Jaguar XJ

Jaguar XJ
Jaguar XJ
XJ6, XJ8, XJ12, Vanden Plas, XJR, Super V8, Supersport
Jaguar XJ X351.jpg
Manufacturer Jaguar Cars
Production 1968–present
Class Full-size luxury car
Layout FR layout

Jaguar XJ is the designation that has been used for a series of luxury saloon cars sold under the British Jaguar marque. The first XJ was launched in 1968 and the designation has been used for successive Jaguar flagship models since then. The original model was the last Jaguar saloon to have had the input of Sir William Lyons, the company's founder. The current Jaguar XJ was launched in 2009.


Series 1, 2 and 3 (1968–1992)

Series 1 (1968–1973)

XJ Series I
Jaguar XJ Series I Jaguar badged
Also called XJ6, XJ12
Daimler Sovereign
Daimler Double-Six
Production 1968–1973
82,126 produced
Assembly Coventry, England
Cape Town, South Africa
Nelson, New Zealand
Predecessor Jaguar 240, Jaguar 340 & Daimler 250
Jaguar S-Type
Jaguar 420 and Daimler Sovereign
Jaguar 420G
Body style 4-door saloon
Engine 2.8 L XK I6
4.2 L XK I6
5.3 L Jaguar V12 (from 1972)
Wheelbase 108.75 in (2,762 mm)
Length 189.5 in (4,813 mm)
Width 69.75 in (1,772 mm)
Height 52.75 in (1,340 mm)

The XJ6, using 2.8 litre (2,790 cc/170 cu in) and 4.2 litre (4,235 cc/258.4 cu in) 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 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 / trunk, and filled using two separately lockable filler caps: one on the top of each wing above the rear wheel arches.[1]

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.[2] 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.[2] "Greatly improved shift quality" was also claimed for the new system.[2]

In 1972 the option of a long-wheelbase version, providing a modest increase in leg room for passengers in the back, became available.

The XJ12 version was announced in July 1972, featuring simplified grille treatment, and powered by a 5.3 L V12 engine (coupled to a Borg Warner Model 12), :[3] The car as presented at that time was the world's only mass-produced 12-cylinder four-door car, and, with a top speed "around 140 mph" (225 km/h) as the "fastest full four-seater available in the world today". Although it had, from the car's launch, been the manufacturer's intention that the XJ would take the twelve-cylinder engine, its installation was nonetheless a tight fit, and providing adequate cooling had evidently been a challenge for the engineers designing the installation.[4] Bonnet/hood louvres such as those fitted on the recently introduced twelve-cylinder E Type were rejected, but the XJ12 featured a complex "cross-flow" radiator divided into two separated horizontal sections and supported with coolant feeder tanks at each end: the engine fan was geared to rotate at 1¼ times the speed of the engine rpm, subject to a limiter which cut in at a (fan) speed of 1,700 rpm.[4] The fuel system incorporated a relief valve that returned fuel to the tank when pressure in the leads to the carburetters exceeded 1.5 psi in order to reduce the risk of vapour locks occurring at the engine's high operating temperature, while the car's battery, unusually, benefited from its own thermostatically controlled cooling fan.[4]

The Jaguar XJ12, launched during the summer of 1972, featured a simplified grille.

3,235 of these first generation XJ12s were built. As with the six-cylinder cars, an upmarket version, this time called the Daimler Double-Six, became available later, reviving the Daimler model name of 1926–1938.

Total production figures for the Series 1
Model Production
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
Total Production for Series 1 98,527

Series 2 (1973–1979)

XJ Series II
Jaguar XJ6 Series II
Also called XJ6, XJ12
Daimler Sovereign
Daimler Double-Six
Production 1973–1979 (1981)
91,227 produced
Assembly Coventry, England
Cape Town, South Africa
Nelson, New Zealand
Body style 4-door saloon
Engine 2.8 L XK I6
3.4 L XK I6
4.2 L XK I6
5.3 L Jaguar V12 engine
Wheelbase 108.75 in (2,762 mm)
(swb: only sold until 1974)
112.75 in (2,864 mm)
(lwb until 1974: thereafter all sedans)
Length 194.75 in (4,947 mm)
(lwb until 1974: thereafter all sedans)
Width 69.75 in (1,772 mm)
Height 54 in (1,372 mm)
Kerb weight 3,841 lb (1,742 kg)

