The history of the Jaguar XJ


The Jaguar XJ is a luxury saloon sold under the British Jaguar marque. The XJ was launched in 1968 and has served as the Jaguar flagship model for most of its production span which continues through to today. The original model was the last Jaguar saloon to have had the input of Sir William Lyons, the company's founder.
Mark 1 - Series 1, 2 and 3 (1968–1992)
Series 1 (1968–1973)
Also called XJ6, XJ12, Daimler Sovereign, Daimler Double-Six
82,126 produced
Assembly: Coventry, England; Cape Town, South Africa; Nelson, New Zealand
Body style(s) 4-door saloon
Engine(s) 2.8 L XK I6, 4.2 L XK I6, 5.3 L Jaguar V12 (from 1972)
Wheelbase 108.75 in (2762 mm)
Length 189.5 in (4813 mm)
Width 69.75 in (1772 mm)
Height 52.75 in (1340 mm)
Fuel capacity 91 L (24.0 US gal; 20.0 imp gal)
The XJ6, using 2.8 L (2790 cc/170 in³) and 4.2 L (4235 cc/258 in³) straight-six cylinder versions of Jaguar's renowned XK engine, replaced most of Jaguar's saloons – which, in the 1960s, had expanded to four separate ranges. Apart from the engines, the other main component carried over from previous models was the widest version of Jaguar's IRS unit from the Mark X.
An upmarket version was marketed under the Daimler brand and called the Daimler Sovereign, continuing the name from the Daimler version of the Jaguar 420.
The "XJ" designation was from the car's code name during development, standing for Experimental Jaguar.
The car was introduced in September 1968. Power assisted steering and leather upholstery were standard on the 2.8 L 'De Luxe' and 4.2 L models and air conditioning was offered as an optional extra on the 4.2 L. Daimler versions were launched in October 1969, in a series of television advertisements featuring Sir William. In these spots, he referred to the car as "the finest Jaguar ever". An unusual feature, inherited from the Jaguar Mark X, was the provision of twin fuel tanks, positioned on each side of the boot, and filled using two separately lockable filler caps: one on the top of each wing above the rear wheel arches.
In March 1970 it was announced that the Borg-Warner Model 8 automatic transmission which the XJ6 had featured since 1968 would be replaced on the 4.2 litre engined XJ6 with a Borg-Warner Model 12 unit. The new transmission now had three different forward positions accessed via the selector lever, which effectively enabled performance oriented drivers to hold lower ratios at higher revs in order to achieve better acceleration. "Greatly improved shift quality" was also claimed for the new system.
In 1972 the option of a long wheel base version, providing a modest increase in leg room for passengers in the back, became available.
The XJ12 version, featuring simplified grille treatment, and powered by a 5.3 L V12 engine (coupled to a Borg Warner Model 12), was announced in July 1972: the car was presented at that time as the world's only 12-cylinder four door car. 3,235 of these first generation XJ12s were built. Again, an upmarket version, this time called the Daimler Double-Six, was available, reviving the Daimler model name of 1926-1938.
Total production figures for the Series 1 Model Production (98,527):
Jaguar XJ6 2.8 swb 19,322
Jaguar XJ6 4.2 swb 59,077
Jaguar XJ6 4.2 lwb 574
Jaguar XJ12 swb 2,474
Jaguar XJ12 lwb 754
Daimler Sovereign 2.8 3,233
Daimler Sovereign 4.2 swb 11,522
Daimler Sovereign 4.2 lwb 386
Daimler Double Six swb 534
Daimler Double Six Vanden Plas 351
Series 2 (1973–1979)
XJ Series II 
Also called XJ6, XJ12, Daimler Sovereign, Daimler Double-Six
91,227 produced
Assembly: Coventry, England; Cape Town, South Africa; Nelson, New Zealand
Body style(s) 4-door saloon
Engine(s) 2.8 L XK I6, 3.4 L XK I6, 4.2 L XK I6, 5.3 L Jaguar V12 engine V12
Wheelbase 108.75 in (2762 mm) (swb: only sold till 1974); 112.75 in (2864 mm) (lwb till 1974: thereafter all sedans)
Length 194.75 in (4947 mm) (lwb till 1974: thereafter all sedans)
Width 69.75 in (1772 mm)
Height 54 in (1372 mm)
Kerb weight 3,841 lb (1,742 kg)
Fuel capacity 91 L (24.0 US gal; 20.0 imp gal)
Commonly referred to as the "Series II," the XJ line was facelifted in Autumn 1973 for the 1974 model year. The 4.2L I-6 XJ6 (most popular in the United Kingdom) and the 5.3L V12 XJ12 were continued with an addition of a 3.4 L (3442 cc/210 in³) version of the XK engine available from 1975.
