XJ-S

From 1975 to 1996

The Jaguar sports model born out of the XJ saloon, a car with a shaky start that turned out to be a car of star quality.

Jaguar had committed to a one-model saloon policy with the XJ6 in 1968 but with the demise of the E-type in 1974 they needed a new sporting model and with the help of aerodynamicist Malcolm Sayer a striking new aerodynamic design came about. Most unusual in that buttresses were formed from the back of the roof down to each rear wing, part of the aerodynamic process of the design making the model the most aerodynamic design Jaguar had ever produced. 

Using the floorpan from the short wheelbase XJ, the 2+2 seater car was pitched as the top of the range model, only available with the 5.3 litre V12 engine, with all leather upholstery, air conditioning and initially a choice of manual or automatic transmission. 

The car was not initially a great success as it was so ‘different’ to anything Jaguar had produced before. gone were the usual Jaguar traits of wood veneer and lots of chrome. Nevertheless the car was a genuine grand tourer, very quick and refined, but suffered from poor build quality during the British Leyland era. 

By 1980 Jaguar had to address the quality issues and the poor fuel consumption from the engine, so the HE (high efficiency) model was announced in 1981. Using a May designed cylinder head arrangement helped the fuel economy, and with the addition of some wood veneer, the simple addition of a swage line pinstripe, and improved build quality, the XJ-S entered a new phase with increased sales. 

In 1983 the XJ-S range was expanded with a new Jaguar engine, the AJ6 3.6 litre multi-valve unit, intended eventually to replace the then ageing XK twin cam unit in the saloons. Just as the XK and V12 engines were first launched in sporting models, so it was with the AJ6 engine. Along with the fitting of a Getrag 5-speed manual transmission, the ‘new’ XJ-S was trimmed slightly differently to create a lower price point than the V12 model. 

Jaguar had originally considered that a convertible model might be possible, but the idea was abandoned, until 1983 when due to pressure from the valued North American market, they teamed up with the Tickford Coachworks to produce a special Cabriolet model with a manual fold down rear hood arrangement and removable targa panels over the driver and front seat passenger. First launched with the 3.6 litre engine, it later became available with the V12 engine as well, but was always built in small numbers as an interim to Jaguar producing a fully fledged convertible. 

By 1986 Jaguar finally introduced a two-seater convertible XJ-S, then only with the V12 engine and quite an advanced design. with a fully retractable electric hood. A first for any convertible it had a glass heated rear screen, the hood was lined and only the best materials were used on the interior as this was the ultimate top of the range XJ-S model. 

Jaguar struck a deal with Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR) who raced XJ-Ss in the 1970s, to set up a joint company called JaguarSport to produce modified XJ-Ss to be sold through the dealer network. Theses XJR-S customers were offered a range of styling, trim and tune changes, including enlarged 6.0 litre engines.

By 1990 the 3.6 litre engine was increased to 4.0 litre capacity with a new automatic transmission. In 1991 Jaguar finally restyled the XJ-S with a more curvaceous style to the rear, a galvanised body and a new interior with analogue instrumentation. The ‘new’ models were now renamed XJS (eliminating the - from the old title). By 1992 the 4.0 litre engine found its way into the convertible and all convertibles got +2 seating in the rear. Also that year the last of the XJR-Ss were produced. 

In 1993 Jaguar introduced a 6.0 litre version of the V12 engine in the XJS and new style colour coded plastic bumper bars were fitted to all cars. The models continued in production with the last 4.0 litre cars known as Celebration models, the final cars leaving the assembly line in 1996 after a twenty one year production period.

Model Summary

Model Type:

XJ-S

Production Dates:

1975 - 1996

Engine Range:

5.3 Litre pre-HE

5.3 Litre HE

6.0 Litre

3.6 Litre

4.0 Litre

0 - 60 mph:

5.3 Litre pre-HE - 6.9 seconds

5.3 Litre HE - 6.5 seconds

6.0 Litre - 6.6 seconds

3.6 Litre - 7.2 seconds

4.0 Litre - 7.4 seconds

Top Speed:

5.3 Litre pre-HE - 153 mph

5.3 Litre HE - 150 mph

6.0 Litre - 161 mph

3.6 Litre - 137 mph

4.0 Litre - 137 mph

XJ-S Technical Specifications

Technical Information

Engine Statistics

 5.3 Litre pre-HE
Engine (cc)5343
Bore and Stroke (mm)90 x 70
Compression Ratio9:1
BHP285
@ RPM5800
Torque (lb ft)294
@ RPM3500
FuellingFuel-injection
 5.3 Litre HE
Engine (cc)5343
Bore and Stroke (mm)90 x 70
Compression Ratio11.5:1
BHP299
@ RPM5800
Torque (lb ft)318
@ RPM3000
FuellingFuel-injection
 6.0 Litre
Engine (cc)5993
Bore and Stroke (mm)90 x 78.5
Compression Ratio11.1
BHP308
@ RPM5350
Torque (lb ft)355
@ RPM2850
FuellingFuel-injection
 3.6 Litre
Engine (cc)3590
Bore and Stroke (mm)91 x 92
Compression Ratio9.6:1
BHP221
@ RPM5100
Torque (lb ft)249
@ RPM4000
FuellingFuel-injection
 4.0 Litre
Engine (cc)3980
Bore and Stroke (mm)91 x 102
Compression Ratio9.5:1
BHP223
@ RPM4750
Torque (lb ft)278
@ RPM3650
FuellingFuel-Injection

Engine Performance

 5.3 Litre pre-HE
Top Speed153 mph
0 - 60 mph6.9 seconds
Fuel Consumption12.8 mpg
 5.3 Litre HE
Top Speed150 mph
0 - 60 mph6.5 seconds
Fuel Consumption17.9 mpg
 6.0 Litre
Top Speed161 mph
0 - 60 mph6.6 seconds
Fuel Consumption17.6 mpg
 3.6 Litre
Top Speed137 mph
0 - 60 mph7.2 seconds
Fuel Consumption25 mpg
 4.0 Litre
Top Speed137 mph
0 - 60 mph7.4 seconds
Fuel Consumption26 mpg

Model Specifications

 5.3 Litre pre-HE
TransmissionGM 3-speed 4-speed (all synchro) limited
Wheel Size (in)15, alloy
Suspension (Front)Ind wishbones, coils, anti-drive
Suspension (Rear)Ind lower wishbone, upper drivelink, , radius arms, coil springs
Brakes4-wheel disc, rear inboard
 5.3 Litre HE
Transmission4-speed (all synchro) limtied
Wheel Size (in)15, alloy
Suspension (Front)Ind wishbone, coils, anti-drive
Suspension (Rear)Ind lower wishbone, upper drivelink, radius arms, coil springs
Brakes4-wheel disc, rear inboard
 6.0 Litre
TransmissionGM 3-speed auto
Wheel Size (in)15, alloy
Suspension (Front)Ind wishbone, coils, anti-drive
Suspension (Rear)Ind lower wishbone, upper drivelink, radius arms, coil springs
Brakes4-wheel disc, rear inboard
 3.6 Litre
TransmissionFuel-Injection
Wheel Size (in)15, alloy
Suspension (Front)Ind wishbone, coils, anti-drive
Suspension (Rear)Ind lower wishbone, upper drivelink, radius arms, coil springs
Brakes4-wheel disc, rear inboard
 4.0 Litre
Transmission5-speed (all synchro) ZF 4-speed auto
Wheel Size (in)15, alloy
Suspension (Front)Ind wishbone, coils, anti-drive
Suspension (Rear)Ind lower wishbone, upper drivelink, radius arms, coil springs
Brakes4-wheel disc, rear inboard

Model Dimensions

 5.3 Litre pre-HE
Length (in)191.75
Width (in)70.5
Height (in)49.6
Wheelbase (in)102
Front Track (in)58.5
Rear Track (in)58
Weight (Cwt)33.2
 5.3 Litre HE
Length (in)191.75
Width (in)70.5
Height (in)50.4
Wheelbase (in)102
Front Track (in)58.5
Rear Track (in)58
Weight (Cwt)35
 6.0 Litre
Length (in)189.75
Width (in)70.5
Height (in)48.8
Wheelbase (in)102
Front Track (in)58.5
Rear Track (in)58
Weight (Cwt)36.6
 3.6 Litre
Length (in)191.75
Width (in)70.5
Height (in)50.4
Wheelbase (in)102
Front Track (in)58.5
Rear Track (in)58
Weight (Cwt)32
 4.0 Litre
Length (in)191.75
Width (in)70.5
Height (in)49.2
Wheelbase (in)102
Front Track (in)58.5
Rear Track (in)58
Weight (Cwt)32