Commonly referred to as the "Series II", the XJ line was facelifted in Autumn 1973 for the 1974 model year. The 4.2 L I-6 XJ6 (most popular in the United Kingdom) and the 5.3 L V12 XJ12 were continued with an addition of a 3.4 L (3,442 cc/210.0 cu in) 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 along with massive labour union relations problems that plagued most of industrial England in the same time period, and to problems inherent in the design of certain Lucas-sourced components.[citation needed]

Initially the Series II was offered with two wheelbases, but at the 1974 London Motor Show Jaguar announced the withdrawal of the 'standard wheelbase' version: subsequent saloons/sedans all featured the extra 4 inches (10 cm) of passenger cabin length hitherto featured only by the 'long-wheelbase' model.[5] By this time the first customer deliveries of the two-door coupe, which retained the shorter 'standard' wheelbase (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 twelve-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.[6]

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, knock-down 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 dralon wide pleat seats, vinyl roof, chrome steel wheels and air conditioning as standard. New Zealand produced models featured speedometers in km/h, and the black vinyl mats sewn 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.

Engines [7]

Years Type Capacity Horsepower
1973–1975 DOHC I-6 2,792 (171 cu. in.) 140
1975–1979 DOHC I-6 3,442 (210 cu. in.) 161
1973–1979 DOHC I-6 4,235 (258 cu. in.) 245/162-186 See Note
1973–1979 SOHC V12 5,343 (326 cu. in.) 265/244 See Note

Note: HP varies depending on emission standards imposed on particular vehicles

Production count [7]

Year XJ6 XJ12
1973 1488 168
1974 13526 4744
1975 11990 2239
1976 12157 3283
1977 9043 1913
1978 12138 3284
1979 1099 429
Total 61,441 16,060

XJ Coupé

1977 Jaguar XJC S2 Pillarless Coupe
Also called XJ-C, XJ6-C, XJ12-C,
Daimler Sovereign Coupé
Daimler Double-Six Coupé
Production 1975–1978
10,487 produced
Assembly Coventry, England
Body style 2-door coupe[5]
Engine 4.2 L XK I6
5.3 L Jaguar V12 engine
Wheelbase 108.75 in (2,762 mm)
Length 190.75 in (4,845 mm)
Width 69.75 in (1,772 mm)
Height 54.125 in (1,375 mm)
Kerb weight 4,050 lb (1,837 kg)

A 9,378-car run of two-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,[8] but it subsequently became clear that it was not ready for production[citation needed], 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[citation needed]: it was reported[where?] that problems with window sealing delayed production. XJ coupés finally started to emerge from Jaguar show-rooms only some two years later[citation needed]. 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)[citation needed]. 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[citation needed]. 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[citation needed].

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[citation needed]. More modern paints do not suffer such problems, so whenever a coupe is repainted it is viable to remove the vinyl[citation needed]. Today many XJ-Cs no longer have their vinyl roof, also removing the threat of roof rust. Some owners also modified their XJ-C by changing to Series III bumpers.[9] This lifted the front indicators from under the bumper and provided built in rear fog lights.

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[citation needed].

Production Count [10]

Model \ Year 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978
4.2l Coupe 2 1 2925 1746 1776 37
5.3l Coupe - 11 821 663 329 31
Daimler Sovereign Coupe - - 471 587 613 6
Daimler Double Six Coupe - 1 76 149 159 22
Total 2 13 4293 3145 2877 96

Grand total = 10,426

Series 3 (1979–1992)

XJ Series III
Jaguar XJ6 (US)
Also called XJ6, XJ12
Daimler Sovereign
Daimler Vanden Plas
Daimler Double-Six
Double-Six Vanden Plas
Jaguar Sovereign (from 1983)
Jaguar Vanden Plas [11]
Production 1979–1992
132,952 produced
Assembly Coventry, England
Body style 4-door saloon
Engine 3.4 L XK I6
4.2 L XK I6
5.3 L Jaguar V12 engine

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 5.3 L V12, the 4.2 L straight-six and 3.4 L straight-six. The larger six-cylinder, and V12 models incorporated Bosch fuel injection (made under license by Lucas) while the smaller six-cylinder was carbureted. The smaller 3.4 L six-cylinder engine was not offered in the U.S.

1983–1986 Jaguar Sovereign 4.2 sedan (Australia)

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 1985 as "HE" (High Efficiency) models.

