Up until now, the smallest engine you could get in a Jaguar F-type was the wonderful supercharged 3.0-litre V6 unit. With a power output of 335bhp, it served as the entry point to the world of Jaguar's sports car but now looks positively mid-range in light of news that the company is offering an even smaller engine. A 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder is arriving in the F-type this year and it’s set to go on display at the 2017 New York Motor Show.
This follows on from sister company Land Rover's new Discovery SUV, which also gained a four-cylinder engine for the first time to sit underneath the existing V6 and V8 units – albeit in diesel rather than petrol form.
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The engine comes from Jaguar’s ‘Ingenium’ family, which were designed for lightness and efficiency rather than performance. It’s the first F-Type engine to be turbocharged rather than supercharged, and it outputs 296bhp and 400Nm of torque from 1,500rpm, while promising greater fuel economy and reduced CO2 emissions. It’s mated exclusively to the eight-speed ZF torque converter auto, with no manual option.
Surprisingly, performance doesn’t suffer given the reduced power on tap. Jaguar claims a 0-62mph time of 5.4 seconds – a whole 0.3 seconds quicker than the basic V6 manual model, and only 0.1 seconds slower than the V6 automatic. Top speed is down though, at 155mph compared to 162mph for both V6 models.
The comparable performance is likely to be a result of the four-cylinder engine’s weight savings. The entry-level 4cyl F-type is 52kg lighter than the V6 across the board, meaning Jaguar has had to alter the spring rates and steering setup to tune the four-cylinder car for better handling and road feel.
The worry for fans of the F-type is on the noise front. We don’t need to remind you of the fallout Porsche suffered when it replaced the sonorous flat-six unit in the Boxster and Cayman with a four-cylinder turbo. Jaguar promises that a fine-tuned exhaust means the four-cylinder F-type will sound just as good as the rest of the range, but we’ll reserve judgement until we’ve heard the car ourselves.
The downsized engine pays dividends at the fuel pumps though, and Jaguar claims a combined economy figure of 39.2mpg with CO2 emissions of 163g/km. That’s a decent step up from the V6’s 33.6mpg and 199g/km.
The four-cylinder engine has been introduced alongside a range of tweaks to give the F-type a mid-life facelift. It includes redesigned full LED headlights along with tweaked bumpers. The four-cylinder car marks itself out from the rest of the range with a squared-off, centrally mounted exhaust pipe and unique 18-inch alloy wheels.