The Series II models were known for their poor build quality, which was attributed to Jaguar being part of the British Leyland group, as well as to problems inherent in the design of certain Lucas-sourced components.
Initially the Series II was offered with two wheel bases, but at the 1974 London Motor Show Jaguar announced the withdrawal of the 'standard wheel base' version: subsequent saloons/sedans all featured the extra 4 inches (10 cm) of passenger cabin length hitherto featured only by the 'long wheel base' model. By this time the first customer deliveries of the two door coupe, which retained the shorter 'standard' wheel base (and which had already been formally 'launched' more than a year earlier) were only months away.
Visually, Series II cars are differentiated from their predecessors by raised front bumpers to meet US crash safety regulations, which necessitated a smaller grille, complemented by a discrete additional inlet directly below the bumper. The interior received a substantial update, including simplified heating and a/c systems to address criticisms of the complex and not very effective Series I system.
In April 1975 the North American Series II got a slightly revised set of front bumpers which had rubber overriders covering the full length of the bumper with embedded turn signals at each end. In 1978 the North American cars also got the addition of electronic fuel injection in the place of Zenith-Stromberg carburettors.
In May 1977 it was announced that automatic transmission version of the 12 cylinder cars would be fitted with a General Motors three speed THM 400 transmission in place of the British built Borg-Warner units used hitherto.
The 1978 UK model range included the Jaguar XJ 3.4, XJ 4.2, XJ 5.3, Daimler Sovereign 4.2, Double-Six 5.3, Daimler Vanden Plas 4.2, Double-Six Vanden Plas 5.3.
In New Zealand, CKD kits of the Series II were assembled locally by the New Zealand Motor Corporation (NZMC) at their Nelson plant. In the last year of production in New Zealand (1978), a special 'SuperJag' model was produced which featured half leather, half draylon wide pleat seats, vinyl roof, chrome steel wheels and air conditioning as standard. New Zealand produced models featured speedometers in km/hr, and the black vinyl mats sown onto the carpets in the front footwells featured the British Leyland 'L' logo.
Though worldwide production of the Series II ended in 1979, a number were produced in Cape Town, South Africa until 1981.
A total of 91,227 Series II models were produced, 14,226 of them with the V12 engine.
Years : Type : Capacity : Horsepower
1973-1975 : DOHC I-6 : 2,792 (171 cid) : 140
1975-1979 : DOHC I-6 : 3,442 (210 cid) : 161
1973-1979 : DOHC I-6 : 4,235 (258 cid) : 245/162-186
1973-1979 : SOHC V12 : 5,343 (326 cid) : 265/244
Note: HP varies depending on emission standards imposed on particular vehicles
XJ-Coupé  (1975–1978)
Also called XJ-C, XJ6-C, XJ12-C, Daimler Sovereign Coupé, Daimler Double-Six Coupé
10,487 produced
Assembly:  Coventry, England
Body style(s) 2-door coupe
Engine(s) 4.2 L XK I6, 5.3 L Jaguar V12 engine V12
Wheelbase 108.75 in (2762 mm)
Length 190.75 in (4845 mm)
Width 69.75 in (1772 mm)
Height 54.125 in (1375 mm)
Kerb weight 4,050 lb (1,837 kg)
Fuel capacity 91 L (24.0 US gal; 20.0 imp gal)
An 8,378-car run of 2-door XJ coupés with a pillarless hardtop body called the XJ-C was built between 1975 and 1978. The car was actually launched at the London Motor Show in October 1973, but it subsequently became clear that it was not ready for production, and the economic troubles unfolding in the western world at this time seem to have reduced further any sense of urgency about producing and selling the cars: it was reported that problems with window sealing delayed production. XJ coupés finally started to emerge from Jaguar show-rooms only some two years later. The coupé was based on the short wheelbase version of the XJ. The coupé's elongated doors were made out of a lengthened standard XJ front door (the weld seams are clearly visible under the interior panels where two front door shells were grafted together with a single outer skin). A few XJ-Cs were modified by Avon into convertibles with a retractable canvas top, but this was not a factory product. Both six and twelve-cylinder models were offered, 6,505 of the former and 1,873 of the latter. Even with the delay, these cars suffered from water leaks and wind noise. The delayed introduction, the labour-intensive work required by the modified saloon body, the higher price than the four door car, and the early demise promulgated by the new XJ-S, all ensured a small production run.