In late 1981 Daimler Sovereign and Double Six models received a minor interior upgrade for the 1982 model year with features similar to Vanden Plas models. Also for the 1982 model year, a top sec "Jaguar" Vanden Plas model was introduced for the US market - a model designation still used today.

In late 1982 the interior of all Series III models underwent a minor update for the 1983 model year. 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.

In late 1983 revision and changes were made across the Series III model range for the 1984 model year, with the Sovereign name being transferred from Daimler to a new top spec Jaguar model, the "Jaguar Sovereign". A base spec Jaguar XJ12 was no longer available, with the V12 engine only being offered as a Jaguar Sovereign HE or Daimler Double Six. The Vanden Plas name was also dropped at this time in the UK market, due to Jaguar being sold by BL and the designation being 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.

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.

XJ40, XJ81, X300, X305 and X308 (1986–2003)

XJ40 (& XJ81)
Also called XJ6, XJ12, Sovereign, Daimler
Production 1986–2003
Assembly Coventry, England
Body style 4-door saloon
Engine 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
Transmission 4-speed automatic
5-speed manual
Wheelbase 113 in (2,870 mm)
Length 196.4 in (4,989 mm)
Width 1986-1991: 70.8 in (1,798 mm)
1992-94: 79.3 in (2,014 mm)
Height 53.1 in (1,349 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 and in February 1981 the BL board approved ₤80 million to produce the new car, however by the launch over ₤200 million had been invested.

XJ40 Investment up to 1986
Area Amount
XJ40 R&D model ₤50 million
Tooling at Austin-Rover and other component suppliers ₤70 million
Building work and new transfer line for the AJ6 engine at Radford ₤35 million
Building work for the manufacture of axles at Radford ₤10 million
Paint facilities at Castle Bromwich ₤25 million
Pilot assembly plant at Browns Lane ₤10 million

During the development the XJ40 pioneered significant improvements to the way Jaguar designed, built and assembled cars. Developments such as a 25% reduction in the number of bodywork panels (e.g. three pressings needed for Series 3 door compared with one pressing for XJ40 door) resulting in not only a more efficient assembly process, but also a weight saving and a stiffier structure. Greater attention to panel gaps improved the drag factor (reduced from 0.849 Cd to 0.762 Cd) while also improving the fuel economy and lowering over noise inside the cabin. The automatic transmission selector was redesigned to allow the manual selection of forward gears without accidentally putting the car into neutral, or worse reverse. This new feature was dubbed the J-Gate and has carried over to other Jaguars since. Working with Dunlop and Michelin the XJ40 was to have TD (metric) tyres and rims. This tyre technology has a groove in which the TD tyre bead cloks in and in the event of a flat, the tyre is prevented from escaping the rim, allowing the driver to continue from a limited distance. New technology also appeared in the cabin in the form of a Vehicle Condition Monitor (VCM) which contained a 32 x 32 dot-matrix screen to alert warnings and diagnosis to the driver including bulb failure, brake pad wear, doors/boot/open, coolant level, for a total of 34 functions. Jaguar made a clay model of the XJ40 at a scale of 1:1, while the model was being transported to the building in which the real thing would be made, the rear of the model melted.

The XJ40 became the most tested car at Jaguar completing 1,240,000 miles (2,000,000 km) in Arizona (summer heat testing), 1,100,000 miles (1,800,000 km) in Canada (winter testing), 1,800,000 miles (2,900,000 km) in Australia (heat and dust testing), in addition to 750,000 miles (1,210,000 km) on the high-speed Nardo circuit in Italy and other general road tests.

Jaguar XJ6 (US)

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,[citation needed] 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-six engine found in Europe was a derivative of Jaguar's 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.

Prototypes 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 TOTAL
251 3958 33,064 39,432 32,833 30,862 17,190 15,967 24,910 10,239 208,706

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[citation needed]. In 1994, the XJ6 received a passenger's side airbag which meant the loss of the in-dash glove box.

In 1989, Jaguar produced a special model of the XJ40 3.6 unique to the USA called the Majestic. All of these had maroon (called Regency Red) 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 body coloured piping along the edges. There may have only been 527 of the 1990 Majestic models made. XJR versions of the XJ40 were produced by JaguarSport, a joint venture of Jaguar and the race team TWR. They featured upgraded suspension, engine and appearance, but did not have the supercharger of later XJR models.

