Already the UK’s largest premium car manufacturer, Jaguar Land Rover has at this week’s Geneva Motor Show announced it will invest £2.75 billion in product development. The year 2013 is already expected to see the Jaguar and Land Rover brands launch eight or refreshed models as it progresses.
The ambitious new expansion plan also includes putting more than £500 million towards the new UK-based Engine Manufacturing Centre in Wolverhampton, which will also lead to the creation of many new jobs related to skilled engineering and manufacturing locally.
Jaguar Land Rover describes the under-construction UK Manufacturing Centre as essential to support long-term strategic growth plans and will be the home for a new generation of technologically advanced, lightweight 4-cylinder low emission diesel and petrol engines.
The state-of-the-art facility is the first ever to be entirely designed and specified by Jaguar Land Rover.
Measuring across almost 100,000 square metres, the new plant will include an engine testing centre alongside the manufacturing and assembly halls.
The UK Engine Manufacturing Centre is scheduled to open later this year with the first engines coming off the production line in 2015.
The additional £500 million investment for this site will help to almost double the number of highly skilled engineering and manufacturing jobs at the plant, taking the total number of people who will be employed at the site to almost 1,400.
The Chief Executive Officer for Jaguar Land Rover, Dr Ralf Speth, spoke about the organisation’s investment plans at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show earlier this week. Speth commented: “Jaguar Land Rover’s new Engine Manufacturing Centre in the UK is a clear demonstration of our business strategy guiding our investment plans”.
He added: “Not only does it bring our engine supply back to our production doorstep, but it gives us significant new resource as we continue to innovate with new products and markets”.
The Jaguar Land Rover partnership has proven to be the UK’s largest investor in automotive research and development in recent years. Exporting 80 per cent of its vehicles, statistics project Jaguar Land Rover’s success has been worth nearly £25 billion in export revenues for the UK economy in the last two years.
Both Jaguar and Land Rover will certainly feel confident that success will continue in 2013, with the arrival of new models including the Jaguar F-Type sports car. This comes along with the introduction of the world’s first nine-speed gearbox that’ll debut within the Land Rover product range.
Prices range from £58,500 to £79,950 for the two-door Jaguar F-Type which will initially be sold exclusively as a soft-top convertible. Over 2,000 pre-orders have already been received for the Jaguar F-Type, which will hit UK dealerships around the summer of 2013.
The stunning F-Type comes with a choice of three engine options, including a 3.0-litre V6 petrol unit boasting two power outputs; 335bhp or 375bhp.
At the top of the range though is a 5.0-litre V8 engine which develops 488bhp. With this the new Jaguar sports car delivers a 0-60mph sprint time of just 4.3 seconds and a top speed of 186mph.
The Jaguar F-Type is available to order now from Perrys Jaguar Dealership in Huddersfield.
Meanwhile the ground-breaking new nine-speed automatic gearbox has been revealed at this week’s Geneva Motor Show installed in the Range Rover Evoque compact SUV.
This new transmission is named the ZF 9HP and it was developed in a collaboration between not only Jaguar Land Rover but also the German engineering company ZF Group. The latter has decades of experience developing transmissions for both luxury and sports cars for top premium brands.
The first production model the new nine-speed transmission will be available to customers on will be with the 2014 model year Range Rover Evoque, available from late 2013. The ZF 9HP will replace the Evoque’s existing six-speed automatic gearbox which sits amongst the SUV’s current line-up.
By increasing the number of gear ratios from six to nine, the new transmission gives significant improvement in the Evoque’s fuel economy as well as providing a reduction in CO2 emissions.
The smaller ratio steps from the new nine-speed auto box gives improved response during acceleration, improved shift quality, drive and refinement. The higher top gear not only reduces fuel consumption but lowers the car’s engine revs, improving comfort and reducing noise when cruising at high speed.
The current Range Rover Evoque range is available from £29,195 now at Perrys Land Rover Dealerships based in Halifax and Huddersfield.