Jaguar readies new diesel XK sports car

Published: 26 November 2008

Jaguar will relaunch its XK range in 2009 with a fuel-supping diesel and a pair of new V8 petrol engines. It will be the first time Jaguar has built a sports car that sups from the black pump – and will pitch it head-to-head with BMW’s 635d.

The engine in question is Jaguar’s new 3.0-litre turbodiesel, that’s being developed to replace the 2.7 V6. It remains a twin-turbo unit but the hike in capacity should give the big Jaguar more oomph than today’s rather tepid 2.7.

Why launch a diesel Jag XK?

Sales of the XK haven’t been as strong as Jaguar would like, so it’s a natural extension to the range as buyers flock to more tax and fuel efficient vehicles. The 3.0 V6 will achieve the holy grail of being more powerful than today’s 204bhp/320lb ft diesel yet it comes with emissions some 20g/km cleaner.

But I want a petrol sports car, thank you very much!

Don’t worry, Jaguar hasn’t gone all French on us. The 4.2-litre models will be replaced by the new family 5.0-litre V8, heralding the arrival of direct fuel injection. That means power outputs of around 400bhp (naturally aspirated) and 500bhp (supercharged R versions).

Both new petrol and diesel engines will cascade through the range of larger Jaguars (and Land Rovers), so expect revisions to XF, XK and XJ.

Jaguar XK: the facelift

It’s not just new powerplants for the XK. The exterior will be slightly fettled, but these latest spy photos taken this week near Jaguar’s Coventry engineering base prove there won’t be much change outside. The cabin will be overhauled, however, with  the arrival of the JaguarDrive Selector pop-up rotary gearchange and other tweaks.

Expect the new Jaguar XK to arrive in March 2009, wearing a price tag from around £55,000 to compete head-on with the BMW 635d.

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet