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Jaguar Downsizes Engine Line-Up

Adds first U.S. 4-cylinder, and a supercharged V-6 for big XJ.

by on Jun.29, 2012

The 2013 Jaguar XJ will swap its 5.0-liter V-8 for a supercharged V-6.

Bigger is better, or so the traditional logic has gone when it comes to the luxury market – and especially powertrain options.  But facing tough new emissions and mileage mandates – and shifting consumer demand – manufacturers like Jaguar are downsizing both their vehicle lines and their engine offerings.

The British marque has revealed plans to offer its first-ever inline-four in the U.S. market for 2013.  And the coming model-year will also see Jaguar replace the 5.0-liter V-8 in its XJ flagship with a new supercharged 3.0-liter V-6.

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Among other powertrain news for 2013, the British luxury marque will introduce a new 8-speed automatic and will add Stop/Start technology.  The latter feature – already being offered by such high-line brands as Porsche and BMW – automatically shuts off the engine when idling, say, at a stop light. The engine instantly fires back up when the driver’s foot lifts off the brake.

The new V-6 in the XJ will deliver 335 horsepower and 331 lb-ft of torque – a loss of 50 hp 49 lb-ft compared to the old V-8, though the lighter engine and tuning of the new 8-speed transmission is expected to result in minimal performance losses.  Meanwhile, Jaguar promises fuel economy will jump by 14%, which should mean something on the order of 18 mpg City, 26 Highway and 21 Combined, at least if the EPA agrees after running the officially mandated mileage tests.

Mileage should be even better on the smaller XF model, meanwhile, when Jaguar begins offering its 2.0-liter I-4.  It’s the first time the British maker has used a four-cylinder engine since 1948 – that powerplant never officially sold in the States – but it’s not entirely new to American motorists.  The engine is already being used by Jag’s sibling brand Land Rover in the Range Rover Evoq crossover.  The supercharged four will make an impressive 240-hp under the hood of the XF.

The XF will also be fitted with the new 8-speed gearbox for 2013, replacing Jaguar’s old 6-speed.  The added gears allow the engine to remain closer to optimum engine RPMs for both better performance – especially in lower gears – and fuel economy.

The powertrain changes are the big news for 2013, though the XJ also undergoes some suspension tuning that Jaguar promises will improve the big sedan’s ride comfort.

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