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 to 1994 XJ12 Vanden Plas cars marked the introduction of the 6.0 L 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)

Jaguar X300 XJ
Also called XJ6, Vanden Plas, XJR, Daimler
Production 1994–1997
Assembly Coventry, England
Body style 4-door saloon

3.2 L AJ16 I6 4.0 L AJ16 I6

6.0 L Jaguar V12 engine V12
Transmission 4-speed automatic
5-speed manual
Wheelbase 113 in (2,870 mm)
Length 197.8 in (5,024 mm)
Width 70.8 in (1,798 mm)
Height 53.1 in (1,349 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[citation needed]. 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[citation needed]. 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 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.


According to the UK Department for Transport's road accident statistics on a model-by-model basis (Table A, Page 10), which shows risk of injuries to car drivers involved in two-car accidents whenever an injury is reported, the X300/X308 series Jaguars were among the safest cars on UK roads (measured in terms of chance of death in an accident during the four year assessment period) – three times safer than the safest Volvo models and matched only by the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. This publication presents estimates of the risk of driver injury in popular models of car, if they are involved in a two car injury accident. It does not address issues of primary safety and gives no information on whether or not specific makes of car have different risks of being involved in an accident. The statistics are based on personal injury road accident data reported to the Department for Transport by police forces within Great Britain.

X305 (1995–1997)

Also called XJ12, Daimler Double-Six
Production 1994–1997
Assembly Coventry, England
Body style 4-door saloon
Engine 6.0 L Jaguar V12 engine
Transmission 4-speed automatic GM 4L80E
Wheelbase 113.0 in (2,870 mm) (SWB)
117.9 in (2,995 mm) (LWB)
Length 197.8 in (5,024 mm) (SWB)
202.7 in (5,149 mm) (LWB)
Width 70.8 in (1,798 mm)
Height 52.2 in (1,326 mm) (XJ12)
52.5 in (1,334 mm) (Double Six)

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 similar to the 1994 XJ81 car, with a notable switch from forged to chill cast crankshaft. From 1995 on, the engine used a distributorless Nippon Denso electronic management system. The top aluminium cover in the V valley was redesigned to house two packs of three coils each, with each coil having two high tension terminals for a total of twelve. These coilpacks were driven by two Denso ignition modules, which are very similar to Ford EDIS-6 units.

A visibly significant chromed pipe connecting the left and the right banks of XJ81 engine, which was located at the top rear of the engine that vents and routes the crankcase blow-by gas to the intake plenum, was changed to an almost invisible design at the top center of the engine underneath a plastic cover that also hides fuel rails and coilpacks.

The XJ12 body 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, a "V12" sign on the dashboard, as well as a gold-coloured Jaguar crest on the top centre of radiator grille, as opposed to a silver one on XJ6. The X305 XJ12 was available in both short- and long-wheelbase(LWB) forms, the latter became available for the 1996 model. In the North American market, the long-wheelbase version was available with the 1996 model year only.

X305 was equipped with On-Board Diagnostics System, however, the system failed to fully meet the OBD-II specifications, which became mandatory for the 1996 model year in the U.S. With a special dispensation for that model year expired, no 1997 model year X305 models were sold in North America.

While the sister X305 Daimler Double Six came with 225/60-16 tyres on 7 inch rims standard, the XJ12 came with 225/55-16 tyres on 8 inch wide wheels, which explains the height difference between the two models. The in-dash glove box that was removed on the late 1994 XJ81 to make room for passenger's side airbag, did get reintroduced under the dashboard for later 1995 model. This mid-1995 model change also includes a revision in the rear suspension that now allows adjustment of toe-in.

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 XJ12 models were produced in the X300 body style.

X306 (1995–1997)

Also called XJR, XJR6
Production 1994–1997
Assembly Coventry, England
Body style 4-door saloon
Engine 4.0 L supercharged AJ16 I6
Transmission 4-speed automatic GM 4L80E
5-speed manual Getrag 290
Wheelbase 113 in (2,870 mm)
Length 197.8 in (5,024 mm)
Width 81.7 in (2,075 mm)
Height 51.4 in (1,306 mm)
Kerb weight 3,858 lb (1,750 kg).

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 charge-cooler. It produced 321 bhp (239 kW; 325 PS) and 378 lb·ft (512 N·m). Like the XJ12 of the same generation, the automatic gearbox in the XJR was the General Motors 4L80-E.

In total, 268 XJR models were built with the Getrag 290 manual five-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 two-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 may have been intended for limited production beginning in 1997. 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 commissioned it to operate as a fully functional road-legal car.[12] It is on display at their museum at Browns Lane in Coventry. The car was recently displayed at Harewood House as part of the Jaguar Enthusiasts' Club show.

