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Jaguar XK8

Jaguar XK8 Published: 19th Apr 2018 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Jaguar XK8
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Launched just after the DB7 with fair few similarities, the Jag is no second stringer to the Aston. The XK8 is not simply the replacement for the long serving XJ-S, but saw a welcome return of the E-type in looks and character plus highlighted that build quality and reliability were way above Jaguar’s usual levels, although this hasn’t stopped the XK8 from becoming a modern-day classic basement bargain. Offered in coupé and convertible forms, the XK comes in normally aspirated (XK8) or supercharged (XKR) guises. Even the entry-level car does 155mph, yet 30mpg is possible. What’s not to like?


Despite being an auto only, the XK8 is a serious GT with pace and poise. Go for the XKR with its supercharged 370bhp and CATS (Computer Active Technology Suspension), bigger brakes and revised steering and you have a car that’s superior to the DB7 and yet cheaper to buy and run.

Opt for a later model with a 4.2-litre V8 (AJ34) and you get practically XKR pace without the supercharger (300bhp), or take for the R route and revel in 400bhp. As all later models benefited from a six-speed ZF ’box, these are genuine cut-price supercars yet still retain what most folks demand from a good Jag, which is pace, grace and comfort.


We’ve seen XK8s sell at auction for under £3000 but are well used and in need of a lot of TLC. It’s better to spend double this on a decent, pampered cat. XK8s are worth less than XKRs and across the board cabrios fetch more than coupés. Silver paint with a black interior are hard to sell unlike Quartz Grey, Radiance Red and Racing Green. As you have seen at the recent NEC show even normal XK8s are known to make double figures with ease so the tide is without question turning.


1996 XK8 introduced; XJS-derived with E-type style looks and 4.0-litre V8 driving through a standard automatic. Computer-aided CATS suspension optional but standard on the Convertible

1998 Supercharged XKR using Eaton supercharger for 370bhp and 387lbft of torque, now fed via Mercedes-auto box and CATS chassis with 18in rims. Interior has sports pack

2000 Mild restyle, more goodies. Silverstone special with platinum silver paint, leather trim, 20-inch BBS wheels, Brembo brakes special badging.

2001 100 Special (like Silverstone, just 100 made) featuring BBS wheels, Brembo brakes plus anthracite paint/ warm charcoal interior trim

2002 4.2-litre; 300bhp standard 400bhp for XKR

Best models


Due to their values, specialists rarely deal with the 4.0-litre models now and the 4.2 is much better all round and not that much slower than XKR


Drive a good XKR, especially the last-of-the-line and you seriously question why DB7s are much dearer and yet have inferior auto gearbox


There’ a cluster: S, Silverstone and 100 and the majority are XKR-based in coupé and convertible guises. Will carry a premium over the years

Top five faults


Mods to engine’s throttles, gearboxes and driveshafts – although the biggest concerned engines where early (pre 2000 year) V8s suffered from excessive bore wear due to the special Nikasil lining of the bores breaking down


Real worry concerns timing gear where the tensioner assembly can break up with dire consequences and a potential £1200 bill to put right using improved 4.2 parts


Can be a problem on early cars. The paint is known as being pretty ‘soft’ meaning chipping and damage is common. Floors rot through now so check the chassis thoroughly

Running gear

Virtually identical to XJ-S. The main wear points are wheel bearings, which can be knocked out in less than 30,000 miles and a dealer job to repair


Inspect the tyres. Penny pinching with cheap brands usually means similar meanness elsewhere. Hard used cars normally display a ratty interior and dodgy electrics

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