Everyone is downsizing in an effort to eke extra miles from every gallon of petrol. Jaguar’s latest idea is to put the 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine from the Range Rover Evoque into its all-aluminium XJ saloon – and this model will go on the sale in the UK next year.
To make it more to the taste of Jaguar’s customers, refinement has been improved with a pair of balancer shafts for a smoother power delivery. The engine will also appear in the XF saloon – although this model is unlikely to come here – and could power the F-Type in future, too.
Effectively, the 2.0-litre replaces the old 3.0-litre V6, and it delivers 237bhp with 340Nm of torque at 2,000rpm, which ensures sprightly performance – 0-62mph takes 7.5 seconds.
Where the car really excels is cross country. Here the engine’s lighter weight means excellent balance through twists and turns. The steering is light, but never vague, with plenty of feedback, while the fluid ride would be the envy of many rivals.
Although there’s some initial turbo lag at low revs, once the engine has picked up its stride, deft use of the silky smooth eight-speed auto ensures it is always in the powerband’s sweet spot. This guarantees a surprising turn of speed that can be easily maintained. Equally, motorway cruising is a refined and relaxing experience.