Rare Rides: The 1993 Jaguar XJS, Which Is Actually an XJR… S

rare rides the 1993 jaguar xjs which is actually an xjr 8230 s

To celebrate the launch of a brand new model, the people at Jaguar massaged one of their longest-lived models into a special edition.

It’s the XJR you’ve never heard of.

Contrary to what one might assume (I know I did), the first R-branded Jaguar was not the XJR sedan, which debuted in 1994 on the X308 model. The XJR-S started out all the way back in 1988. Jaguar and TWR each owned 50 percent of the new company that built the coupes: JaguarSport. The first XJR-S models had the 5.3-liter H.E. (High Efficiency) V12 engine, which was not all that great. Jaguar swapped the engine for the 6.0-liter V12 in 1989.

That massive six-liter is found under hood here, as well. With a different engine management system, the XJR-S had an increased top speed: 158 miles per hour.

The XJR-S had one final year of availability in 1993, with one final special version sold only in the United States. Jaguar launched its new XJ220 supercar to much fanfare in 1992, prompting the boys in Coventry to create 100 special XJR-S examples.

Just 44 were painted in this Signal Red color, and of those, 22 were convertibles. All XJR-S models had a special body kit and unique wheel design, as well as blacked-out sport bumpers front and rear. Note the grille, devoid of chrome.

Befitting the grand touring luxury image, all XJR-S models had automatic transmissions (four speeds!), and all the walnut veneer the forest could muster.

Dashboards in late XJS models are an assortment of new and old; switches and gauges glued in wherever free space was found. Visible here is the JaguarSport special chromed sill.

This one has been well-maintained, and is still in pristine condition.

Though this was the last XJR-S you could purchase, the standard XJS would soldier on until 1996. For 1997, the XJS bowed out to the XK8, and turned over the Jaguar coupe reins it had held since 1975. For sale in Arizona, this pristine XJR-S is asking $29,900, and has more vintage character than just about any car on sale in 1993.

[Images via seller]

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  • SPPPP SPPPP on Jan 03, 2018

    I think a lot of us have heard of it. (Check this website's demographic projections again!)

  • Unimoged Unimoged on Jun 01, 2018

    I cringe when I see the V12. I worked on these cars to pay my way through college. To be exact, the late 70's V12 pre Michael May fireball combustion chamber design that was crafted on these old beasts to improve mileage resulting with the XJS-HE. High Efficiency in relative terms or 9 MPG vs. 13 MPG, Wow. These V12 engines cannot tolerate heat. They drop valve seats at the whiff of coolant temp of 210 F. The timing chain can shear off the cam sprockets and pull them down ripping to shreds the front of the engine and colliding 24 valves with 12 pistons. What a mayhem. The V12 is inherently in-efficient due to frictional losses and heat and a crankshaft that tries to move 12 skinny pistons and 4 ft long camshafts that twist and turn in their aluminum journals. Talking about heat, why would any designer in their right mind put the ignition module in the center of the V to bake at 350 degrees, what's wrong with placing it on the firewall or the side where the beautiful blue and pink relays are kept. I own 4 XJS's . A 1993 FHC and 3 convertibles 94 / 95 / 96. All have the straight six. 2 with AJ6 and 2 AJ16. Simple, straight forward low maintenance engines that can run forever and will tolerate heat, especially since the I-6 have the mechanical cooling fan, with a belt off the crank pulley, running the fan - what a life savior. On the other hand, a V12 owner will sit with sweaty palms watching the temp gauge in traffic and praying to Lucas or Mirelli to work their electric magic and have the temp sensor recognize the pending catastrophe and command a 5 dollar Lucas relay to fire up 2 wheezing electric fans that don't work half of the time. If Jaguar knew what they were doing, they would have offered a 1995 and 1996 XJR-S with the supercharged straight six, available in the same period XJR sedan. That engine would out perform that V12 any day of the week and it will kill it on a hot summer day. That would have been the grand finale for this tortured and polarizing vehicle that the market despised at the beginning and fell in love with it at the end. I guess i will have to build me a real XJR-S. Where the R stands for supeR-charged AJ16.

  • Kurkosdr Someone should tell the Alfa Romeo people that they are a badge owned by a French company now.The main reason PSA bought FiatChrysler is that PSA has the technology to enter the luxury market but customers don't want a French luxury car for psychological/mindshare reasons. FiatChrysler has the opposite problem: they have lots of still-respected brands but not always the technology to make good cars. Not to say that if FCA has a good platform, it won't be used in a PSA car.In other words, if those Alfa Romeo buds think that they will remain a silo with their own bespoke platforms and exclusive sheet metal, they are in for a shock. This is just the start.
  • Arthur Dailey For the Hornet less expensive interior materials/finishings, decontent just a little, build it in North America and sell it for less and everyone should be happy with both the Dodge and the Alfa.
  • Bunkie I so wanted to love this car back in the day. At the time I owned a GT6+ and I was looking for something more modern. But, as they say, this car had *issues*. The first of which was the very high price premium for the V8. It was a several thousand dollar premium over the TR-7. The second was the absolutely awful fuel economy. That put me off the car and I bought a new RX-7 which, despite the thirsty rotary, still got better mileage and didn’t require premium fuel. I guess I wasn’t the only one who had this reaction because, two years later, I test-drove a leftover that had a $2,000 price cut. I don’t remember being impressed, the RX-7 had spoiled me with how easy it was to own. The TR-8 didn’t feel quick to me and it felt heavy. The first-gen RX was more in line with the idea of a light car that punched above its weight. I parted ways with both the GT6+ and the RX7 and, to this day, I miss them both.
  • Fred Where you going to build it? Even in Texas near Cat Springs they wanted to put up a country club for sport cars. People complained, mostly rich people who had weekend hobby farms. They said the noise would scare their cows. So they ended up in Dickinson, where they were more eager for development of any kind.
  • MaintenanceCosts I like the styling of this car inside and out, but not any of the powertrains. Give it the 4xe powertrain - or, better yet, a version of that powertrain with the 6-cylinder Hurricane - and I'd be very interested.