When you think about three-cylinder engines, images of small hatchbacks come to mind. These small engines are typically made for fuel economy and not outright performance. Sure, there are turbo-threes in the market, but those normally have less than 200 PS under the hood.
But Toyota defied expectations with the GR Yaris. It may have just three cylinders under the hood, but it puts out 272 PS. However, there is one automaker that surpassed that power rating, and it's Jaguar. The British automaker's first three-cylinder packs over 300 PS from 1.5-liters, and they fitted it to the E-Pace P300.
So, how did Jaguar do it? Well, here's a bit of a disclaimer: That horsepower rating isn't purely from the engine. That's because the 1.5-liter mill is paired to a powerful electric motor, which makes the E-Pace P300 a plug-in hybrid. But even without electric assistance, the engine puts out 200 PS on its own. With the single electric motor, the combined output is rated at 309 PS.
Yes, the GR Yaris still makes more from the engine alone, but that doesn't take credit away from the E-Pace P300. Performance claims are solid, with a 0 to 100 km/h time of 6.5 seconds. But even if it delivers brisk acceleration, Jaguar claims their plug-in hybrid can return up to 50 kilometers per liter. If you need to stretch out your mileage, it can even drive on pure electric power for up to 55 kilometers.
But if plug-in hybrids aren't your thing, Jaguar still offers mild-hybrid versions of their turbo gas and diesel models. For the diesel lineup, the range starts with a 2.0-liter mill with 163 PS, with a more powerful, 204 PS version of the same engine reserved for higher-spec models. As for the gas engines, base models use a 1.5-liter, three-cylinder mill making 160 PS. A 2.0-liter is also available, making 200, 249, or 300 PS, depending on the spec.