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Jaguar XJR

Jaguar XJR Published: 10th Feb 2017 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Jaguar XJR
Jaguar XJR
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● Supercharged pace ● Matching looks ● Classic potential

In brief

Jaguar’s first attempt for years to produce a genuine high performance sports derivative, first on the XJ40 and then the replacement X300 range, now with supercharging on both the initial straight six engine and then its V8 replacement. The XJR has the spirit of the Coombs Mk2 about it and yet costs the same as an ordinary XJ, so making them exceptional value plus these cars have considerable classic potential in years to come. It’s one of the very best modern classics on the block and we can see their values moving North in the not too distant future. Some already have started…


A good XJR is extremely rewarding to drive. The original supercharged six kicked out 321bhp (and easily tunable for more) giving this large luxury car prodigious pace yet in a smooth linear movement as it hits 60 in under six seconds. The V8 with its 370bhp is faster but many will miss manual cog swapping. Handling belies the car’s size and it’s a real BMW M5 rival. The trade off is a less than serene ride you might expect from an XJ and some drivers may wish for more feel in the power steering. Although more tailored to the sportier driver, the XJ’s cabin is what you’d expect from an XJ.

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Condition counts the most here as there’s not a huge gap in performance, indeed some may feel that the original unit (which formed the basis of the Aston DB7 powerplant) to be the more thoroughbred and certainly few engines sound so glorious as the shrill of a straight six in full cry, plus it’s a simpler, easier engine to maintain. Also if you insist on a manual gearbox it has to be a ‘six’ as the V8 is auto only. For 2000 year cars heated seats and reverse parking sensors are fitted while a special edition ‘100’ with BBS wheels, Brembo brakes and more was issued to 100 lucky owners – these will have the most classic potential.


When new these were £40,000 sports saloons but you can pick one up for under £2000, but be careful what you are getting for such a small sum as these will be in poor shape and need a lot of TLC and cash to make them purr again. It’s false economy to buy cheap only to have to shell out on repairs afterwards. Budget on £4000.

Buying advice

How the cars have been used or abused is the main concern. Rust shouldn’t be a worry but the ‘soft’ paint used by Jaguar can lead to a lot of stone chip damage and wounds.

Early V8s suffered from abnormal bore wear (does it start up from cold okay?) and timing gear breakages mean a £1000 bill (fit beefier 4.2 items). The six is robust but head gasket failure isn’t unknown although on all the supercharger is reliable. Brakes and suspensions take a pounding so check for worn dampers, bushes, discs and so on.

Electrics play up so check everything works. Check out the tyres; cheap rubber not only spoils the XJR’s prowess but also points to penny-pinching maintenance which may have spread elsewhere. Is the service history relatively up to date?

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