According to recent reports, the next-generation Range Rover Sport, which is currently in development and engaged in winter testing, has been spied with what appears to be a quad exhaust. While the sighting alone typically wouldn’t be enough to drive speculation, the sound of the new engine is stoking rumors that the power plant of the upcoming Range Rover Sport could be a BMW V8. The idea isn’t outside of the realm of possibility either, as BMW and Jaguar Land Rover have been collaborating on electric vehicle tech since at least last summer, and conjecture surrounding future Jaguar Land Rover models using BMW engines has been growing ever since.
The full details can be found on Carscoops, whose on-the-ground correspondentss captured photos of camouflaged Range Rover Sport test mules being put through their paces in the frozen north. As we noted above though, the speculation isn’t solely motivated by photos of four (which typically signify an M model, for BMW) unadorned exhaust pipes poking out from beneath the rear bumpers of the prototypes, as the note emitted through them has been described as, “very nice” and may be indicative of a V8.
In the face of tightening emissions regulations and the growing trend toward electrification, BMW and Jaguar Land Rover have been working together. BMW’s fifth-generation eDrive technology boasts strong manufacturing and production advantages, and for a smaller automaker like JLR, the technology could be just the ticket to allow the company’s hybrid and EV models to flourish over the next several years. While nothing official has been announced, the same may very well be happening on the internal combustion side of things. Last summer, rumors surfaced of future Jaguar models potentially using BMW engines. Then, just a few months later, the speculation gained momentum after it was reported that JLR parent company Tata Motors had approached BMW in hopes of further collaboration, with slowing sales in China posited by the press to be a primary motivating factor.
What’s going to happen remains anyone’s guess, but it would certainly be an interesting auto market with a next-generation Jaguar Land Rover models like the F-Type and Range Rover both powered by BMW engines, perhaps even a straight-six for the latter, which would also be historically significant. Only time will tell, but as we’ve discussed before, this wouldn’t be the first time that the Range Rover came with a BMW V8, and there are still some holdover executives at Jaguar Land Rover who began their careers at BMW. There’s also the question of which BMW V8 may be used, and although it’s still too soon to guess with any certainty, it could be the new BMW unit that’s reportedly in development.—Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy BMW AG, Jaguar Land Rover.]