The Jaguar XK8 made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1996 and was the long awaited replacement for Jaguar’s XJS model. Fitted with the brand new V8 engine, the XK8 was said to be a true replacement for the world famous E-Type that had been discontinued back in 1975.
Performance of the XK8 is excellent, with the 32 valve 4.0 litre V8 engine capable of 0 to 60 mph in just over 6 seconds and top speeds limited to 155 mph – outgunning BMW and Mercedes’ comparative models. The XK8 is not a sports car, though; it’s a luxurious Grand Tourer packed with all that’s good about Jaguar interior including leather upholstery, automatic climate control, trip computer and memory seats.
Body and power train are 25% stiffer assuring rigidity when driving, and the new CATS system (Computer Active Technology Suspension) is designed to keep you on the road.
The Jaguar XK8 is a bit of a bargain in today’s used car market and it’s safe to say you would get a whole lot of car for your money.
If you want looks, refinement, power and performance at the right price, then a Jaguar XK8 is the car for you.
Body work on the Jaguar XK8 is normally solid but paint lacquer is prone to peeling, so check every panel for signs of this. The only real solution is a costly respray so bear this in mind. Lower down the body check the sills for rust in the joint directly below the door handle; this can crack due to body flex. Look out for cracks in the headlights as these are expensive to replace. Rust can also be found under the plastic splash guards around wheel arches so check thoroughly.
Early XK8 engines were known to fail, partly due to the Nikasil liners being exposed to high sulphur fuels. The tell-tale signs were noticeable performance drop and starting problems, with cars that only did short journeys more susceptible. This resulted in many of the engines being replaced with steel lined replacements – these will have a plate on the crank case saying ‘Genuine Jaguar Exchange Product’.
Upper chain tensioners are prone to failure as these are plastic, but they can be replaced for steel ones. If the car’s history does not show replacement tensioners in the documentation then it would be beneficial to get them replaced. One-piece water pumps should be replaced by two piece versions as the former can fail resulting in a broken engine.
Interiors are hard-wearing with driver bolsters typically the only sign of use. Check all the electrics are operating correctly and make sure windows seal properly when closed.
Jaguar’s iconic mascot, known as ‘the leaper’, was bonnet furniture on earlier Jags but due to European safety laws has been omitted from newer models.
Mark Wilkinson, Managing Director Says:
“Cars of the 90s are now becoming potential classics, especially popular models from prestigious manufacturers. The Jaguar XK8 is undoubtedly one such example of a classic car of the future.”