All coupes came with a vinyl roof as standard. Since the coupe lacked B-pillars, the roof flexed enough that the paint used by Jaguar at the time would develop cracks. More modern paints don't suffer such problems, so whenever a coupe is repainted it is viable to remove the vinyl. Today many XJ-Cs no longer have their vinyl roof, also removing the threat of roof rust.
A small number of Daimler versions of the XJ-C were made. One prototype Daimler Vanden Plas version XJ-C was also made, however this version never went into production.
Series 3 (1979–1992)
Also called XJ6, XJ12, Daimler Sovereign, Daimler Vanden Plas, Daimler Double-Six, Double-Six Vanden Plas, Jaguar Sovereign (from 1983)
132,952 produced
Assembly: Coventry, England
Body style(s) 4-door saloon
Engine(s) 3.4 L XK I6, 4.2 L XK I6, 5.3 L Jaguar V12 engine V12
In late 1979 the XJ was facelifted again, and was known as the "Series III."
Using the long-wheelbase version of the car, the XJ6 incorporated a subtle redesign by Pininfarina.
Externally, the most obvious changes over the SII were the thicker and more incorporated rubber bumpers with decorative chrome only on the top edge, flush door handles for increased safety, a one-piece front door glass without a separate 1/4 light, a grille with only vertical vanes, reverse lights moved from the boot plinth to the larger rear light clusters and a revised roofline with shallower glass area.
There were three engine variants including the 5.3L V12, the 4.2L straight 6 and 3.4L straight 6. The larger 6-cylinder, and V12 models incorporated Bosch fuel injection (made under license by Lucas) while the smaller 6-cylinder was carbureted. The smaller 3.4L 6-cylinder engine was not offered in the U.S.
The short wheelbase saloon and coupé had been dropped during the final years of the Series II XJ. The introduction of the Series III model also saw the option of a sunroof and cruise control for the first time on an XJ model.
The 1979 UK model range included the Jaguar XJ6 3.4 & 4.2, XJ12 5.3, Daimler Sovereign 4.2 & Double-Six 5.3 and Daimler Vanden Plas 4.2 & Double-Six Vanden Plas 5.3.
In 1981 the 5.3 V12 models received the new Michael May designed 'fireball' high compression cylinder head engines and were badged from this time onwards to 1983 as HE (High efficiency) models.
In 1982 the interior of the XJ underwent a minor update. A trip computer appeared for the first time and was fitted as standard on V12 models. A new and much sought-after alloy wheel featuring numerous distinctive circular holes was also introduced, commonly known as the "pepperpot" wheel. Also in 1982 a top spec Vanden Plas model was introduced for the US market, a model designation still used today for the top-level XJ saloon in the US.
In 1983 the Sovereign name was transferred from Daimler to a new top spec Jaguar model, the Jaguar Sovereign.
The Vanden Plas name was also dropped at this time in the UK market, as the designation was used on top-of-the-range Rover-branded cars in the home UK market. Daimler models became the Daimler 4.2 and Double Six and were the most luxurious XJ Series III models, being fully optioned with Vanden Plas spec interiors.
