|1975 to 1996|
|Body and chassis|
The Jaguar XJ-S (later the Jaguar XJS) was a luxury grand tourer produced by the British manufacturer Jaguar from 1975 to 1996. The XJ-S replaced the E-Type (or XK-E) in September 1975, and was based on the XJ saloon. It had been developed as the XK-F, though it was very different in character from its predecessor. Although it never had quite the same sporting image, the XJ-S was a competent grand tourer, and more aerodynamic than the E-Type. The last XJS was produced on 4 April 1996, by then 115,413 had been produced during a 21-year production life. The model was replaced by the XK8.
The first XJ-S appeared in 1975 as a 1976 model. Power came from the Jaguar V12 petrol engine with a choice of a manual or automatic transmission, but the manual was soon dropped. V12 automobiles were unusual at the time, with notable others coming from Italian luxury sports car makers Lamborghini and Ferrari. The specifications of the XJ-S compared well with both Italian cars; it was able to accelerate to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 7.6 seconds (automatic) and had a top speed of 143 mph (230 km/h). The first series of XJ-S cars had a Borg-Warner Model 12 transmission with a cast-iron case and a bolt-on bell-housing. In 1977 GM Turbo-Hydromatic 400 transmissions were fitted. The TH400 transmission was an all aluminium alloy case with an integrated non-detachable bell-housing.
Jaguar's timing was not good; the car was launched in the wake of a fuel crisis, and the market for a 5.3-litre V12 grand tourer was very small. The styling was also the subject of criticism, including the buttresses behind the windows. German authorities feared these would restrict rearward vision, and refused to give the model (along with Lancia's similarly adorned Montecarlo model) type approval: it was for a time necessary instead for German XJS buyers to obtain type approval for each individual car when registering it. Such fears were ill founded, since in reality the rear visibility was very reasonable, with only the frontmost top edges of the buttresses being visible, when looking rearward.
Jaguar did seize promotional opportunities with the television series The New Avengers and Return of the Saint. The New Avengers featured Mike Gambit (Gareth Hunt) who drove an XJ-S. Return of the Saint saw Simon Templar (played by Ian Ogilvy) driving an early XJ-S with the number plate "ST 1". Miniature versions were made by Corgi and proved popular. A decade and a half before, Jaguar had turned down the producers of the earlier Saint series when approached about the E-type; the producers had instead used a Volvo P1800.
Responding to criticisms that the XJ-S was not a worthy E-type successor, Pininfarina revealed a sporty show car in 1978 based on XJ-S mechanicals and called Jaguar XJSpider. The car never went into production.
|XJ-S H.E., 3.6, XJ-SC|
|Production||(All engines, including H.E. and 3.6) 1981–1990 73,207 built Coupé: 55,822 Targa / convertible: 5,013 Full convertible: 12,372|
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||2-door coupé 2-door targa convertible (1983-88, V12 from 1985) 2-door full convertible (from 1988)|
|Engine||3.6 L AJ6 I6 5.3 L HE V12|
|Transmission||5-speed manual (3.6 only) 3/4-speed automatic|
|Wheelbase||102.0 in (2,591 mm)|
|Length||191.7 in (4,869 mm)|
|Width||70.6 in (1,793 mm)|
|Height||47.8 in (1,214 mm)|
From July 1981, XJ-S received the new High-Efficiency engine for much better economy; as a by-product, power was increased to 220 kW (295 hp) or 196 kW (263 hp) in North America. At the same time, the XJ-S received changes to its exterior and interior (new five-spoke alloy wheels, chrome inserts on the upper part of the bumpers, wood inserts on dashboard and door cappings). In 1982, the new V12 XJ-S won first and second at the RAC Tourist Trophy race at Silverstone.
Six-cylinder version and a convertible
In 1983, a new 3.6-litre engine débuted - the Jaguar AJ6 straight-six (I6) engine - as well as a new cabriolet version, the XJ-SC. In the XJ-SC, the coupé's rather small rear seats were eliminated making it only a 2-seat car. The XJ-SC was not a full convertible but had a non-removable centre targa-type structure and fixed cant rails above the doors. The rear quarter windows remained as well. The six-cylinder cars can be identified by a slightly raised "power bulge" — the longitudinal centre section of the bonnet.
Between 1983 and 1987 the six-cylinder-engined cars were only available with a five-speed manual transmission (Getrag 265), with a four-speed automatic (ZF 4HP22) offered from 1987 onwards (along with improved fuel injection as used on the XJ40). The earlier, manual models were not imported by Jaguar into the United States, which had to wait until the facelift manual 4-litre XJS coupé and convertible were available.
A V12 XJ-SC emerged in 1985.
