Born in 1975 and based on the XJ platform, the XJS is still a very desirable car today and has seen its popularity and prices climb up in the past 5 to 7 years. The design is the work of the Jaguar team but was initially started by Malcolm Sayer to whom we owe the C, D and E-Types. No comments then about the designer’s ability to create pure elegance…
Being a proper grand tourer, the XJS is big, heavy, luxurious and really comfortable for your long journeys. But most importantly, it features a very smooth V12 initially paired with a 5-speed manual gearbox and later abandoned to the profit of the ZF automatic 4 speed which was a better match for the torquey 5.3L V12. Performance-wise, it was in line with other GTs of its era and could achieve over 140mph. 0 to 60 figures are in my opinion rather irrelevant for grand tourers. let’s just say it is plenty enough for this type of car.
Being the E-Type successor, needless to say, that the XJS had a lot to prove, first with the design. The XJS is a pretty car but did receive some criticism for not being up to the standards of the E-Type. However, as of today, the car is widely considered to be a proper classic with its spoke wheels, long hood and proper luxurious interior.
From its first release in 1975, the XJS received well-acclaimed updates such as the HE engine in 1981 taking the V12 power to 295hp and the new(ish) 3.6L straight 6 with improved consumption and finally the XJS-C version which was a 2 seater Targa type convertible that did not encounter the expected success. For its final update (81-91), the L6 was upgraded to 4.0L while the V12 was now available as a 6.0L as well as the original 5.3L. Each model had its pros and cons, and it comes down to the future owner to properly research on the specific model they are targeting.
During its lifespan, there were over 115,000 XJS produced until 1996 where it was replaced by the XK8. Now is your chance to still grab a decent model as prices start around £5K for one with a bit of work required. Also, make sure you look out for rust around the arches and chassis as they tend to be subject to that illness.
You will also see some good ones for £20K upwards and much more for some racing editions. The sweet spot is in my opinion around £10-15K and will get you a well optioned model with history and relatively low mileage. Though beware of hidden costs that could climb up quickly, and those engines are not the easiest to work on so my advice would be to set aside an “in case” money pot.