This week Jaguar Land Rover surprised us all by revealing an all-new, mild-hybrid straight-six. Sure, an Ingenium-based six-banger has been rumoured before, but after the supposed 2017 debut came and went, it seemed safe to assume it wasn’t happening.
But it’s here, available in the new Range Rover Sport HST. Naturally, all we want to know is where the 395bhp engine will end up next. A straight-six F-Type, for instance, is an enticing prospect given the long line of similarly-powered Jaguar sports cars that came before it. But before you get ahead of yourselves, it seems, at this stage, to be unlikely.
JRL’s contract with the Ford Bridgend engine plant to produce the company’s supercharged V6s and V8s may be ending next year, but that won’t spell the immediate end of the powerplants in the F-Type, or other JLR products. “Just because a supply contract ends you don’t suddenly have no stock, that would apply to a supermarket as much as it does an engine plant,” Senior Jaguar Global Product Communications Officer Simon Bickerstaffe told Car Throttle at a recent F-Type driving event.
It’s also worth remembering the F-Type is now seven years old - it’s late in the car’s life cycle to be making any dramatic changes to accommodate a new engine. “The V6 and V8 are in there for now, and we have plans for them for the future,” Bickerstaffe added.
As for other applications for the new straight-six, there should be plenty. “It’s a modular engine. It’s not designed for one application so let’s see what comes next,” he hinted.