to make its own engines. Despite everything that transpired, this was still the correct decision to make, given the funding direction in 1983/’84.

Jaguar Land Rover finds itself in a curiously similar situation, even if it’s from a much stronger starting point. And thankfully, the company’s management doesn’t find itself needing to go cap in hand to the government in order to secure funding. It’s now down  to Ratan Tata himself, and he’s clearly already proved himself a true enthusiast as well as an astute businessman. So, there will be a new range of Jaguar engines built and designed in the UK. Thus making JLR the most British of them all – and a company we can be even more proud of.

But what of the new engines? Will they we a clean-sheet design, designed from scratch? The signs are good – especially if you’re one of the 1000 engineers the company’s looking to employ to design, engineer and test them.

Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...

Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams

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40 Comments

  1. Not sure about your K series analysis – spending millions to ensure you have a British Engine, and then more millions to make it fit a car that in every other respect was a Honda! – Would the average Rover buyer have cared if they had a Honda Engine or a K series? Of course not – in fact Honda power would have probably inspired more confidence in the product.

  2. It was Tebbit who convinced Maggie to cough-up. Amazing thing to do considering BL’s long era of uselessness and that fact Edwardes got £1bn out of her in early 80s recession.

  3. Which engines of a Jaguar or a Land Rover were from that factory?
    The four cylinder Diesel is from Ford, the v six cylinder Diesel engine (2,7 and 3,0)from PSA, the petrol four cylinders were from Ford, the straight six cylinder from Volvo, the V8 Diesel from PSA (constructed and built??) and the V8 I think is from Ford?? or not!

  4. Sad that Ford are backing out, has Jaguar approached VW for support? After all they supply engines for everything from a Fabia throught to a Conti Supersports, Gallardo, and Veyron. With this much supercar pedigree, surely this would be the best solution for Jaguar, after Bentley is still as British as ever even with VW powertrains.

  5. I wonder what the job impact on the Ford plants in Bridgend and Dagenham may be? All of the existing engines are UK built I think. V8 and Petrol 4 cylinder, Bridgend and diesels, Dagenham. All part of the Ford manufacturing decline in the UK.

  6. Dont think jag will need to ask any other mfr for support as they will have their very own engine manufacturing plant in 2 or so years… building work has already started on the plant in Wolverhampton.

  7. @ g scothern – I wonder how “Jhonny Foreigner” refers to us? However it is he probably knows how to spell it!

  8. I agree VW would be good, but I think we need something to make our XF diesel stand out next to the A6 diesel (unfortunatley the 2.2 Ford/PSA unit looks uncompettitive next to the VAG/BMW offerings) so could an in house design, built in Britain be the best way forward?

  9. Thanks Keith, very thought provoking. What interests me most is what else Ford has in mind to soak up the resulting unutilised manufacturing capacity.

    Do you think they have something in the pipeline, hence their desire to exit the arrangement?

  10. Im sure its a correct path that jaguar is going to make its own engines,there are engine design consultants the world over,rochdale’s own al melling (silk cut jags, TVR AJP engine etc) to name one,the Ford and PSA engines are fine and well respected in the motoring press,purists may baulk at the idea.I think this has been on the cards a fair while, the ford designed V8D is a lovely engine in its own right,maybe Ford are spewing a bit because they flogged JLR thinking it was a millstone round thier neck,and now look,its an unstoppable train!
    The fact is,when all said and done given TATA’s stewardship of this company you can be assured the next gen engines are going to be at the forefront of the latest technologies and design.And well done too!

  11. ” so could an in house design, built in Britain be the best way forward?”

    Well it depends, at the Moment the PSA/Ford units are fitted to all of the PSA range, Some of the Fiat Vans, up until recently Minis were using them, as well as most of the Ford range.

    So it’s a very economical way of producing engines, the design and production costs are shared much more widely. An in house design might prove expensive, which means cost cutting and or a rush to get it to market without such in depth development.

    Don’t forget though, Dagenham isn’t just a Ford plant anymore, they also build engines for PSA too. As i understand it Bridgend is the only plant in the world making Zetec engines. I expect the loss of JLR’s work is just a fraction of their own capacity, perhaps Ford/PSA need that capacity for their own expansion.

