The Jaguar XJ is the name of a series of full-size luxury cars sold by the British automobile brand, Jaguar Cars. The XJ line has had a long history, with the first model released in 1968. Since 1970 they have been Jaguar's flagship. The original model was the last Jaguar saloon to have had the input of Sir William Lyons, the company's founder, and the model has been featured in countless media and high-profile appearances.
The Jaguar XJ (X300) is a luxury sedan manufactured by Jaguar Cars between 1994 and 1997. It was the first XJ produced entirely under Ford ownership, and can be considered an evolution of the outgoing XJ40 generation. Like all previous XJ generations, it features the Jaguar independent rear suspension arrangement. The design of the X300 placed emphasis on improved build quality, improved reliability, and a return to traditional Jaguar styling elements.
At the car's launch in October 1994 at the Paris Motor Show, Jaguar marketing material made use of the phrase "New Series XJ" to describe the X300 models. The X300 series represented the result of a £200 million facilities renewal program by Ford. The program introduced state-of-the-art automated body welding robots manufactured by Nissan, and was intended to show the future direction of the British auto industry.
The X300 was latterly available in both short- and long-wheelbase body styles and in various trim levels. Some markets had a limited selection of X300 models or features. For example, the North American XJ6 was only available with the 4.0 L engine, and all cars sold there were equipped with alloy wheels, a leather interior, and air conditioning. North America did not receive the Sovereign, Sport, Executive, or Century models, nor was a manual transmission offered.
The XJR was introduced as a high-performance sport model, and it was Jaguar's first-ever supercharged road car (and only the second Jaguar road car to use forced induction, after the turbocharged Jaguar XJ220.) The output of the six-cylinder AJ16 engine was increased to 326 bhp (243 kW; 331 PS) and 378 lbft (512 Nm) with the use of an Eaton M90 supercharger and an air-water intercooler. The 0 to 60 mph (0 to 97 km/h) time was generally around the 5.7 to 6.4 second mark. The XJR was fitted with larger 17" wheels, compared to 16" on the rest of the range, along Pirelli P-Zero tyres, firmer suspension and a taller 3.27:1 differential. Although the Getrag manual gearbox was standard, almost all XJRs were built with the optional GM 4L80-E automatic gearbox. Cosmetically, the XJR differed from the standard cars with a body-coloured grille surround, mesh grille insert, body-coloured boot-lid plinth, larger exhaust outlets, special five-spoke "Sport" alloy wheels, and "XJR" badging. Rain gutters and window surrounds were matte black, except on North American models where they were polished stainless steel. This generation of the XJR model carries the code name "X306". It is also sometimes referred to as the "XJR6" to differentiate it from the later V8-engined X308 XJR.
The Jaguar XJ (X308) is a luxury saloon manufactured and sold by Jaguar Cars between 1997 and 2003. It is an evolution of the outgoing X300 platform, and the exterior styling is nearly identical between the two generations. The major change was the introduction of Jaguar's AJ-V8 as the only available engine. Like all previous XJ generations, it features the Jaguar independent rear suspension arrangement.
The X308 kept much of the same exterior styling as its predecessor, carrying its rounded four-headlamp bonnet, low roofline, sloping tail, and wrap-around rear light clusters. From the front, the two generations can be differentiated by the shape of the indicator lenses (rectangular on the X300, oval on the X308), and also by the shape of the fog lamps and lower valance air intake (both of which are more rounded on the X308). The front and rear bumpers were both changed along with the taillights which had red/clear lenses rather than red/grey lenses. The grill surround and badging was slightly changed. The headlight fixtures also included forward parking lights housed with the brights, new to X308.
The instrument binnacle of the XJ40 and X300 was replaced on the X308 with three large, separate gauges set into recesses in the curved dashboard. Door trim and the design of the center console were also slightly revised.
Having discontinued production of both the AJ16 inline-six and V12 engines, Jaguar offered only its newly designed V8 engine (named the AJ-V8.) It was available in either 3.2 L or 4.0 L form, although certain markets (such as the United States) only received cars powered by the 4.0 L version. The 4.0 L version was also supercharged in certain models.
The XJR is powered by the supercharged version of the 4.0 L V8. It is also equipped with sport suspension, wider wheels and tires, and matte-black exterior window trim (except in the US market, where the XJR was given chrome window frames and rain gutters.) Like the Sport model, the XJR has a body-coloured radiator grille surround, but with a stainless-steel mesh insert rather than the normal vanes. Other exterior touches include the "XJR" rear badging and larger exhaust outlets.
Available on late XJR models was an "R1" performance option. This included 18" BBS wheels, larger Brembo brakes with cross-drilled rotors, and re-tuned suspension.
The XJR was capable of reaching 60 mph (97 km/h) from a standstill in 5 seconds, with an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph (249 km/h).