Tuesday, 16 April 2013

The challenges posed for JLR’s Hotfire

Design and manufacturing engineers at JaguarLandRover (JLR) now have their own benchmark engine in the form of the Ti 240 four-cylinder gasoline engine they have inserted into the Jaguar XF and XJ models.

Already installed in the Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Freelander, the company has a quarter of four-cylinder gasoline applications.

When it comes to ‘easing’ their own Hotfire gasoline and diesel engines to be manufactured at the new state-of-the-art i54 complex adjacent to the M54 Motorway, the challenge for JLR engineers will not be so much on the installation of the new engines in vehicles, but the Hotfire engines themselves.
The new engines engineered into the Jaguar XF and XJ vehicles are ‘customised’ versions of Ford Motor Company’s 2-litre EcoBoost unit which has a well-established pedigree. With plans to make the engine in North America at the company’s Brook Park facility near Cleveland, Ohio, the engine can be deemed an international engine, geared to meet the demands of customers in Europe and North America.

Built at Ford’s Valencia engine plant, the 2-litre EcoBoost has proved the test of time; indeed in the Jaguar XF and XJ models it is in its latest refined state.

Powertrain engineers at Jaguar’s Whitley facility and their colleagues at the JLR technical centre at Gaydon know they have to match and even exceed the benchmark 2-litre EcoBoost in order to retain existing Jaguar customers as well as reach out to new customers in far-flung parts of the world.

The 'new' four-cylinder gasoline i 240 engine develops a power of 240PS and 340 Nm of torque with CO2 emissions of 203g/km, whereas the 2.2-litre i 200 four-cylinder diesel develops a power of 200PS and 450Nm of torque. A lower-powered i 163 develops a power of 163PS and a torque of 400Nm. Emissions of CO2 are 135-139g/km.

Jaguar’s 3-litre V6 gasoline engine develops power and torque respectively of 340PS and 450Nm, whereas the company’s 3-litre V6 diesel engine (in two versions) develops power and torque of 240PS and 500Nm, and 275PS and 600Nm respectively. Emissions of CO2 are given as 159g/m. Both V6 engines are made by Ford – the V6 diesel at Dagenham; it is well known for its compact graphite iron (CGI) cylinder block.

Although both Jaguar and Land Rover have built their own engines in the past, the world scene has changed since those days, and the bar has been raised substantially in the premium vehicle category where JLR trades.

This places additional pressure on JLR to meet these challenges, not only in terms of design and development excellence, but in manufacturing and supply chain cost-effectiveness. In manufacturing, machining, assembly and test will required to be 'best in class' while the supply chain, in all its forms, will have a vital role to play in terms of quality, timing and cost. The very latest standards in Certificate of Production (COP) also will be  required.

With the engine as the ‘noble’ component in any vehicle product – because today this largely determines the emissions contributions of the vehicle – powertrain engineers have their particular challenges to meet in areas of design, development, purchasing and manufacturing. The company is likely to continue outsourcing transmissions – automatic transmissions for ZF in Germany.

With BMW, Ford, Honda, Nissan and Toyota all making engines in the UK, there is no doubt the country has become a world-class centre for the manufacture of these components. Each company places its own imprint on the engines it makes through the design and manufacturing processes it adopts.

From 2014 or so onwards, Tata Motors, in the form of Jaguar and Land Rover will add its name to that list. It will be interesting to see just what unique character or ‘JLR-ness’ it adds to those Hotfire engines.