Was it right for Chevrolet to detune the 1975 Corvette's base engine to 165 horsepower? Was Aston Martin wrong to make the Toyota iQ-based Cygnet? Is BMW crazy to be testing the new 1 Series with three-cylinder engines and front-wheel drive? It seems now, just as in the 1970s and 1980s, that emissions regulations and social considerations are driving some automakers to adopt unbefitting practices to maintain acceptance in the eyes of governments and consumers. Jaguar has jumped on the bandwagon, and is considering development of small, frugal, front-wheel-drive cars to help lower Jaguar Land Rover's average vehicle CO2 levels in light of tightening European emissions regulations, Autocar reports.

By 2020, the European Union expects the model range of every manufacturer to average 95 grams per kilometer, which is a new law passed by the European Parliament in April. Manufacturers who make more than 300,000 vehicles per year must meet these targets, and JLR is expected to be producing up to 700,000 vehicles per year by then. CO2 regulations after 2020 will only get stricter, as EU politicians already are talking about lowering CO2 levels to between 68 g/km and 78 g/km. (To put that in perspective, Autocar posits that driving a fully charged electric vehicle in Europe produces about 75 g/km when factoring in the power-generation infrastructure.)

Jaguar has some choices here, but so far they all have drawbacks. It could develop a new, compact chassis architecture for a line of compact vehicles, but the investment required for such a project could be prohibitively expensive. Jaguar has been looking into using the Land Rover Evoque platform for a small SUV, Autocar reports, but Land Rover brand manager John Edwards raises issue with such a plan, saying it may not be financially feasible.

Whatever the case, JLR has its work cut out for it – and, if the Cygnet or upcoming 1 Series are clues, the results could be quite unorthodox for a Jaguar.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      Dan Becker
      • 1 Year Ago
      I was going to say, "we've been here before," but you know what? Supposely the fastest MB from point-to-point is a hatchback and tiny sedan with a transverse turbo four. Maybe the X-type was merely ahead of its time.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Quick. Someone render a Nano with a leaper on the hood.
      The Wasp
      • 1 Year Ago
      Hmm. I think it would be best for JLR to introduce a new brand if they want to offer smaller, efficiency-minded cars/CUVs. As another poster suggested, it might make sense to pair up with an automaker already established in NA/Europe like Mazda (or Mitsubishi, or Suzuki, or PSA). Maybe it's time for Tata's cars to spread around to more countries.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Wasn't Volvo looking for someone to partner on a small FWD platform with?
      • 1 Year Ago
      The intent and goal might be noble, but their getting there is certainly back-asswards. So, you want to emit 70g of CO2 per km? Fine, make a 700-800kg RWD roadster powered by 1.0 tri-turbo three cylinder engine and be done with it! You get 70g of CO2 per km and we get 4.0 seconds 0-60. Everybody happy. What's with this wrong wheel drive fashion/ insanity?
        • 1 Year Ago
      • 1 Year Ago
      If Jaguar must introduce a FWD small car, they should partner with their fellow former Ford subsidary, and put a really upscale interior & mini-XF styling on the upcoming Mazda 3. The Sky Activ 2.5 L gas & 2.2 L diesel make enough power to keep this from embarrassing Jaguar, and Mazda's got the chassis & handling dynamics down just fine. And Mazda is willing to work with other auto companies - they are parterning with Toyota to turn the Mazda 2 into a rumored Yaris replacement.
      • 1 Year Ago
      FWD car yeah but don't call it Jag please! Resurrect Rover plate or something and make some credible cars collaborating with Mazda!!
      Griffen W
      • 1 Year Ago
      Why must they all be front engine and front wheel drive? The transmission and drive train don't get any bigger if you put em out back. Have a tiny mid engine rear wheel drive sub compact. Think smart car done by Jaguar. Hell that would give you even better aero not having to make all the holes in front to move air around to cool it
      Winnie Jenkems
      • 1 Year Ago
      NO. Just, no.
      • 1 Year Ago
      "Whatever the case, JLR has its work cut out for it – and, if the Cygnet or upcoming 1 Series are clues, the results could be quite unorthodox for a Jaguar" No a 1series jaguar is ok (specially if its a 1m jaguar). A jaguar SUV / CUV would be unorthodox .
      • 1 Year Ago
      I understand government regulations to lower emissions but most Aston buyers are buying the traditional Aston same with Jaguar the small cars are so niche. If you want a Vantage you will buy a Vantage, offering more inexpensive cars to the lineup will bring in a new customer base but it's not going to deter the traditional luxury buyer. Infact you are adding more cars to road because more people can afford them and yes they produce emissions, no car on the road is more cleaner then even the smallest efficient car.
      • 1 Year Ago
      How about focusing solely on the small, affordable front engine, RWD world?!?!
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