The 1984 UK model range included the Jaguar XJ6 3.4 & 4.2, Sovereign 4.2 & 5.3, Daimler 4.2 & Double Six 5.3.
The last Series III XJ with a six-cylinder engine was produced in 1987.
Production of the Series III XJ continued until 1992 with the V12 engine. In 1992, the last 100 cars built were numbered and sold as part of a special series commemorating the end of production for Canada. These 100 cars featured the option of having a brass plaque located in the cabin. It was the original purchaser's option to have this plaque, which also gave a number to the car (such as No. 5 of 100, etc.), fitted to the glove box, to the console woodwork or not fitted at all. This brass plaque initiative did not come from Jaguar in Coventry. It was a local effort, by Jaguar Canada staff and the brass plaques were engraved locally.
132,952 Series III cars were built, 10,500 with the V12 engine. In total between 1968 and 1992 there were around 318,000 XJ6 and XJ12 Jaguars produced.
The Jaguar XJ is a popular car with UK banger racers due to its simple but tough construction. Many are raced with the original engine replaced by a Ford V6 as used in the Granada cars but others are raced with the original Jaguar engines. These cars are often used at 2.0litre + meetings where they are raced alongside Ford Granadas and Volvos.
Mark 2 - XJ40, XJ81, X300, X305 and X308 (1986–2003)
Also called XJ6, XJ12, Sovereign, Daimler
Assembly: Coventry, England
Body style(s) 4-door saloon
Engine(s) 2.9 L AJ6 I6, 3.2 L AJ6 I6, 3.6 L AJ6 I6, 4.0 L AJ6 I6, 6.0 L Jaguar V12 engine V12
Transmission(s) 4-speed automatic, 5-speed manual
Wheelbase 113 in (2870 mm)
Length 196.4 in (4989 mm)
Width 1986-1991: 70.8 in (1798 mm), 1992-94: 79.3 in (2014 mm)
Height 53.1 in (1349 mm)
XJ40 (1986–1994)
Throughout the 1970s Jaguar had been developing "Project XJ40" which was an all-new model intended to replace the original XJ6. Due to problems at British Leyland and the fuel crisis, the car was continually delayed. Proposals from Jaguar's in-house designers and Pininfarina were received. Eventually, it was decided an internal design would be carried through to production.
This car was finally released in October 1986 with (in European markets) controversial square headlamps on all but the lowest specification; these were a lingering feature from the 1970s development. The car was considered more evolutionary than revolutionary, receiving improvements such as the second generation of Jaguar's IRS. It had to fight off a new competitor: the recently enlarged BMW 7 Series (E32). While the British press favoured the Jaguar, the XJ40 tended to lose comparison tests run by German publications. Only six-cylinder models were initially offered: a 2.9 L (in Europe) and a 3.6 L. The V12 (XJ12) and a long wheelbase model, including a high-roofed Daimler Majestic model (reviving the model name of 1958-1962) and destined for official use (one was used by the British prime minister), were again delayed, being launched at the very end of the XJ40's life.
The delay in fitting the V12 engine was due to the design of the engine bay which was too narrow to allow a V formation engine, said to have been designed deliberately in that fashion as the designers feared that their parent company would insist use of an engine based on their widely-used Rover V8 engine. After Jaguar's takeover by Ford in December 1989, work began on redesigning the engine bay to accommodate the V12. Ironically, thanks to Ford, Jaguar was later to find itself back in common ownership with another part of the old Rover family: Land Rover, where they had previously been thanks to British Leyland. However, having since developed their own more modern V8, they saw the reverse happen with a version of their engine fitted to Land Rover models, from which the old Rover V8 was finally dropped.
The single cam 2.9 L straight-6 engine found in Europe was a derivative of Jaguar's legendary 6.0 L V12 HE, but it proved to be underpowered and thirsty compared to the 3.6. L Frequent timing chain failures were also a problem. The engine was later replaced with the 3.2 L, based on the durable 3.6 L Vanden Plas, which then became the 4.0 L.
