Despite the eminent rise of electric mobility, the internal combustion engine still has a lot of life left in it. The last decade, in fact, has seen impressive advancements in the old powerplant, with technologies like turbocharging and direct injection helping ensure its viability for years to come, even in the face of ever-tougher fuel economy and emissions requirements.
The future, however, will demand even more efficiency from less displacement, without sacrificing performance. Jaguar Land Rover’s contribution to the cause is an all-new engine family called Ingenium. Making its debut in Jaguar’s new XE sedan, the four-cylinder Ingenium engine is sure to find its way into next-generation Land Rover vehicles as well.
A clean-sheet design from within JLR, the new engine family aims for significant improvements in efficiency through lightweight construction and reduced internal friction. Engineers conceived Ingenium as a modular architecture that can be configured for either gasoline or diesel combustion, both aided by turbochargers, and oriented for front-, rear- or all-wheel drive. And while it will launch as a four-cylinder, it’s easy to imagine future permutations with three, six, or eight cylinders.
The block and heads are all aluminum, as one would expect from the company that’s currently leading the way with aluminum construction. In 2.0-liter, four-cylinder form it weighs up to 175 pounds less than a comparable engine for the same configuration, taking a significant load off the front end of whatever vehicle it’s mounted to.
Attention to internal losses resulted in the use of roller bearings on the camshafts and balancer shafts. Oil and coolant is pumped through the engine based on specific performance demands. Computer-controlled variable pumps for both of these systems reduces unnecessary pumping losses from conventional pumps. To aid id cooling and lubricating the engine internally, cooling jets spray the undersides of the pistons when needed, also controlled by computer.
A couple of the more esoteric details that contribute to an overall efficiency gain of about 17% include a simplified cam drive and the positioning of the crankshaft slightly offset from the vertical centerline of the cylinder bores, which improves the thrust angle of the pistons during the power stroke, both reducing friction in the cylinder and producing more torque. These may seem like minutiae in the grand scheme, but every little improvement has a compound effect. All Ingenium engines will uses turbochargers, direct injection, variable exhaust valve timing and start-stop technologies in concert to boost output and efficiency.
As Land Rover continues to implement all-aluminum structures in new models, we can expect future LR models to make due with about half to two-thirds of the cylinder count and displacement we’re used to, without sacrificing current performance levels. Certainly the Ingenium family should find its way quickly into small models like the Range Rover Evoque and the new Discovery Sport, but it’s also conceivable that the next Discovery could use a version as well. Undoubtedly the four-cylinder Ingenium, in both diesel and gasoline forms, will power the next Defender when it arrives, at least as the standard engine.