  12. I’m surprised that Ford would be the ones wanting to stop supply, as in a world of joint ventures it seems strange to give up sales volume. I thought the proble was that JLR were struggling to get enough diesel engines from Dagenham, due to high demand?
    My recollection, was that the new engines will be lower end 4 cylinder units, so if anything there should be a picture of an Evoque as it’s LR who are driving volumes at the moment! The big V8 is built in it’s own section of Bridgend and is very much a Jaguar engine. The big gap in their engine range is a decent petrol V6 for the XF, as diesel sales aren’t strong in China or the US.

  13. Bit confused here – is in’t the V8 designed in Britain and built here – Wales? If Ford pull out of the current deal – what will happen to Bridgend? The quality of manufacture there is excellent but JLR make up a large amount of its production, so what will happen.

    I can understand that JLR might want to work on it’s own engines at the small end of the market, as although their current line up is not bad, it still is not class leading which TATA I think want JLR to be.

    The only question is how can JLR go it alone, when even the likes of BMW, PSA and co are getting closer together to develop engines?

  14. “If Ford pull out of the current deal – what will happen to Bridgend?”

    It will continue building the many thousands of Zetec engines which it currently produces.

    “The quality of manufacture there is excellent but JLR make up a large amount of its production, so what will happen.”

    Well i would think they make far more 4 cylinder Zetec engines than they do Jag V8’s.

    “I can understand that JLR might want to work on it’s own engines at the small end of the market, as although their current line up is not bad, it still is not class leading which TATA I think want JLR to be”

    Actually thinking about it, if they made their own smaller 4 cylinder engines, then these could end up in Tata branded cars. Tata’s with “engineered by Jaguar” would do wonders for their sales, much like we saw “Engineered by Lotus” on various cars over the years.
    Even if they didn’t badge them as such, few people would realise they shared engines. I mean few Ford owners realise their car shares a Diesel engine with a Peugeot or Citroen.

  15. @17 BMW and PSA could do to get closer,the mini/207 etc engine is nowhere near as hardy as the old chrysler penta star engine, the amount of “chain modules” and variators ive changed recently on them engines is both shocking and lucrative.Anyway whatever JLR do im sure it will be the right choice.

  16. @daveh:

    Both V8 engines (petrol and diesel) were either Jaguar or Land Rover designed. The AJ-V8 was designed by Jaguar and is built at Bridgend.

    The twin-turbo TDV8 engine was a further development of the V6 diesel ‘Lion’ project (the latter initially between Ford/Jaguar/Land Rover and the PSA Group) which was undertaken by Land Rover’s engineers for use in the Range Rover models.

    Consistent with this encouraging, and speculative, news story, I have little doubt that Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) will continue to collaborate with other manufacturers when it comes to engine design. After all there is already a good relationship with the PSA Group concerning Project Lion and also with the supply of the 2.2-litre diesel engine used in the Jaguar XF, Land Rover Freelander and Range Rover Evoque. This is something that Tata will want to see continue – some shared projects with other manufacturers and possibly even the supply of engines too, as this will help reduce development costs and possibly gestation time too. Let us not forget the possibly opportunities that might exist with the JLR and Chery Automotive joint venture. All of this can mean only one thing – good news for JLR.

    And, yes, I, too, want to see British designed and built engines under the bonnets of Jaguars and Land Rovers!

  17. ” BMW and PSA could do to get closer,the mini/207 etc engine is nowhere near as hardy as the old chrysler penta star engine”

    Lot better on fuel (and therefore road tax) though.

  18. The age of famous engines, like Jaguars’ XK introduced directly after WW II, is past. Developing competitive engines nowadays is too expensive for small companies like Jaguar. The expenditure will never be earned back, considering the low production volumes. In my view it is possible to buy an engine elsewhere, then hire a specialised firm like Lotus to develop this engine further. It is not so good as developing an engine from scratch, but it is the best compromise between economics and individuality.

  19. looking at that very very nice car…. who wants a porsche anyway??? you must be blond then….

  20. looking at that very very nice car c-x16…. who wants a porsche anyway??? you must be blind then….

