RAC Cars News


Jaguar Land Rover factory Opened By Queen

By raccars Published

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This week a new Jaguar Land Rover engine plant was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II. The £500 million facility is in Wolverhampton and is dedicated to developing and producing high tech engines.

The factory covers the same area as 14 football pitches and will build Jaguar Land Rover's new Ingenium engine range, to be used in forthcoming new Jaguar and Land Rover models. Jaguar's new XE model, a compact saloon designed to compete with the hugely successful BMW 3 Series, will be the first car to be fitted with Ingenium products.

The factory's first project will be a 2.0 litre diesel unit for the XE, and later a unit for the new Land Rover Discovery Sport. The engine is a source of great pride for JLR, as it produces 161bhp while returning 75mpg and releasing 99g/km in CO2 emissions, meaning it outdoes the BMW 3 Series in both efficiency and performance.

The JLR Engine Manufacturing Centre has provided 6,900 in the industry, many in the Wolverhampton plant itself and others within the supply chain. Situated next to the M54, the plant includes £150 million worth of the most modern assembly robot technology and laser drilling equipment, to comply with the strictest quality control standards.

The finished engines will comprise 245 components to be assembled by 1,500 workers in the plant, ready for the first deliveries of XEs in early summer next year. Big things are expected of Jaguar's new junior car. Prices range from £26,995 to £44,870 for the XE, with order books already open. Diesel models will cost from £29,775 to £35,425, making the Jag a little more expensive than its German rival from BMW. The company has been running a huge marketing campaign to launch its new compact executive saloon.

The XE will be built mostly in aluminium at another new JLR plant in Solihull in the West Midlands, which has created 3,000 jobs. The car is expected to help Jaguar sales soar, to compete with stablemate, Land Rover, which outsells its plusher sister company three to one.

The new XE is smart rather than radical. A four wheel drive version is to be launched in 2016, when the XE is to be introduced to the US. The car is also the first Jag for quite a while to feature the option of a manual transmission, an all new, super slick six speed unit.

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