Report: Jaguar Considering a Front-Wheel Drive Vehicle to Meet European Emission Standards

By Trevor Dorchies | August 12, 2013
It may not be all rear and all-wheel drive vehicles for every Jaguar much longer. According to a report from Autocar, Jaguar is knocking around the idea of a compact sedan that utilizes front-wheel drive. This parsimonious compact luxury sedan's purpose will be to help Jaguar comply with the ever-more strict European Union CO2 guidelines. Jaguar is already hard at work bringing new sedans and crossover models to market that will sip fuel, but some speculate these won't be enough (Jaguar is currently shooting for 99g/km but the new rules call for 95g/km) once the EU's CO2 restrictions kick in in 2020. Making matters worse for Jaguar, these new CO2 regulations are expected to become even more stringent after 2020. Jaguar isn't alone in the fight to bring more fuel-conscience vehicles to market, though. BMW and MINI are currently in the midst of launching an array of economical front-wheel drive vehicles. These new front-wheel drive vehicles could account for up to 40 percent of BMW's overall output by 2020. Like BMW and MINI, Jaguar is also aiming to up its output of economical front-wheel drive vehicles by the end of the decade. While attempting to get in line with the EU's new standards by 2020 is admirable, the price to do so may reflect that, both during the building process and again once this new vehicle hits the showroom. Nevertheless, some are already arguing that if Jaguar wants to be truly competitive, it needs to build a BMW 1 Series and Mercedes-Benz CLA fighter. Again, this recent push is spurred by the EU's requirement of an automaker's portfolio needing to hit 95g/km, which was voted into law this past April. The EU is allowing for automakers who produce less than 300,000 vehicles a year to apply for a less stringent requirement. However, Jaguar and Land Rover, which are owned by the same company, are on target to produce 700,000 vehicles and, therefore, would be required to meet the 95g/km mark.
This could be more problematic for Jaguar Land Rover than first thought because the luxury automaker gets by on all the SUVs it sells. On top of that, the EU is expected to tighten the screws of the CO2 emissions requirements set to go into effect after 2020 by the end of next year. Early reports show that lawmakers will require a target somewhere in the ballpark of 68 to 78 g/km of CO2. As it stands now, driving an all-electric vehicle generates 75g/km of CO2. Source: Autocar