XJ40 (1989–1994)
In 1989, under Ford control, the model range was revised with the deletion of the 2.9 L engine, replaced at the low end by a twin-cam 3.2 L version. The 3.6 L was upgraded to 4.0 L. The most obvious interior improvement was replacement of the often unreliable digital dashboard with conventional analogue instruments. In 1994 the XJ6 received a passenger's side airbag which meant the loss of the in-dash glove box.
In 1989 Jaguar Cars produced a special model of the XJ40 3.6 unique to the USA called the Majestic. All of these had maroon exteriors with special mesh wheels where the interior of the mesh was painted the same maroon colour as the exterior of the body, although the British prime minister had an armoured black ministerial Majestic. Inside there were autolux leather seats with contrasting piping along the edges. There may have only been 527 of the 1990 Majestics made. XJ-R versions of the XJ40 were produced; they featured upgraded suspension, engine and appearance, but lacked the supercharger of later XJRs. With numbers somewhere in the hundreds, they are quite rare and difficult to find.
XJ81 (1992–1994)
With the design alteration of the XJ40 engine compartment finally completed, the XJ81 or XJ12 saloon reached the market in 1993 and continued until the end of the 1994 model year. The 1993 - 1994 XJ12 Vanden Plas cars marked the introduction of the 6.0L V12 and four speed automatic transmission in the four door saloon. The new four speed automatic transmission in these cars was based on the GM 4L80E and featured an overdrive fourth gear for extended cruising comfort. The 1993 XJ12 cars that entered the United States were titled as 1994 cars. The primary differentiation between these early 1994 cars and the later 1994 cars is the presence of a in-dash glove box in the early cars that was replaced by a passenger's side airbag in the later 1994 cars. The V12 cars also had a latice or BBS style wheel and body coloured grille vanes.
X300 (1995–1997)
Also called XJ6, Vanden Plas, XJR, Daimler
Assembly: Coventry, England
Body style(s) 4-door saloon
Engine(s) 3.2 L AJ16 I6 4.0 L AJ16 I6
Transmission(s) 4-speed automatic
5-speed manual
Wheelbase 113 in (2870 mm)
Length 197.8 in (5024 mm)
Width 70.8 in (1798 mm)
Height 53.1 in (1349 mm)
With an all-new replacement still years away, in the early 1990s Jaguar recognised the boxy 1980s lines of the XJ40 needed to be facelifted and decided a "retro" path was the way forward. This path worked as Jaguar's biggest markets, the Americans, the Germans and the Japanese all associate Jaguars with sleek, voluptuous and taut feline curves. This revamp reintroduced many styling cues of the popular original XJ series. The X300, as it was known, was based on the XJ81 chassis, designed by chief Jaguar designer Geoff Lawson and was launched as the XJ6 for the 1995 model year.
The centre section (namely the doors and glass area) was shared with the original "Mark 2" (XJ40/XJ81) but the X300 saw the XJ6 revert to a traditional fluted bonnet and 4 individual headlights. The front and rear wings, bumpers and bootlid were also redesigned. The interior remained more or less the same as before. The engines were basically the same 3.2 L and 4.0 L units (engine code AJ6) found in the XJ40, but were mildly revised to further increase power and refinement (engine code AJ16). It was this generation that saw continued improvement in build quality.
X305 (1995–1997)
Also called XJ12, Daimler Double-Six
Assembly: Coventry, England
Body style(s) 4-door saloon
Engine(s) 6.0 L Jaguar V12 engine V12
Transmission(s) 4-speed automatic GM 4L80E
Wheelbase 117.9 in (2995 mm)
Length 202.8 in (5151 mm)
Width 70.8 in (1798 mm)
Height 53.5 in (1359 mm)
In September 1994, the XJ12 got the same styling revisions as the X300 XJ6. The 6.0 L Jaguar V12 engine offered 318 bhp (237 kW; 322 PS) and was continued for the 1995 model year mechanically unchanged from the 1994 XJ81 car. From 1995 on, the engine used a distributorless Denso electronic management system. The XJ12 was visibly differentiated from the XJ6 not only by a badge on the boot lid, but also by a "V12" badge on each side of the central pillar. The X300 XJ12 was available in both short- and long-wheelbase forms, although in the North American market, the long-wheelbase version was only available with the 1996 model year. No 1997 model year XJ12s were sold in North America.
