Lighter all-new F-Type could turn pure electric – or use a BMW-sourced V8 set-up
Richard Bremner Autocar
20 November 2018

Jaguar is considering an all-electric version of its next-generation F-Type sports car, due by 2021.

Fully electric propulsion is one of a range of powertrains being assessed for the new UK-built sports car. Another is a 4.4-litre BMW-sourced V8. 

A replacement for the F-Type is still at least two years away, despite it being already six years old. Design chief Ian Callum told Autocar that “being a specialist car, it will have a longer life than the mainstream models”. Callum also confirmed that “despite sports cars not being a great growth area, there will be a future for the F-Type”.  

Developing a purely electric F-Type replacement would provide its designers and engineers with the scope to produce a design as bold as the E-Type was in 1961. Packaging the batteries below the floor would yield a dynamically valuable low centre of gravity and hybrid aluminium body construction would go some way to mitigating the weight penalty of the battery pack. 

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Although today’s I-Pace is propelled by two 197bhp electric motors fed by a 90kWh battery pack, the energy density of batteries will have improved by the time the F-Type emerges and there will be plenty of scope to offer more powerful motors. Mounting the motors over both axles would allow Jaguar to continue offering rear- and four-wheel drive, the latter with a torque bias to the back axle. 

More than one powertrain option is in the running for the new F-Type, with electrification a strong likelihood. However, it’s not yet clear if petrol and electric options will be offered at the same time. 

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) plans to source its next-generation V8 petrol engine, codenamed Project Jennifer, from BMW. In its most potent form, the newly developed 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged engine is said to produce around 640bhp and nearly 600lb ft of torque, an upper limit that would make the F-Type competitive with the most powerful Porsche 911s. 

Falling global V8 sales are the reason for JLR once again sharing an eight-cylinder unit with BMW (the last time was when the German car maker owned the Rover Group in the 1990s), making this the only business-viable approach. 

Regardless of powertrain, the next F-Type will use an all-new aluminium-intensive platform, which is expected to still be assembled in Castle Bromwich and is tipped to make the new car lighter and more space efficient. It is expected to retain the current car’s two-seat layout. 

However, the platform is also capable of underpinning a proposed 2+2 coupé (reported by Autocar in April) that, if signed off for production, will arrive after the next-gen F-Type and serve as a long-awaited replacement for the XK, which was taken off sale in 2014. 

As well as being more space efficient and lighter, the new platform will need to be able to meet the next generation of crash requirements. Among these is a roll-over test that will involve a car being dropped onto its roof from a point 1.5 times its own height without significantly crushing the passenger cell. 

A choice of petrol and electric powertrains would severely constrain the design freedom provided by a pure-electric drivetrain but widen the F-Type’s appeal. The temptation, though, might be to simplify, be bold and go electric, which would fit in with potential future plans for Jaguar to be an EV-only brand. 

As reported by Autocar in September, investors at Tata, Jaguar’s parent company, are unhappy with the sales performance of the brand’s existing petrol and diesel models. A radical product overhaul is on the cards, with a strategy said to be outlined by product planners to phase out the traditional line-up and replace it with a range of fully electric models. 

Jaguar already has impressive credentials in the EV arena with the new I-Pace, which has been well received and is selling strongly. JLR UK managing director Rawdon Glover recently reported “a six-month order bank, 250,000 website configurations and requests for more than 1000 test drives. We could take 20% more cars today.” 

The I-Pace will be followed by an all-new, all-electric XJ saloon in 2020, Jaguar’s embrace of electrification underlined by its participation in the Formula E race series and the recent introduction of the E-Type Zero, a rebuilding of old E-Type sports cars into EVs. 

Before the next-generation F-Type is revealed, Jaguar is planning a few upgrades to the existing model. Callum said it “will be improved dynamically and in other areas and there will be weight reductions”. Alongside that, the ‘2020’-model-year F-Type range has just been announced, the centrepiece being Chequered Flag special-edition versions, which mark 70 years since the launch of the 1948 Jaguar XK120. 

Besides these models, the range gains minor tweaks and equipment upgrades and the F-Type R adopts the SVR’s damper tune to improve low-speed ride comfort. 

What the new F-Type must beat:

Tesla Roadster

An electric F-Type would immediately be compared with Tesla’s second-gen roadster. The Californian EV, due by 2020, promises astonishing pace, with claims of a 1.9sec 0-60mph time and 250mph top speed. 

