With tighter emissions and fuel economy regulations looming, Jaguar may have to do more than make a small, fuel-efficient hatchback to lower its model range's consumption figures – it also might give up its venerable V8 power, Drive reports. But not anytime soon, says Steven de Ploey, Jaguar's product and marketing director, who recognizes that the V8 can be replaced only by something that offers the same, or better, performance. But he has a word of caution: "We are not wedded to V8s."
In the meantime, de Ploey says there are other ways to reduce emissions. One of the first steps Jaguar could take is to shift away from the use of superchargers, which aren't as good as turbochargers at maintaining efficiency and making power. But he adds that supercharging still is "at the heart of Jaguar's performance proposition," and that the company has addressed the current downsizing trend by "replacing our naturally aspirated V8 with a 3.0-liter supercharged V6."
Consider one of de Ploey's comments on the cancelled C-X75 supercar (pictured) for some clue about Jaguar's future: "Some of the stuff we have already exploited to the extreme in the C-X75 is the kind of thinking for us and is an essential test bed to see how we could evolve from today to something that is sustainable in the future."
Confused by Jaguar's direction? We are too. It doesn't help that the C-X75 doesn't seem to have the answer to replace the V8 – just some discarded mini-turbines, a 10,000+rpm four-cylinder generator and four electric motors. But the conservative British marque has been thinking outside the box lately...