Jaguar announces new forced-induction power trains
Jaguar will bring to market globally two new forced-induction engines—a Turbocharged 2.0 liter in-line four cylinder and a Supercharged 3.0 liter V6 . These engines will be offered as choices on a number of Jaguar models in the future. The Turbocharged 2.0L I-4 produces 240hp. The Supercharged 3.0L V6 draws on key technology used in the Jaguar 5-liter V8 and will be available in two states of tune: 380hp and 340hp. The 380hp version of the Supercharged 3.0L V6 will be exclusively offered as one of the power plants in the forthcoming Jaguar F-TYPE roadster. Both engines will deliver their power through eight-speed automatic transmissions.
- How might this move by Jaguar add value to the brand and help the company reach affluent consumers?
- Can we predict that Jaguar will use the qualities of these new engines in future marketing campaigns?
- How might affluent consumers react to this news?
“In my opinion . . .”
don’t drive automobiles based solely on the luxury component. I am an automotive purist and performance enthusiast. So with that said, I will tell you how I reacted to the news: in the automotive scheme of things, historically and traditionally, fewer cylinders signifies less power and sophistication (literally and figuratively). The historical scale goes: sixteen-, twelve-, ten-, eight-, six-, five- . . . and four-cylinder (below this and you are in motorcycle territory). Four cylinder means small, frugal, weak and uninspiring. Even the exhaust note sounds wimpy by comparison. Like the smell of leather, sounds are an important intangible of automotive enjoyment and engagement.
Today, it’s understood that Jaguar needs to offer engines that lowers emissions and increases fuel economy—I mean, the Bentley Continental (one of my favorites) can now come with an eight-cylinder engine, not just the big powerful, albeit thirsty twelve. The supercharged six cylinder option stays within Bentley’s legacy and the range of social acceptability.
So can emphasis on frugality and conservatism help a luxury brand? No. Luxury is often associated with power. It’s an emotional purchase decision. Will luxury-oriented consumers choose a Jaguar because of its fuel economy? Perhaps, but only to appeal to the logical side of the mind. The big question to be answered is, how many Jaguar drivers care about the cost of gasoline?
Anyone who likes driving powerful cars will find that a Jaguar with a small engine—turbocharged or not—will not allow the “Big Cat” to pounce on command. It may be able to get up and move, but not pounce.
If I was King of Jaguar’s jungle, I would not put much mention of the inline four-cylinder engine in the advertising. I would instead put heavy emphasis on the fact Jaguar also has offerings that are more environmentally responsible, and do so without compromising style or luxury on the journey there. Just don’t expect to get there as fast.
Photo credit: Jaguar Media Centre