The last Jaguar to be powered by a V12 engine was a black XJ12 which left the production line on April 17, 1997. It now resides in the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust Museum, Coventry. Only 3,400 XJ12s were produced in the X300 body style, making it rarer than V12 rivals such as the BMW 750iL and Mercedes-Benz S600.
X306 (1995–1997)
Also called XJR, XJR6
Assembly: Coventry, England
Body style(s) 4-door saloon
Engine(s) 4.0 L supercharged AJ16 I6
Transmission(s) 4-speed automatic GM 4L80E
5-speed manual Getrag 290
Wheelbase 113 in (2870 mm)
Length 197.8 in (5024 mm)
Width 81.7 in (2075 mm)
Height 51.4 in (1306 mm)
Kerb weight 3858 lbs.
For the 1995 model year, a supercharged version of the AJ16 engine was offered in an XJ badged as the XJR, and given the X306 designation. It is also known as the "XJR6", which helps to differentiate it from the later V8-powered XJR. This was the first supercharged Jaguar in the company's history and only the second car Jaguar ever made that used forced induction (the other being the turbocharged Jaguar XJ220 sports car.)
The supercharged AJ16 engine used an Eaton M90 supercharger and an air-water intercooler. It produced 321 bhp (239 kW; 325 PS) and 378 ft-lb. Like the XJ12 of the same generation, the automatic gearbox in the XJR was the General Motors 4L80-E.
In total, 268 XJRs were built with the Getrag 290 manual 5-speed gearbox (with 103 of them in RHD configuration for the UK market), although none of these manual-gearbox cars were exported to North America.
Daimler Corsica concept
A single 2-door XJ convertible was built in 1996 to commemorate Daimler's centenary. The concept car, called the Daimler Corsica, was based on the Daimler Double-Six saloon and can seat four. The prototype, which lacked an engine, had all the luxury features of an XJ saloon, but a shorter wheelbase. It is painted in a now-discontinued colour called "Seafrost." The Daimler Corsica was named after the 1931 Daimler Double-Six Corsica. The concept was a one-off, and was never intended for production. The car has made a limited number of appearances at car shows and events since 1996. It has most recently appeared at the Belfast Sports Car Show in January 2004. The Daimler Corsica prototype is owned by the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust, who have since commissioned the work required to complete the prototype as a fully functional road-legal car. It is on display at their museum at Browns Lane in Coventry, England. The car was recently displayed at Harewood House as part of the Jaguar Enthusiasts' Club show.
X308 (1997–2003)
Also called XJ8, Vanden Plas, XJR, Daimler
Assembly Coventry, England
Body style(s) 4-door saloon
Engine(s) 3.2 L AJ-V8 V8, 4.0 L AJ-V8 V8
Transmission(s) 5-speed automatic
Wheelbase 113 in (2870 mm) (SWB)
117.9 in (2995 mm) (LWB)
Length 197.8 in (5024 mm) (SWB)
202.7 in (5149 mm) (LWB)
Width 70.8 in (1798 mm)
Height 52.7 in (1339 mm) (SWB)
53.2 in (1351 mm) (LWB)
September 1997 saw the "Mark 2" XJ revised for a final time, and this time the car (known as X308) had changed more over the X300 than the X300 had done over the XJ40. The exterior styling was mildly revised, the only real notable changes being new, shallower grille, bumpers incorporating oval front indicators & side reflectors with 1/4 chrome trims instead of the full width ones of the X300, as well as revised clear indicator rear light clusers and the fitting of modern clear lens projector headlamps. The CATS Computer Active Technology Suspension was also offered, which adapted the stiffness of the dampers to optimise ride comfort or handling.
