Supercharged Ford V8’s future secured as production moves to JLR plant

Flagship Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) SUVs, limos and sports cars will continue to be powered by supercharged petrol V8s despite Ford closing the factory that makes them.

Following Ford’s decision to shutter up its Bridgend plant in Wales later next month production of the current 5.0-litre V8 will be taken in-house to JLR’s plant in Wolverhampton.

Doubts over the future of the ‘AJ’ V8, that can trace its roots back to the naturally-aspirated V8 introduced on Jaguars back in 1997, sparked rumours that it was about to be dropped for the BMW N63 twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8 but now it has emerged that the production line and equipment, and some of the Ford workforce, will transfer over to the JLR plant.

Confirming the V8 will live on, JLR issued a statement that said: “Manufacture of the JLR-designed V8 petrol engines previously made at Bridgend will move to the JLR Engine Manufacturing Centre, with further detail to be confirmed at a later date.”

To aid the transition, Ford is thought to have built-up a surplus of V8s to sustain JLR while it transfers over the production equipment.Related Articles

According to sources, speaking with Autocar, the V8 will remain in production for between three to five years and will be phased out once the stringent EU7 emission regulations are introduced.

It’s only then, say insiders, JLR will re-engineer its vehicles for the BMW V8 as part of a wide-reaching powertrain ensuring the British car-maker will cater for the demand from both the US and the Middle East for powerful petrol V8s.

Despite developing a new family of inline six-cylinder petrols, strong demand for the current XJ V8 was claimed to be the motivating factor for JLR taking the V8 in-house.

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