  21. The Jaguar/Land Rover V8 originates from Mexico.

    The Wolverhampton factory will be making a range of Jaguar Land Rover designed petrol and turbo diesel engines in the 1.6 to 2 litre range. The new small Jaguar (A5 & 3 series competitor) will spawn a range of models ie, saloon, coupe etc and will be out in 2014. A very ambitious and competitive programme indeed!

  22. Hans Glas
    I presume you are referring to the diesel V8, as the petrol engine is built in Bridgend. The V6 diesel is built at dagenham, the V8 was moved to the US/Mexico, as I presume it’s used in a Ford model over there?

  23. “Developing competitive engines nowadays is too expensive for small companies like Jaguar. The expenditure will never be earned back, considering the low production volumes. In my view it is possible to buy an engine elsewhere, then hire a specialised firm like Lotus to develop this engine further.”

    Or develop your own and sell it to anyone who will buy it, much like PSA have done with their Diesel engines. While we say they’re Ford/PSA engines, they’re all based on PSA technology, most of the 4 cylinder ones are just PSA engines.

  24. the Jag LR V8 is based heavily on a ford block but has quad cams and some extra development pretty makes it a Jag engine. the Quad cam engine also made its way into the Lincoln continential but AFAIK not into any other ford vehicles. note ford V8 are now typically overhead cams where as GM LS V8’s are typically still only overhead valve / single cam (even in that aussie Holden ute). But it does seem odd that jag would build their own engines, but they have indicated that they are big plans for the future, and it maybe that they intend to cast blocks and so on for other companies….maybe even gearboxes diff housings, gas turbine housings and all the hybryd stuff maybe even a modern aircraft engines or tata truck engines?. there are a lot of components in cars theses days.the average engine loom is probably more complicated than the whole loom on a morris minor. its easy to think of a car as a body engine and wheels but think back to say a XK120 then forward to the lastest XJ and see how much cars have changed. the XJ40 was advanced when it came out, and now most cars have several computers and independant rear ends. But I can see jaguar for example trying to pretty much emulate the BMW range in time with or with out the coveted additional ‘Rover’ brand. and we do also know that jaguar can build engines, the AJ6 enigne was a great success reliability wise, im sure they can do more…but ..1000 engineers thats a huge wage bill..alex

  25. “a modern aircraft engine”

    I assume you mean a Jet engine, as piston engines in modern light aircraft are really quite crude. Just like several old Beetle engines bolted together. You would think when looking at a 70 year old Merlin that modern Cessna engines would be similar, in the same way a modern Nissan Micra engine is similar to a 50’s F1 engine (Alloy with twin OHC etc)it couldn’t be further from the truth though.

  26. @28 why would jaguar emulate BMW? ok, BMW’s are a great drivers car blah blah but also inert when it comes to soul and character, look at a XF and indeed the beautiful XJ-nothing comes close they dont really look alike do they?the thing with a jag they have a certain malevolance about them i really like and cant put my finger on,Merc have an arrogance about them and therefore some sort of personality.
    The BMW is just a BMW.Im not interested if the 3/5 series is the best medium sized car to drive on the road today,even post bangle flame surfaced designs dont flick my switches-i respect them hugely,but i would never yearn for any BMW while there is an XF about.Its about time BMW started emulating JLR i think they are sell out hits and buys a 7 series?

  27. Actually Bridgend has two lines – one for JLR V8’s and one for Zetec four cylinders that mainly go into JLR products not Ford’s – they are mostly built at Vissen. This is why I questioned Bridgend’s future.

    The Lion diesel engine modifications were completed at Dunton by mostly Ford engineer’s overseen by JLR, and JLR have sevral quality inspectors at Dagenham to build the V6 version.

    The PSA/Ford Diesel’s were orignially based on just PSA technology – in fact the blocks are of PSA design but Dunton has done a huge amount of work on developing the new heads, performance etc, and the quality of the diesel’s produced at Dagenham is better than PSA’s own factory – so much so that PSa are buying them from Dagenham.

  28. daveh

    Bridgend currently produces around 1m engines a year, so the vast majority of its production is for Ford cars.

    alex

    I’m pretty sure the Jag V8 is a pure Jaguar design and product, a version was used by Lincoln but it was very much a case of them using a variant of a Jag engine rather than the other way round.
    http://www.jagweb.com/aj6eng/v8_performance.html

  29. “Actually Bridgend has two lines – one for JLR V8′s and one for Zetec four cylinders that mainly go into JLR products not Ford’s – they are mostly built at Vissen. This is why I questioned Bridgend’s future.”

    Really? So why were Ford running a Fiesta around all over the world a couple of years ago touting that Bridgend is their main production plant for Ecoboost Zetec engines? They were saying it was their centre of excellence, much like Dagenham is their worldwide centre for Diesels. As i understand it Bridgend makes all the 1.6 Ecoboost engines. Wikipedia suggests this is correct, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_EcoBoost_engine

    “The PSA/Ford Diesel’s were orignially based on just PSA technology – in fact the blocks are of PSA design but Dunton has done a huge amount of work on developing the new heads, performance etc, and the quality of the diesel’s produced at Dagenham is better than PSA’s own factory – so much so that PSa are buying them from Dagenham.”

    I agree they’ve done a lot of development at Dunton, which is why i mentioned up above that it’s better to have more than one manufacturer testing and making the same engine. The Transit DI engine was probably Ford’s last entirely own designed diesel engine, it was bullet proof and had enough torque to pull down a mountain, but quiet, clean and refined it wasn’t. I think Ford certainly gained more from PSA than the other way around in terms of engine design. I think there are Ford owners/enthusiasts though that prefer not to admit it.

    I’m always sceptical about reports of one factory making engines better than another, i would imagine they use the same computer controlled tooling calibrated to the same procedure. Ford also buy engines from PSA plants, its more to do with supply and demand rather than one being better than the other. Ford’s plant is probably less strike prone (these days) than a French one.

  30. Nice to see JLR confident, well-financaed and expanding. Can’t think of a time when the future looked better for either brand. Designing and building their own engines is perfectly sensible, as long as it can be done profitably. That probably will mean selling them to other manufacturers, and if they’re good enough, why not?

  31. “That probably will mean selling them to other manufacturers, and if they’re good enough, why not?”

    Agreed, and i’m sure other manufacturers will be keen on them. I mean look how many Rover’s are advertised in the used car ads as having “the BMW engine” or the “Honda engine” as a selling point. That was used even before the K-series gained it’s reputation.

  32. I currently work at Bridgend Engine Plant. We manufacture V8, SI6, Zetec. There are over 2000 employees, about half of them work on the PAG engines(V8&SI6). We are going into production of the new V6 shortly, and as far as I was aware Tata can’t get enough engines from us. The SI6 engine goes into Volvo cars, and they will be phasing that out by 2015. If Tata no longer require our engines, there will be over half the plant idle. You can’t just shift production over to make more of another product.I have not heard mention of Ford wishing to get out of supplying engines to Tata?

  33. The Rover brand could be resurrected and used as a sub-premium brand to complement Jaguar, think VW to Audi. It could also take the mantle of the more traditional styled cars, leaving Jaguar to become more GT in design than limousine.
    For exmaple the line up could be
    Compact (Evoque Platform)
    Rover 3dr coupe/cabrio, 5dr hatch, Mini MPV(5 seat), Midi MPV(7 seat)
    Jaguar saloon (think Merc CSC), shooting brake

    Mid-size
    Rover saloon, estate, coupe/cabrio
    Jaguar roadster, sports car (think 911)

    Full-size (XF platform)
    Rover saloon, estate, coupe/cabrio
    Jaguar XF, XF touring

    Large
    Daimler saloon, coupe/cabrio, LWB
    Jaguar roadster (XK), Sports car inc cabrio

    LR and RR would contniue with their plans so LR would become the sub-premium and RR the premium brand

  34. The jaguar V8 is all Jag, not a single Ford derived part, designed by Jaguar for the flagship XK8/R for 1996MY.

    The new 5.0L v8 is 95% all new by Jaguar, only a couple parts were carried over from the 4.2L.

    Apparently the 5.0L v8 N/A is being pulled for the new supercharged v6 (to please the Chinese), the supercharged 5.0L v8 remains though, with power upped to 550bhp, watch out for the upcoming XFR-S!

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