Here’s why the new Jaguar Land Rover straight-six is a BIG deal

Jaguar Land Rover new six-cylinder engine

Jaguar Land Rover’s introduction of its new twin-charged 3.0-litre straight six is a big deal. Here are five reasons why we think that’s the case…

First of all, some background is required. In the short term, the new engine is a replacement for the 3.0-litre supercharged V6 in the Range Rover Sport – first appearing in the new HST Edition. The same engine is used elsewhere and we expect those applications will see the i6 swapped in, too. That’s exciting and we’ll tell you why in a minute. It produces 400hp, thanks to turbocharging and supercharging, with the latter benefitting from a 48v system that also allows mild hybridisation.

That means longer stop/start periods, boost from takeoff and real-world economy improvements, so they say. It’ll deliver 12 percent better CO2 figures than the supercharged V6 Range Rover Sport, get 30.5mpg on average and when not being frugal, get the Sport to 62mph in 6.2 seconds. Also, it’s built in JLR’s new £1 billion Wolverhampton plant. Anyway, on to why we’re excited about this engine…

It could mean the return of properly old-school Jags

Jaguar Land Rover new six-cylinder engine

What is the most famous Jaguar ever made? There are some corkers in the Big Cat’s best-of album but none have a cult status to match that of the E-type. Arguably the most beautiful car ever designed, the E-type thrummed along with a 3.8-litre variant of the then-prolific Jaguar XK straight-six. The XK is one of the most famous Jaguar engines of all time…

Fast forward to 2019 and the F-Type is considered by many to be the best-looking Jag since the E-type. Now, for the first time in nearly five decades, a soft-top Jag could be making its way to forecourts with a straight-six under the bonnet…

Likewise, the old Mark 2 is celebrated as one of the original super-saloons. Over 400hp from this new engine in a modern-day XE sounds like a super-sweet homage to help us forget all about the S-Type…

Goodbye, ageing Ford engines

Jaguar Land Rover new six-cylinder engine

While the supercharged V6 and that incredible supercharged V8 are fun and characterful engines, they’re vestiges of Jag’s days under Ford ownership that have long outstayed their welcome. For the longest time in this new era of up-to-date Jags, we’ve wondered when it would come up with new performance engines to take over from the old Ford lumps.

When the Ingenium four-cylinders debuted almost four years ago, the signs looked good. But it’s been a long wait for this genuinely punchy home-grown six-pot. It’s time for Jags (and Land Rovers, of course) to hustle under their home-grown muscle.

Eco-conscious performance

Jaguar Land Rover new six-cylinder engine

Power, performance and noise are obvious delights, it’s the short-sighted manufacturer that bestows its cars with such things without paying mind to the environment. While it’s very cool that this new engine is a straight-six, the reality is that its conception had eco-friendly motivations.

This is a clever power unit that earns its place in JLR’s engine lineup with genuine eco credentials and improvements in all figures.

Straight-six music

Jaguar Land Rover new six-cylinder engine

For years, BMW has had it all its way, with reviewers and owners alike singing the praises of its various six-pots’ soundtracks.

Now, this new lump could be about to sing a tune all of its own, that’s just as good. Turbocharging and supercharging could make for interesting vocals, but JLR knows its way around an active exhaust. Our hopes are high.

Pre-electric last hurrah…

Jaguar Land Rover new six-cylinder engine

For all the talk about the drive towards electrification over the past few months, this engine comes as a bit of a surprise. Likewise, there have been a good few rumours that JLR is to ramp up focus on electric powertrains going into the next decade.

In reality, this engine, with its 48v system and mild hybridisation, is one of a few baby steps towards this, but it’s a pleasing conglomerate of old and new. It’s possible that one of the last internal combustion engines to power a Jaguar will be an in-line six-banger, and that just feels right.

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