X308 (1997–2003)

Jaguar XJ8 Vanden Plas LWB
Also called XJ8, Vanden Plas, XJR, XJ Sport, Daimler
Production 1997–2003
Assembly Coventry, England
Body style 4-door saloon
Engine 3.2 L AJ-V8 V8
4.0 L AJ-V8 V8
Transmission 5-speed ZF automatic
Wheelbase 113 in (2,870 mm) (SWB)
117.9 in (2,995 mm) (LWB)
Length 197.8 in (5,024 mm) (SWB)
202.7 in (5,149 mm) (LWB)
Width 70.8 in (1,798 mm)
Height 52.7 in (1,339 mm) (SWB)
53.2 in (1,351 mm) (LWB)

September 1997 saw the X300 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 which won the award of "L'Automobile piu Bella del Mondo" 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 clusters and the fitting of revised headlamps with clear lenses and optic reflectors. The CATS Computer Active Technology Suspension was also offered, which adapted the stiffness of the dampers to optimise ride comfort or handling. The passenger compartment was further strengthened by use of ultra high strength boron steel and the high speed crash survivability was further improved by incorporation of a unique "swans neck" design into the crumple zones.

More obvious 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 eight-cylinder engines, built in Bridgend, Wales, not only saw the temporary end of six-cylinder and twelve-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. Later, it became evident that the V8 engine was poorly designed, due to its use of Nikasil[13] and a problem that would cause the car to stall when driven at highway speeds.[14] This only occured on market with sulfur-rich petrol. In April 2000, the Nikasil engines stopped being fitted and cars from then until the end of the run have generally proved very reliable.

The interior was changed greatly, featuring an all-new "oval design" dashboard with all instruments surrounded in same oval (first seen in the XK) with matching door veneers. However, the basic car was now 11 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).

1998 Jaguar XJ8

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. Indeed, some years later when the flagship Mercedes, Daimler and BMW were compared in a used car analysis, the Daimler Super V8 came out on top.[citation needed]

Owners of the Daimler V8 include Queen Elizabeth II, her preference being for more subtle luxury and driveability for her personal motoring, such as to horse racing.

The XJR-version featured a five-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 in markets with sulphur rich fuel combined with short trips, resulted in accelerated engine wear and eventually premature engine failure. From 2000 and onwards, the engines were fitted with conventional steel liners which solved the problem.[15]

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. The XJR 100 also used the "R1" Package's Brembo brakes and larger drilled rotors with future 18-inch series BBS Milan wheels. The "R1" Package originally appeared in the 2001 model year.

The final production run of the X308 series the XJR was in the 2003 model year.

The model continued until an all-new aluminium-bodied replacement (X350) was unveiled in 2003.5

X350 & X358 (2003-2009)

X350 (2003-2007)

2004-05 Jaguar XJ X350 Vanden Plas (US)
Also called XJ6, XJ8, Vanden Plas, XJR, Super V8, Daimler Super Eight
Production 2003-2007
Assembly Castle Bromwich, Birmingham, England
Body style 4-door saloon
Engine 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 6-speed automatic
Wheelbase SWB: 119.4 in (3,033 mm)
LWB: 124.4 in (3,160 mm)
Length SWB: 200.4 in (5,090 mm)
LWB: 205.3 in (5,215 mm)
Width 2004-05: 73.2 in (1,859 mm)
2006-07: 83.0 in (2,108 mm)
2008-present: 76.5 in (1,943 mm)
Height SWB: 57 in (1,448 mm)
LWB: 57.3 in (1,455 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 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[citation needed]. 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 XJ6 badge, and with it six-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 six-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)

Jaguar XJ8 Vanden Plas (US)
Also called XJ8, Vanden Plas, XJR, Super V8
Production 2007–2009
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.

X351 (2009-)

XJ X351
2011 Jaguar XJ-L -- 05-05-2010.jpg
2011 Jaguar XJ-L (US)
Manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover
Production 2009-
Assembly Castle Bromwich Assembly, Birmingham, England
Predecessor XJ X358
Body style 4-door saloon

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
Wheelbase SWB: 119.4 in (3,033 mm)
LWB: 124.3 in (3,157 mm)
Length SWB: 201.7 in (5,123 mm)
LWB: 206.6 in (5,248 mm)
Width 83.1 in (2,111 mm)
Height 57 in (1,448 mm)
Kerb weight

Diesel : 1,796 kg (3,960 lb)
Petrol : 1,755 kg (3,870 lb)
Supercharged: 1,892 kg (4,170 lb)

Add 23 kg (51 lb)) for LWB
Designer Ian Callum

On 9 July 2009, the newly styled XJ was unveiled at the Saatchi Gallery in London, with Jay Leno and Elle Macpherson unveiling the new car.[16] The unveiling was broadcast live on the Jaguar website.

