Jaguar XJR
Jaguar XJR

Now’s the time to buy Jag’s supercharged four-door before they become expensive.

Sam Dawson

The elegant ‘X300’-shape XJR is on the edge of classic status, with mint examples being sold by modern-classic specialists for more than £10k. Non-classic-minded owners are offloading 326bhp monsters for banger money, though – and there’s the spectre of the huge bills any 20-year-old luxury performance car can spring on an unsuspecting owner keeping values low. But one thing’s for certain – a good one will be a very smart buy.

For buying tips, we spoke to Jaguar specialist David Marks (davidmarksgarages.co.uk, 0115 982 2808); Andy Stodart, former Jaguar engineer who helped devise the car, and Kevin Barrett at Jagutek (jagutek. co.uk, 01353 667 147), a Jaguar apprentice turned repairer/restorer who specialises in AJ-series engines.

Which is which?

X306 XJR Jaguar took the task of creating a high performance version of the XJ6 very seriously when replacing the XJ40 with the new X300-series in 1994. In addition to body-colour plastic displacing chrome; a mesh grille and 18 in alloy wheels, the new 4.0-litre XJR had an Eaton supercharger similar to the one fitted to the 3.2-litre version of the same AJ16 engine in the Aston Martin DB7, and produced 326bhp. Both Getrag manuals and GM automatics were available, although only 102 UK buyers opted for the former.

X308 XJR In 1998 all XJ models got the new AJV8 engine, with the XJR’s being a 4.0-litre, supercharged 370bhp version. The manual transmission option was dropped, and all XJRs used a Mercedes-Benz automatic. Optional ‘R1’ handling pack added 18in BBS wheels, cross-drilled Brembo brakes and stiffer suspension. Production continued until 2003 when the X300 was replaced with the all-aluminium X350.

XJR100 Celebrating what would have been Sir William Lyons’ 100th birthday, this was only available for the 2001 model year. It featured black paint, black leather interior with contrasting red stitching and dark-stained wood veneers, plus a restyled steering wheel. The R1 performance pack was standard, but even larger wheels were fitted – 19in BBS Montreals.

Daimler Super V8 Jaguar’s ultimate Q-car – the XJR in chrome-trimmed, softer-riding, long-wheelbase form.

Available from 2001-03 on special order, it’s more numerous than the XJR100. In the US, the Super V8 was called the Jaguar Vanden Plas Supercharged.

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December 2017