Jaguar XJ (XJ40)

Built between: 1986-1994, number sold: 208,000, cool cat rating: 3/5

Connceived amid the corporate turmoil and mismanagement of British Leyland ownership, this XJ had a difficult and protracted development. It was known internally as the XJ40; the codename stuck and has been used ever since.

The car was first proposed in the mid-Seventies, but it wasn’t until after the 1984 privatisation of Jaguar that a production version appeared. Launched in 1986, it featured 2.9 and 3.6-litre versions of the XJS’s straight-six AJ6 engine.

Some purists felt the shape was too boxy, yet the styling was intended to give a more contemporary look. Entry-level models featured round headlamps, while upmarket Sovereigns had big rectangular lights. New Jaguar boss Sir John Egan also instigated a quality drive to make sure the XJ40 didn’t suffer the reliability woes which had blighted British Leyland Jaguars. At the time the new saloon won praise for being faster and sharper-handling than its predecessor.

Through its life several versions of the XJ40 were introduced: the 3.6 XJR, tuned by Jaguar’s late-Eighties motorsport partner TWR, and the super-smooth 6.0-litre V12 were real highlights.

Stretched-wheelbase variants became the default choice of British politicians and captains of industry. And by the time production stopped in 1994, over 208,000 examples had been sold. Now, the saloon that helped secure the firm’s financial survival is an affordable way into classic Jaguar ownership.

Details

WHY: Saloon played a key role in re-establishing the marque.

Most Popular

Land Rover unveils limited-run Defender Trophy Edition
Land Rover unveils limited-run Defender Trophy Edition - front
Land Rover Defender

Land Rover unveils limited-run Defender Trophy Edition

Just 220 examples will be built to honour past Camel Trophy Land Rovers, all of which have been reserved for the North American market
30 Jul 2021
New 2021 Volkswagen Taigo coupe-SUV breaks cover
Volkswagen Taigo R-Line - front
Volkswagen Taigo

New 2021 Volkswagen Taigo coupe-SUV breaks cover

The new VW Taigo is a sportier, more aggressive looking version of the brand’s T-Cross and is aimed at lifestyle buyers
29 Jul 2021
New 2021 Kia EV6 boasts up to 328 miles of range
Kia EV6 - front
Kia EV6

New 2021 Kia EV6 boasts up to 328 miles of range

Kia reveals more specs for its bespoke electric car, with the EV6 offering long range and an 18-minute 80 per cent rapid recharge time
21 Jul 2021