The biggest changes lay under the bonnet and inside. An all-new, and hugely praised, V8 engine was introduced and was available in 3.2 L, 4.0 L and 4.0 L supercharged versions. The new 8-cylinder engines, built in Bridgend, Wales, not only saw the temporary end of 6-cylinder and 12-cylinder power in an XJ, but the legendary XJ6 moniker was dropped (but later re-introduced in the 2003.5 X350; the cars with naturally-aspirated engines were now called XJ8. The new performance figures were 290 bhp (216 kW; 294 PS) and 240 bhp (179 kW; 243 PS) for the naturally-aspirated 4.0 L and 3.2 L versions respectively and 370 bhp (276 kW; 375 PS) with 525 N·m (387 lb·ft) of torque for the supercharged version.
The interior was changed greatly, featuring an all-new "oval design" dashboard (first seen in the XK) with matching door veneers. However, the basic car was now 12 years old and some now considered the limited legroom for rear passengers (except, of course, in the long-wheelbase model), which was an issue back in 1986, to now be a real Achilles' heel, especially when compared to competing models from BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Nonetheless, many overlooked this issue, citing the continued "Jaguarness" and "Britishness" of the new interior as a preferable place to spend time when compared to rivals, with the abundance of wood, chrome and leather that is a British luxury car trademark. However, for those who considered rear legroom to be a very real issue, there were LWB (long-wheelbase) versions available (and, at the very top of the range, the supercharged Daimler, known as the Super V8 in the UK & the Vanden Plas in the United States complete with fluted boot plynth & grille top, as well as full "autolux" leather interior trimming, extra highly figured walnut trim and rear picnic tables inside).
Although the new car was improved over the X300 and featured revised dynamics (including an excellent ride) along with its excellent new V8 engines (designed solely by Jaguar's engineers), the basic design was now 12 years old and was launched less than a year before a new version of the traditional heavyweight of the class: the Mercedes-Benz S-Class W220. Although the XJ was considered by critics as still competitive in some areas in many roadtests the X308 was essentially outclassed by the new S-Class, a car which was proclaimed by critics to be the "best car in the world" at launch. However, despite the Mercedes' plaudits it is important to note that the Mark 2 XJ was the best-selling luxury car in the UK.
The XJR-version featured a 5 speed automatic transmission W5A580 from the Mercedes-Benz AMG E55 and other high power Benz models.
Between 1998 and 2000, Jaguar used Nikasil cylinder liners which resulted in accelerate engine wear and eventually premature engine failure.
A limited-edition XJR called the XJR 100 was available in 2002 only. The XJR 100 came only in black (paint as well as exterior trim) with black leather interior. Features exclusive to the XJR 100 were unique alloy sport wheels, gray-stained birdseye maple trim, red badges and red stitching throughout the interior. Only 500 were produced.
In final production run of X308 series the XJR was in 2003 MY and offered with an "R1" package that used the 2002 XJR 100 Brembo brakes and larger drilled rotors with future 18 inch x350 series BBS Milan wheels.
The model continued until an all-new aluminium-bodied replacement (X350) was unveiled in 2003.5
Mark 3 - X350 & X358 (2003-2009)
Also called XJ6, XJ8, Vanden Plas, XJR, Super V8, Daimler Super Eight
Assembly Castle Bromwich, Birmingham, England
Body style(s) 4-door saloon
Engine(s) 3.0 L V6, 3.5 L AJ-V8 V8, 4.2 L AJ-V8 V8, 4.2 L supercharged AJ-V8 V8, 2.7 L V6 Diesel
Transmission(s) 6-speed automatic
Wheelbase SWB: 119.4 in (3033 mm)
LWB: 124.4 in (3160 mm)
Length SWB: 200.4 in (5090 mm)
LWB: 205.3 in (5215 mm)
Width 2004-05: 73.2 in (1859 mm), 2006-07: 83.0 in (2108 mm), 2008-present: 76.5 in (1943 mm)
Height SWB: 57 in (1448 mm)
LWB: 57.3 in (1455 mm)
Kerb weight 3,946 lb (1,790 kg)
Although major revisions (through the X300 and, particularly, the X308 updates) kept the Mark 2 competitive in some areas against its rivals, the basic design dated back to 1986 which meant the car was very quickly being outclassed and losing ground to its rivals, many of which were now two generations advanced from the original competitors of the Mark 2 XJ. For example, since the model had been unveiled in 1986 (at the same time as the BMW 7 Series E32), BMW had launched Mark 3 (E38) and Mark 4 (E65) versions of its 7 Series in 1994 and 2001 respectively – all while Jaguar was still producing the Mk 2 XJ.
