A DIESEL-engined Jaguar is still a long way off, although the manufacturer admits a suitable high-performance unit is essential if it is to meet its sales targets. Jaguar said a diesel option will be available for the new X-Type as it made its UK debut at the Fleet Show at Alexandra Palace this week but it is still debating which unit to use.
Managing director Jonathan Browning admitted that a diesel version of the X-Type would be crucial in Jaguar's aim of hitting its future sales target of 200,000 cars, but was still some way off. The unit is widely tipped to come from within the Ford empire and is likely to be the 2.7 litre V6 unit which will be one of the products of Ford Motor Company's diesel engine agreement with PSA Peugeot Citroen.
Browning said: 'It will not be introduced in the immediate future, and we have not put any timescale on the diesel version. It isn't a matter of putting any diesel engine in the car, it must be the right diesel engine with the refinement and performance you would expect from a Jaguar.'
Browning also gave the strongest hints yet that other engine variants and body styles were under development. He said the compact executive sector included estates, coupes and convertibles, while petrol-engined saloons above 2.3 litres — like the new X-Type — made up less than 25% of the market in the sector.
'I don't think reaching the sales target of 200,000 cars worldwide by 2005 can be achieved unless the range is broadened, but don't expect us to compete in all the areas of the compact executive sector at once,' he said. Meanwhile, more four-wheel drive Jaguars could be on the way, making use of the system featured in the new X-Type.