The two-seat XJ-SC targa-type model, never a great success in the market place, was replaced with a two-seat full convertible in 1988 which proved to be a great hit.
Hess & Eisenhardt convertible
From 1986 a full convertible version was available through some dealers, modified by Hess & Eisenhardt in the USA. The Hess & Eisenhardt coachbuilding firm was located in Ohio, USA, and built about 893 of these cars under contract from Jaguar before the official Jaguar-built XJS full convertible appeared in 1988.
The Hess & Eisenhardt convertible differed from the later Jaguar convertible XJS as its unpadded top folded down deeper into the body structure of the car resulting in a cleaner rear profile when the roof was lowered. In order to accommodate this design element, the Hess & Eisenhardt convertibles have two separate fuel tanks, positioned to allow for the roof to fully retract. The process of converting the stock Jaguar XJS coupé into the H&E Convertible included the post-production removal of the roof, cutting the body in several sections, the addition of steel reinforcements behind the driver's seat, and 20 lb (9.1 kg) weights placed just behind the headlights to eliminate harmonic resonance caused by the significant modifications to the car. H&E XJS convertibles are easily identified by the lower folding top, as well as two small badges located just behind the front wheels. The later Jaguar full convertible had a heavier padded top that did not fold into as small a bundle when in the lowered position, but retained nearly all of the original components of the coupé.
The number of H&E Jaguar XJS produced is unknown, partly because a fire at the Hess & Eisenhardt factory destroyed most of the records pertaining to the Jaguar XJS conversions.
From 1988, a special XJR-S version of the V12 5.3-litre car was produced by JaguarSport, a separate company owned 50:50 by Jaguar and TWR. This car had a distinctive body kit, special alloy wheels and suspension and handling improvements. the first 100 of these cars were termed "Celebration Le Mans" to commemorate Jaguar's 1988 win at Le Mans. Between 1988 and 1989 a total of 350 XJR-S cars were produced with the 5.3-litre engine. After September 1989 the change was made to a special 6.0-litre engine with a Zytec engine management system (234 kW (314 hp), later 245 kW (329 hp)). This was different from the standard 6.0-litre engine used in the late XJS models. The XJR-S stayed in the line until 1993; a total of 1,130 cars were built.
Jaguar did consider a luxury Daimler version tentatively called Daimler-S, without the buttresses, but this vehicle was not put into production, although one prototype was made in 1986. Paul Banham did produce some custom notch back coupés without the buttresses, larger rear side windows, and a narrow C-pillar. In the mid-nineties, Banham also made a re-worked version called the XJSS based on the XJS.
1991 to 1996
|Also called||Jaguar XJS Classic|
1991–199627,406 built Coupé: 8,832 Convertible: 18,574
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||2-door coupé 2-door 2-seat convertible 2-door 2+2 convertible|
|Engine||4.0 L AJ6 I6 4.0 L AJ16 I6 5.3 L HE V12 6.0 L HE V12|
|Transmission||5-speed manual 4-speed automatic|
|Wheelbase||102.0 in (2,591 mm)|
|Length||191.2 in (4,856 mm)|
|Width||1992—1993: 70.6 in (1,793 mm) 1994—1996: 74.1 in (1,882 mm)|
|Height||48.7 in (1,237 mm)|
The car was re-engineered in May 1991 and renamed XJS. The rear side windows appeared enlarged (although the body glass aperture was actually the same size as the earlier car), and the buttresses stayed (although their appearance was minimized by the new side window treatment), as designer Geoff Lawson argued that they were part of the car's character. The car received a new 4.0-litre version of the AJ6. In 1992, a 4.0-litre convertible was added to the range. The V12's capacity was enlarged to 6.0 litres in May 1992 (227 kW (304 hp)). At the same time the car benefited from a revision to the rear brakes, they were now fitted with outboard rear disc brakes, instead of the more complicated inboard items on previous models. With the introduction of the 6.0-litre V12, the transmission was also updated to a GM 4L80E with a fourth-gear overdrive, whilst the automatic 4.0-litre models continued with the electronic ZF4HP24E transmission. A 2+2 convertible was also introduced, as was a customised insignia line. At the same time the car received more aerodynamic front and rear bumpers.
In April 1994, substantial revisions were made to the 4.0-litre AJ6 engine which became the 4.0-litre AJ16 with coil-on-plug ignition. In 1995, the final specification changes were made and the car was referred to as the Celebration model to celebrate the 60th year of the Jaguar company. Celebration cars feature diamond turned wheels, Jaguar embossed seats and a wooden steering wheel.
The XJS was discontinued in 1996, after 21 years in production. It was replaced by the XK8