In early 2003, the all-new third generation XJ (known as X350) arrived in showrooms. While the car's exterior and interior styling were traditional in appearance, the car was completely re-engineered. The new car also saw the return of the fabled XJ6 badge, and with it 6-cylinder power, albeit in a V-configuration. Although traditional in appearance, the car was actually highly technologically advanced: for example, it had an all-aluminium body that made the car very light compared to rivals, bringing improvements in performance, agility and economy.
Larger all round and higher, the new car offered much improved interior and luggage space.
The V8 engine was offered in larger 3.5 and 4.2 Litre sizes as well as a supercharged 4.2 Litre. The car's lighter weight meant the 3.0 Litre V6 was also offered although with the later introduction of the 2.7 Litre V6 Diesel the V6 petrol version was discontinued (neither V6 petrol nor diesel were available in US markets). A new 6 speed automatic gearbox was fitted which was lighter and offered better economy with lock up on all gears and a larger spread of ratios.
Air suspension was fitted all round which provided adaptive damping as well as rear self levelling. Unlike other manufacturers Jaguar did not provide any driver control of ride height or suspension mode which was fully computer controlled. Dynamic stability control as well as traction control were standard.
Two zone climate control was also standard with four zone available on long wheelbase models. An optional touch screen interface controlled default settings, satellite navigation, the Alpine audio system, and blue tooth telephone. "Jaguar Voice" offered voice control of many functions.
X358 (2007–2009)
Also called XJ8, Vanden Plas, XJR, Super V8
Kerb weight VJ8: 3,770 lb (1,710 kg), VDP: 3,871 lb (1,756 kg), XJR: 3,946 lb (1,790 kg), Super V8 4,006 lb (1,817 kg)
The X358 is a face-lifted version of the X350, and was unveiled at the end of February 2006. Aesthetically, the main changes were a new lower grille system, with a deeper, more aggressive gape, and side air vents added similar to those introduced on Ian Callum's 2005 XK.
Mark 4 X351 (2009-)
2010 Jaguar XJ
Assembly: Castle Bromwich Assembly, Birmingham, England
Body style(s) 4-door saloon
Engine(s) 5.0 L 385 PS (283 kW) AJ Gen III V8, 5.0 L 510 PS (375 kW) supercharged AJ Gen III V8, 3.0 L 275 PS (202 kW) V6 Diesel
Kerb weight (SWB) : Diesel : 1,796 kg (3,960 lb); &; Supercharged: 1,892 kg (4,170 lb)
In keeping with Ian Callum's new design direction for Jaguar, it is an all-new exterior design and a break from the XJ series mould carried over on all previous generations. It is a longer, wider car that looks much bigger than its predecessor.The front has clear links with the executive car XF, although with slimmer, sleeker lights and a larger, squarer grille and more aggressive appearance. The rear is the contentious part, like nothing Jaguar has shown before. The upright, swooping taillights, nicknamed 'cat's claws', and black roof panels each side of the rear screen, which aim to hide the XJ's width, are the most striking aspects. There is also a standard full-length sunroof, that extends all the way back with just a single body-coloured roof panel that the designer likens to bridges on yachts.
The new XJ features innovative, all-LCD dashboard and console displays. The former can be configured to display various virtual dials in addition to the obligatory speedometer, whereas the latter presents different views to the driver and passenger, including control of a sophisticated video and audio system.
Like several of its predecessors the X351 will be available with both standard and long wheelbase. Engines are modern units, already seen in other JLR products: the five litre petrol V8 either normally aspirated or supercharged, or a twin-turbo three litre diesel which is predicted to account for most of the sales.

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