Jaguar XJR

Supercharged Jag flagship gets a mid-life refresh

Evo rating
Price
from £60,252
  • It’s still really good to drive
  • Image still painfully middle-aged

The styling of the XJ probably hasn’t helped its sales. Considering it was Jaguar’s first all-aluminium production car at launch four years ago, the design hardly shouted ‘progress’. In fact, it looked so like the out-going model that, in front of a number of Jaguar big-wigs, photographer Kenny P peered through his lens and asked ‘what am I shooting, mate; what’s changed?’ Apparently US customers had told Jaguar they loved the XJ as it was, but that was before they saw Mr Bangle’s 7-series and the new S-class.

At cash-strapped Jaguar, changing swathes of panels to make the XJ look more modern was not an option. This mid-life refresh does bring the neat front wing vent, as seen on the XK coupe, and heavy revision of non-metal parts like bumpers and sill extensions. Heavy is the word, too, the front bumper especially looking a bit clumsy, though the particular XJR we tested looked more appealing with its 19in five-spoke wheels and black paint. New seats give up more space front and rear and there are advances in in-car communications that should be useful to the suited set. The ‘wood’ trim looked very middle-aged, however.

Subscribe to evo magazine

evo is 21 and to celebrate, we're returning to 1998 prices! Subscribe now to SAVE 39% on the shop price and get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £25!

What is truly galling about the XJ is that dynamically it is a very fine car, with a perfectly judged ride for UK roads, crisp responses and exceptional poise – much of this due to its lightweight aluminium construction. It also has a superb drivetrain, the supercharged V8 giving up its power smoothly and enthusiastically while the six-speed automatic gearbox manages up- and down-shifts swiftly and sweetly. There isn’t another luxury saloon that’s so impressive from behind the wheel. If only it looked that good.

Specifications

EngineV8, 4196cc, supercharged
Max power400bhp @ 6100rpm
Max torque408lb ft @ 3500rpm
0-605.0sec (claimed)
Top speed155mph (limited)
On saleNow
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/ford/focus-hatchback/202030/2019-ford-focus-ecoboost-review-a-family-favourite-past-its-prime
Ford Focus Hatchback

2019 Ford Focus EcoBoost review

Some might suggest the UK is falling out of love with family hatchbacks, but the Focus EcoBoost is a good reminder of why it remains a compelling pack…
9 Dec 2019
Visit/mercedes/18211/mercedes-amg-one-hypercar-shown-in-new-teaser-video
Mercedes

Mercedes-AMG One hypercar shown in new teaser video 

AMG’s F1-powered ultimate hypercar has been shown on track in a new clip
6 Dec 2019
Visit/buying-advice/19675/used-car-deals-of-the-week
used cars

Best used cars for sale this week

We’ve delved into the classifieds and chosen our favourite cars for sale this week
5 Dec 2019
Visit/features/22907/hyundai-i30-fastback-n-versus-the-col-de-turini
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Col de Turini

We take the Hyundai i30 Fastback N up the Col de Turini, a 31km stage of the Monte Carlo World Rally Championship
19 Jul 2019