Jaguar Land Rover moved another step closer to gaining greater control of its destiny with the opening of its $750 million engine plant near Wolverhampton, England.
It’s the first time in a generation that either brand has built an engine of its own design in one of its own plants, the company said Thursday.
JLR has been buying its engines from former parent Ford Motor Co. since it split from the automaker. When Ford sold Jaguar and Land Rover in 2008 to India’s Tata Motors Inc., part of the deal included continued supplies of Ford powertrains while JLR developed its own and built a factory. The project got underway in September 2011.
The plant will build JLR’s new family of Ingenium gasoline and diesel engines. The first engine is a 2.0-liter turbodiesel that will be used in the upcoming Jaguar XE compact sport sedan. The XE launches in the spring in Europe and in 2016 in North America. Ingenium engines are likely to see action in Land Rover’s Range Rover Evoque and Discovery and several other models.
JLR’s gasoline and diesel engines share the same basic architecture and have been designed for flexible manufacturing, enabling the company to adjust production to meet consumer demand. They have also been designed so that the base 2.0-liter displacement can be made smaller or larger without having to do extensive redesign and calibration work.