Was the XJ40 the Company’s pinnacle?
The XJ40 was a completely new design and a ‘landmark in automotive history’ according to Jaguar Chief Executive Sir John Egan. After a long development period of over 10 years the Jaguar XJ40 was finally released in 1986. The Jaguar XJ40 stands the test of time.
Jaguar’s XJ40 was designed to replace the XJ6 which had been in production for nearly 20 years now. It was one of Jaguar’s finest luxury saloon cars ever produced. The XJ40 had to go one better and achieved this being hailed as the most advanced car ever designed and built in Britain to date. Jaguar used microprocessors to aid the vehicles’ functions and launched the XJ40 with an on-board computer.
The Jaguar XJ40 came in three models initially being the XJ6, the Sovereign and the Daimler model. All three were comfortable and economical sports saloons. It also undercut the recently launched Rover Sterling by £2000. Revisions came in 1988 with aerodynamic updates to the door mirrors. An improved stereo system was also added then in 1989 Jaguar introduced a sports version of the XJ40. Known as the Jaguar XJR this super saloon sported 16” alloy wheels and a sports body-kit. This had a similar spec to the top of the range Daimler model.
The XJ40 consistently out sold its rivals becoming the most popular executive saloon of the late eighties.
Ford brings 4.0 litre to the Jaguar XJ40
The Jaguar XJ40 continued its success way into the next decade with upgrades and revisions in-store from the first year into this new era. A new 4.0 litre DOHC engine was available with an increase in power to 235bhp. All models had better security and fascias received analogue dials. In 1991 the base models 2.9 litre engine were replaced by a 200bhp 3.2 litre and all models received 15” wheels. The XJR was fitted with a more subtle body-kit and 16” Aerosport alloy wheels.
With more torque and added refinement the Jaguar XJ40 received its last major update in 1993. This included airbags, improved climate control, re-sculptured seats and integrated fog-lamps. The XJ40 had left its mark as Jaguar’s pinnacle of saloon cars from a bygone era.
Jaguar’s super saloon of the eighties maintained retro elegance with development starting in 1973. This is why it retained its traditional classic Jaguar looks which never really changed right up to 1994. These looks disguised the XJ40 as an outdated car. However its technology saw it as an innovative luxurious sports saloon which was right up to date for the discerning driver. Today the Jaguar XJ40 is a part of the classic Jaguar motoring history.
Interested in Classic Jaguars? Take a look at these vital statistics.
- Jaguar XJS
- Jaguar MK II (1959-1969)
- Jaguar XJ6 Series 1 (1968-1973)
- Jaguar E Type Series 1 (1964-1967)