Jaguar XEJaguar

Jaguar has announced details of its new range of turbocharged four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, which will make their debut in the marque's forthcoming XE compact saloon.

Although it is best known for its brawny V8 offerings, the British luxury carmaker has needed to invest in a new range of smaller engines to meet ever-stricter emissions legislation.

Weighing in at around 80kg lighter than its current engines, the Ingenium range will not only benefit from better fuel-economy and exhaust-pipe emissions, but is also likely to bring a dynamic benefit to new models.

The engines, which have been completely developed in-house by Jaguar engineers, have been designed around a configurable modular architecture, meaning off-shoots such as three- or six-cylinder versions could be readily manufactured.

The engines are also scalable in size, so greater power requirements for sports cars wouldn't require extensive re-engineering, but simply an adjustment in cylinder displacement.

Jaguar Ingenium engineJaguar

This clever design tactic means that the Ingenium engines are suitable for nearly all applications, being adaptable to front-, rear- and four-wheel drive layouts and able to accept both manual and automatic transmissions.

The first motor scheduled to be available for customers will be a 2.0-litre diesel unit – designed to appeal to frugal-minded buyers in the premium compact saloon sector, into which Jaguar is re-entering after a five-year absence with the XE saloon.

Designed to be a direct competitor to the dominant BMW 3 Series, the XE is likely to prove popular thanks to projected CO2 emissions of under 100g/km.

The Ingenium engines are also expected to make an appearance in vehicles at the cheaper end of Land Rover's model range within time.