A deal might be on the cards
Unfortunately for us gearheads, the V8 engine is becoming something of an endangered species. Especially big, naturally-aspirated V8s.
V8s are getting smaller and gaining turbos, mostly to boost efficiency but with the side benefit that they produce vast amounts of power and torque. Nevertheless, the fact remains that, say, BMW sells vastly more four-cylinder 5 Series than it does turbo V8 M5s.
All of JLR’s performance cars are powered by the 5.0-litre AJ-V8, either naturally-aspirated or supercharged. Trouble is, the AJ-V8 has been around in one form or another for 20 years. By now it must be incredibly difficult to get through emissions regulations, and owners have to put up with its prodigious thirst.
JLR will soon need a new V8 for its high-end models but, being relatively small, would struggle to develop its own. Especially when it has spent huge resources into the big-selling, in-line Ingenium engines.
BMW could be poised to step into the breach. It is already working on a new V8 and, though better placed than JLR to meet the cost, it still needs to spread the investment as far as possible by supplying another manufacturer. Reports suggest a deal is already being done for BMW to supply JLR with its new V8.
Such a move would not be unprecedented. Both the L322 Range Rover and Land Rover Discovery 3 were available with a BMW V8 until 2006, a legacy of them being designed while LR was owned by the German giant.