The gossip comes courtesy of Georg Kacher writing in Car magazine. It closes the loop Kacher opened in 2016 when, writing in Automobile, he said BMW was hammering out a deal to provide V8 engines for the top-end Jaguar and Land Rover products. The deal would put more money in BMW’s pockets for an engine that’s expensive to develop but doesn’t sell in large numbers, while weaning Jaguar off the thunderous and thirsty Ford-sourced 5.0-liter supercharged V8.
We haven’t heard anything else about that deal in the meantime. Since Kacher says the next F-Type will come in 2020, it seems the coupe would be the first car in the JLR range to get BMW power — specifically, BMW M Power. The 4.4-liter V8 codenamed S63 by BMW, but supposedly codenamed Project Jennifer inside JLR, makes 560 hp in standard form, or 625 hp in the M division’s Competition vehicles. The current F-Type R Coupe puts out 550 hp, the SVR Coupe puts out 575 hp.
However, the cloud of F-Type rumors is wide and nebulous. The head of JLR North America said last year that every product launched after 2020 will have some form of electrification, and we haven’t heard of any hybrid plans for the 4.4-liter S63 V8. The next BMW M3 is said to get some sort of hybridization, but that sedan uses an inline-six.
When Road & Track spoke to Jaguar design head Ian Callum earlier this month at the Paris Motor Show, the mag asked about a hybrid F-Type. Callum said electrification “is not necessarily the plan,” adding, “There’s not a plan, to be honest with you.” He said what he’d like to do is “a mid-engine-style electric car.” When Auto Express reported on Callum’s wish, the mag called the product “a hybrid mid-engine supercar” with “dreams of taking on the McLaren 570S and Audi R8,” using a V6 engine and powertrain components from the I-Pace. As a pure electric or a hybrid vehicle, this could be a way to get a C-X75-inspired sports car on the road, but it’s not an F-Type replacement in either soul or price. Callum ended his comments to RT with, “For the F-Type replacement, we have various projects going on. Experiments.” Seeing that it’s almost 2019, that doesn’t sound like the drivetrain’s been sorted, nor that we’ll see the next F-Type in 2020.
Kacher says the mid-engined supercar would be another model line, not the F-Type. But he also says “Jag is believed to be shoehorning in (very) occasional rear seats to the next generation,” to get the attention of Porsche 911 buyers. Since Jaguar is also rumored to be working on a new XK grand tourer, it will be interesting to see how they’d create space between that and a larger, roomier 2+2 F-Type. If anyone is getting clearer signals from their crystal balls, please let us know.