Porsche 911 

With EV rivals few and far between, the F-Type will still be pitted against the ever-dominant 911. The ‘992’ generation is set to receive a number of hybrid variants across its range, but no fully electric model is planned yet. 

Mercedes SL 

The new F-Type convertible will find itself pitched against the next-gen SL, which is set to become more driver-focused with AMG performance input. It’s due in 2020 and hybridised variants are on the cards.

Read more

Jaguar F-Type review

Jaguar considers transformation to EV-only brand​

Tesla Model S vs Jaguar I-Pace: EV twin test

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Comments
27

20 November 2018

 Well, yes, why not?, EV seems to be the future the way we’re going, an F-type powered like this would be fine, also, it might depend on the age demographic, will it appeal to younger or older potential buyers?, they could still for the next five years produce an F-type with the BMW V8 for the purists.

Peter Cavellini.

20 November 2018

Jaguar can't afford to develop a new V8.  Electric motors are cheap.

20 November 2018

I hope the possible use of a BMW V8 is an early April 1st joke. BMW's V8s are known to be appalling and being one of the worst engines ever made. More so when it comes to reliability or lack of. After all it was BMW's V8s that caused so many problems in Range Rovers, almost destroying that car's reputation, before Land Rover thankfully switched to Jaguar's own, superior V8 under Ford ownership. I'd sooner the next F-Type be all electric than see it undermined by a poor engine.

20 November 2018
Roadster wrote:

I hope the possible use of a BMW V8 is an early April 1st joke. BMW's V8s are known to be appalling and being one of the worst engines ever made. More so when it comes to reliability or lack of. After all it was BMW's V8s that caused so many problems in Range Rovers, almost destroying that car's reputation, before Land Rover thankfully switched to Jaguar's own, superior V8 under Ford ownership. I'd sooner the next F-Type be all electric than see it undermined by a poor engine.

 

I’d rather they use the Jaguar V8 it’s far better. However demand for V8’s is falling through the floor, so the only way Jaguar and others can continue to sell them is by sharing engines. I just wish they’d share a better one.

20 November 2018
Roadster wrote:

Land Rover thankfully switched to Jaguar's own, superior V8 under Ford ownership. I'd sooner the next F-Type be all electric than see it undermined by a poor engine.

Maybe Jaguar needs to tie up with Ford again.   They really made good progress on reliability with Ford's help.   Tata have improved the sytling.   Pair them up again and what could result could be superb.  Everything that PAG was supposed to be.

 

20 November 2018
Roadster wrote:

I hope the possible use of a BMW V8 is an early April 1st joke. BMW's V8s are known to be appalling and being one of the worst engines ever made. More so when it comes to reliability or lack of. After all it was BMW's V8s that caused so many problems in Range Rovers, almost destroying that car's reputation, before Land Rover thankfully switched to Jaguar's own, superior V8 under Ford ownership. I'd sooner the next F-Type be all electric than see it undermined by a poor engine.

Not sure what BMW v8 engines you have experienced, but they are a long way forwards vs those used in Jags and Range Rovers. They go beyond 50k miles without leaking oil or blowing blue smoke, and actually produce the power claims stated from the off. Jags and Range Rovers have always had many issues outside of the engines, dreadful body work, poor electrics etc. Some time back I owned a Jag XJR and it was nothing but agro, I then replaced that with an E39 M5 and it was perfect for the 50 or so thousand miles I did in it, and a much much better drive. The wife had an Evoque for a while, that was constant warning lights and crap performance as well.

20 November 2018
rsmith wrote:

Not sure what BMW v8 engines you have experienced, but they are a long way forwards vs those used in Jags and Range Rovers.

How about the ones in the M3 / M4 E90 generation that had rod bearing issues?   BMW weren't keen to support owners with that design / manufacturing flaw.

 

Plus throttle body actuators are also an other issues.

 

20 November 2018

Not reliable enough, not anywhere near it.

 

If anything, the V8 with supercharger gives Jaguar something unique.   Best to stick with that if possible.   Otherwise, find something better.

 

You have a reliable engine, don't give up!

20 November 2018
Symanski wrote:

Not reliable enough, not anywhere near it.

 

If anything, the V8 with supercharger gives Jaguar something unique.   Best to stick with that if possible.   Otherwise, find something better.

 

You have a reliable engine, don't give up!

Didn't you have a problem with a BMW engine a while back?

20 November 2018

Use your own tech and go electric.  why on earth would you want to use someone elses tech when electric is heading upwards?

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