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Jaguar XJR

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

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


A good XJR is deeply 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 but more special. 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.


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 scabby cats 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 £5000 for something remotely nice and the thick end of £15,000 for the lastof- the-line X300. Projects aren’t really worth the trouble or expense but can be wise buys for their specific parts alone. Try a few as their condition varies greatly.


1988 A makeover of the normal XJ40, with the aid of Jaguar racing specialist, the late Tom Walkinshaw. This limited edition of the XJR had been fitted with a 3.6-litre six-pot that was barely different from the standard XJ6 3.6, but the handling was improved, if not appearances, with its rather slab-like body kit

1994 Fuller blooded XJR. with a supercharger, plus also formed the basis of the Aston DB7 powerplant, albeit 4-litres and not a more race-bred 3.2 for the DB7

1997 Second take saw a mighty 370bhp V8 that was even more luxuriously appointed. The ultimate edition of the X308 XJR was the 100 special edition: Brembo brakes, nine-spoke BBS alloy wheels and black leather trim are standard

Best models

Super V8

Don’t ignore the more dignified Daimler. Super V8 is essentially the same scalded cat but with even more luxury but a more restrained appearance


The engine provided the basis of the DB7 unit, but this one is a 4-litre with 321bhp plus many came in manual transmission form


A monster of a sports saloon and as good as a Mulsanne Turbo with better handling and poise. All are autos but it’s a sporty set up

Top five faults


It’s a complex car so it may be wise to have an expert run the rule over it; we’d buy from a known Jag specialist to be honest


Quite a few have had fresh powerplants fitted, under warranty. The cars to watch were built before 2000. From then Jaguar moved over to conventional steel liners; the VIN indicates what type of cylinder liners the engine has

Running gear

Front suspension bushes perish, subframes and their mounts can rot out, as do the cast iron rear suspension wishbone assemblies. Wheel bearings are a known XJ/XK weakness


XJRs came with CATS computer suspension, Automatic Stability Control and traction control; see that all the operative and warning lights do what they ought to, as electronic repairs can be extremely expensive


XJs fail MoT due to terminal rot, usually the front chassis legs plus floors and inner wings rust too. More cosmetic are wings, doors, boot lids, rear wheel arches and bumper supports but they don’t fall off like an XK8

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