Jaguar’s engineers are investigating whether to fit the F-Type with a four-cylinder engine. Senior Jaguar officials this week admitted they were considering giving both the Coupe and Roadster four-cylinder power before the end of their current life cycles.
Though the F-Type Coupe is only now being launched in Spain with supercharged V6 and V8 power and a 186mph top speed, its Programme Director, Russ Varney, suggested a four-cylinder engine would make sense.
“As long as we can deliver the character and performance we expect of the car, we would be open to a four cylinder,” Mr Varney admitted. “These days, I don’t think the engine configuration is important. It’s the power and the torque and the way it delivers them that’s important.”
Jaguar has a new turbocharged, direct injection four-cylinder engine under development, which is scheduled to arrive in September with the XE sedan at the Paris Motor Show. Mr Varney also admitted that its investigation of performance hybrid powertrains was ongoing, but was a lower priority for the F-Type than a smaller, conventional four-cylinder engine.
“We like the sound of any configuration of engine that gives 350bhp and it does not matter how many cylinders it uses to deliver that,” Mr Varney said. “As long as we can deliver an honesty and legitimacy about the performance of the F-Type, then we can use whatever powertrain we like. If it brings some other benefits, like lighter weight and lower consumption, then why would we not do it?”
There would be other significant advantages to a four-cylinder F-Type, besides weight, consumption and CO2 emissions: price. The base V6 F-Type Coupe is listed at £51,235, which is £7,285 below the Roadster, but that would drop well below the £50,000 mark for a four-cylinder model.