New Jaguar AJ-V8
The future of the 5.0-litre engine had been uncertain after Ford announced the closure of the Bridgend plant in the summer of 2012.
The Bridgend plant — located in Wales — had been supplying engines for Ford, Volvo, Jaguar and Land Rover cars since 1980. For Ford, the plant was mostly used for third parties, and most recently was assembling the Ford Sigma and Dragon engines. Bridgeport was closed in late September, due to cost-cutting from Ford, and a lack of demand for the plant’s capacity.
Significantly, the Jaguar AJ-V8 and AJ-V6 engines were the last engines made in the plant. They were reportedly producing V8 engines at a much higher rate to create a buffer of supply while the move to Wolverhampton production took place, to ensure there were no supply issues for Jaguar Land Rover.
Jaguar Land Rover will now be producing the AJ supercharged petrol V8 in the state-of-the-art Wolverhampton Engine Manufacturing Centre. In further development, the Jaguar Land Rover has announced that they will potentially be transferring some of the workforce — as well as the actual manufacturing equipment — from the plant in Wales to the Engine Manufacturing Centre.
The AJ supercharged petrol V8 is currently used in many top-range products, from the full-size Range Rover to the Jaguar F-Type. It’s also set to be used in the new Land Rover Defender (the launch of which has been delayed by more than six months due to the coronavirus pandemic).
The Jaguar V8 engine was the fourth new engine type in the British automaker’s history. It debuted in 1996, when Ford owned Jaguar, replacing the straight-6 Jaguar AJ6 engine and the Jaguar V12 engine. In its history, it’s been made into different sizes — from 3.2 to 5.0 litres — and it’s been the heart of a number of cars, from Aston Martin to Ford, Jaguar and Land Rovers.
For the driver, the significance of the engine comes down to its ‘V’ configuration and the power it generates. The Jaguar V8 engine was designed to give excellent performance levels, combined with economical running and low vibration levels.
While there has been a drop in demand for Jaguar V8 engines in the European markets, U.S. and Middle Eastern markets have remained enthusiastic about them.
With the future secured for the supercharged engine — and lovers of powerful engines and tyre-shredding action can breathe a sigh of relief — experts have predicted that it will remain in production for the next three to five years.
Notably, these dates coincide with the implementation of slightly more strict EU7 emissions regulations in the European Union. Following that, it’s expected that Jaguar Land Rover will make a move to adopt BMW’s V8, as part of the powertrain deal.
While many are delighted, some may be disappointed. Without production of the supercharged V8 petrol engine, others may have been hoping for a BMW-powered Land Rover or Jaguar.
For more information contact Sinclair Jaguar today.