Optional Extras

  • Pre-HE models
  • Fog/spot light
  • Manual four-speed all synchromesh gearbox
  • Fog/spot lights mounted underneath front bumper bar
  • Rear seat belts
  • Sundym tinted glass
  • Radio/cassette or cartridge system
  • Passenger-side door mirror
  • Mud flaps
  • US four headlights with trim and surrounds
  • Cloth upholstery
  • Whitewall tryes
  • HE, V12 & 3.6 Litre coupes up to 1991
  • As above plus
  • Automatic transmissions (alternative to auto on 3.6-litre engines)
  • Enhanced radio/cassette system
  • Lattice wheels of two sizes (dependent on model)
  • Starfish alloys (where not equipped)
  • Kent alloy wheels
  • Cruise control
  • Onboard computre
  • Tailored overmats
  • Headlight wash/wipe system
  • Integrated hi-fi system with CD player
  • Leather upholstery where cloth
  • fitted as standard
  • Boot rack with specialist fittings for skis, etc
  • Wood veneer gear knob
  • Cabriolets
  • As above plus
  • Hood envelope to store hood when off the car
  • Glass fibre/fabric-covered hardtop with built-in glass screen and heating element
  • Wind deflector to fit on screen rail above rear-view mirror
  • Post-1991 cars
  • Side body mouldings painted to body colour
  • Black rubber/chrome side body mouldings incorporated Jaguar logo
  • Enhanced radio/cassette system
  • Cruise control
  • Onboard computer
  • Tailored overmats
  • Headlight wash/wipe system
  • Integrated hi-fi system with CD player
  • Leather upholstery where cloth fitted as standard
  • Boot rack with specialist fittings for skis, etc
  • Wood veneer gear knob
  • Sheepskin over-rugs
  • Child's safety seat
  • Child's booster cushion
  • First-aid kit for boot area
  • Spacer-saver spare wheel
  • Fire extinguisher for boot area
  • Jaguar warning triangle
  • Headlamp converters
  • Headlamp safety covers
  • Roof box (coupes only)
  • Mobile telephone kits
  • Sports suspension option (where not standard)
  • Lattice wheels (two sizes)
  • Five-spoke wheels (alloy or chrome)
  • JaguarSport Speedline wheels
  • Diamond-turned wheels
  • 20-spoke wheels

Chassis Numbers

ModelDriver SideChassis No. CommencedNumber made
Jaguar XJ-S (Pre HE)RHD2W10011526
Jaguar XJ-S (Pre HE)LHD2W50001inc in RHD
Jaguar XJS HE onwards, Chassis numbers replaced with VIN numbers.

XJ-S Events

Header Image

The Jaguar Enthusiast' Club visit Hull in September.  For the first time, alongside a car show, we have a series of seminars on a range of topics including parts advice from SNG Barratt, oils from Millers Oils plus Jaguar memorabil...

The Jaguar Enthusiast' Club visit Hull in September.  For the first time, alongside a car show, we have a series of seminars on a r...

Mark Russell And Mark Gordon Cg

A day of classic racing at one of the best circuits in the UK. Join hundreds of car clubs and displays as well as get up close to racing legends.

A day of classic racing at one of the best circuits in the UK. Join hundreds of car clubs and displays as well as get up close to racing legends.

Club News

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Silverstone Classic 2017 was a real Jaguar experience this year. Over 400 Jaguars turned out to display on the Copse Banking area, a record number of XJ220's on track and the Jaguar Challenge made its first appearance at the event....

Silverstone Classic 2017 was a real Jaguar experience this year. Over 400 Jaguars turned out to display on the Copse Banking area, a record number ...

Cadwell Park Adam Powderham Pursues The Mid Field Pack

This 2.2 mile Parkland circuit is wonderful when dry but in the wet, with a grid full of Jaguars? A totally different story. Arriving on Friday for free practice, it was pouring & extremely slippery.

This 2.2 mile Parkland circuit is wonderful when dry but in the wet, with a grid full of Jaguars? A totally different story. Arriving on Friday for free practice, it was pouring & extremely slippery.

Xj S Model Jec
Xj S 5 Model Jec

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