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 an 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.

Mike Cross, one of the company's chief engineers, spoke more about the "new Jaguar XJ dynamics" in an interview with Autocar.[17]

Like several of its predecessors the X351 is available with both standard and long wheelbase as well as many special editions. Engines are modern units, already seen in other JLR products: the 5-litre petrol V8 either normally aspirated or supercharged, or a twin-turbo 3-litre diesel that is predicted to account for most of the sales.[18]

'XJ' Numbering

Just prior to World War II Jaguar, known then as SS Cars, started using a numbering system beginning with the letter X for internal projects. X meaning experimental, XB for military chassis projects and XF to XK for engines. This numbering system has never been consistent and there appears to be many omissions and duplications.

Number Project
XJ3 3.4-litre and 3.8-litre S-Type saloon cars (known to the Pressed Steel Company as 'Utah')
XJ4 Designation of the project which led to what was publicly announced as the XJ6
XJ5 Modifications to the Mark Ten for air-conditioning
XJ6 A V12 racing engine with four-overhead-camshafts
XJ8 E-type 2+2 version
XJ13 Jaguar sport-racing mid engined prototype
XJ16 Jaguar 420 saloon
XJ22 & XJ23 E-type Series Two
XJ27 The Jaguar XJS
XJ40 Second Generation Jaguar XJ6 (1986–1994) (as opposed to Series 2 version of First Generation)
XJ41 Prototype Coupé replacement for the XJ-S
XJ42 Prototype Drophead replacement for the XJ-S
XJ50 Jaguar XJ12 Series Three
XJ57 & XJ58 Jaguar XJ-S 3.6 litre
XJ81 Second Generation Jaguar XJ12 (1993–1994)


  1. ^ "Autotest Jaguar XJ6". Autocar. 134 (nbr 3920): pages 6–10. date 13 May 1971. 
  2. ^ a b c "News: New Automatic for XJ6". Motor. nbr 3534: page 57. date 14 March 1970. 
  3. ^ Daily Mail Motor Show Review 1972 on 1973 Cars (London: Associated Newspapers Group Ltd): Page 27 (Jaguar XJ12). October 1972. 
  4. ^ a b c "Twelve for the XJ". Motor. nbr 3652: pages 4–6. date 12 July 1972. 
  5. ^ a b ^ "Nachrichten aus der Technik: Jaguar mit amerikanischem Getriebe". Auto, Motor und Sport. Heft 11 1977: Seite 64. date 25 Mai 1977. 
  6. ^ a b "Howstuffworks "1973-1979 Jaguar XJ6/XJ12 Series II"". Retrieved 2009-04-13. 
  7. ^ Daily Express Motor Show Review 1974 Cars: Page 28 (Jaguary XJ12 Series Two). October 1973. 
  8. ^ Images of Series III bumpers fitted to a Daimler "XJ-C Coupe"
  9. ^ "Welcome to the website dedicated to the Jaguar XJC". Retrieved 2009-04-13. 
  10. ^ 1984 Jaguar Range brochure, page 24 Retrieved from on 14 August 2011
  11. ^ "Daimler Corsica project". David Marks Garages. Retrieved 2010-09-23. 
  12. ^ Jag-lovers. "Jaguar World Monthly articles reproduced with permission". Jag-lovers. Retrieved 2011-10-17. 
  13. ^ "1998 Jaguar XJ8 XJ-8 Comments (r49451)". Retrieved 2011-10-17. 
  14. ^ "Jaguar 4 litre V8". Retrieved 2011-10-17. 
  15. ^ "Jaguar XJ: full details and pics". Autocar (Haymarket Consumer Media). 2009-07-09. Retrieved 2009-07-10. 
  16. ^ Interview with Mike Cross in Autocar
  17. ^ "2010 Jaguar XJ Teased at Shanghai Auto Show:The Icon Reimagined : Auto News". 2009-04-20. Retrieved 2009-07-16. 

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