Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Original Jaguar XJR

Up until this weekend, I had assumed that the supercharged Jaguar XJR introduced in the mid-1990s was the first XJR. But while looking at some old British clips of cars on Youtube, I came across an XJ40 Jaguar with an "XJR" badge on the boot lid. Is this possible?

Apparently so. In the late 1980s, the good people at Jaguar and Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR) formed Jaguarsport. Stock XJ saloons were shipped to TWR for a sporting treatment. The 1988 XJRs had the same stock 3.6 liter engine, but had a body kit (complete with rear spoiler), a limited slip diff, firmer springers, Bilstein dampers, 16" wheels, thicker anti-roll bars, and a Momo steering wheel.

In 1990, a tweaked 4 liter engine was used in the XJRs. This was then replaced by the Series II, which had the rectangular headlights. Between 1988 and 1994, 500 were built. 200 had the round headlights. 300 had the angular ones. With almost all of them sold in Britain, rust and abysmal reliability meant that the vast majority of these XJRs are in Jag heaven now.

Thanks to the Jaguarsport XJR website for the technical information.


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