By on January 2, 2018

Image: 1993 Jaguar XJR-STo 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.

Image: 1993 Jaguar XJR-SContrary 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.

Image: 1993 Jaguar XJR-SThat 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.

Image: 1993 Jaguar XJR-SThe 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.

Image: 1993 Jaguar XJR-SJust 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.

Image: 1993 Jaguar XJR-SBefitting the grand touring luxury image, all XJR-S models had automatic transmissions (four speeds!), and all the walnut veneer the forest could muster.

Image: 1993 Jaguar XJR-SDashboards 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.

Image: 1993 Jaguar XJR-SThis one has been well-maintained, and is still in pristine condition.

Image: 1993 Jaguar XJR-SThough 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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25 Comments on “Rare Rides: The 1993 Jaguar XJS, Which Is Actually an XJR… S...”

  • avatar

    Am I the only one that misses the “old Jaguar,” with all the stupid crap that went along with it?

    • 0 avatar

      Not at all. I especially loved the last Ford-era XJ. Not because Ford had a hand in it, necessarily, but because it LOOKED like a Jag, inside and out. Beautiful machine.

      There’s no denying that the new ones are good, and if they were badged as something else, they’d be more comfortable in their own skin. They just don’t look like a Jag.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        Ford corporate didn’t have much of a hand in the X350 / X358, other than that they owned Jaguar at the time…and a couple of Ford-sourced powertrains not sold in the US. But I concur; it was a last hurrah for classic English styling. I might buy one soon.

    • 0 avatar
      Gurjinder Singh

      no one can challenge to Jaguar………….

  • avatar

    Heard of it, even driven it (or at least its close relative) on a test track at v-max (160 mph indicated). A red right-hand-drive coupe in my instance—good fun. The old TWR-built 6.0L was a great drive too.

  • avatar

    Very nice car. I’d prefer the coupe myself, but its beautiful.

  • avatar

    An V-12 early 90s coupe is on my “Must drive at least once” bucket list. “No one bends sheet metal like Jaguar” – Old Clarkson era Top Gear quote from one of the three.

  • avatar

    The E type is still one of my all time favorite designs, and the XK series that followed the XJ captured some of that magic. I always thought the XJ was the Jaguar ugly duckling, not as pretty/sporty looking as previous sports models and not as elegant as the Jag sedans. This one looks to be in excellent condition, but for considerably less than $30K you can get the most nice recent generation XK, which is a much nice looking and modern car and would be my preference.

  • avatar

    This body style just couldn’t handle this amount of updating. It looks like mutton dressed as lamb, kind of like a Bristol or one of the Aston Martins from the period when the company was a zombie.

    The best-looking XJSes were those from 1981-88, after the first facelift but before the final one.

    • 0 avatar

      I think this is clear thru the lifespan of this car (1976 to 96?) – if a car is old enough to get a beer. fight a war, vote then maybe its time?

      If you’re a true masochist then I suppose the carb fed manual might be a decent choice… maybe even the 6 cyl. inline model for the curios but a late model?

    • 0 avatar

      Spot-on comment, dal20402. The XJS seems to be the rare car where the first iteration is not the best looking. I do like the ’75-’81 cars as well. They’re both better looking than later versions for exactly the reasons you state.

      Here’s an interesting Harry’s Garage installment on a pre-HE car: His complaining about the three-speed auto is a bit much; he seems perturbed that it doesn’t behave like a DSG.

  • avatar
    Guitar man

    Door handles off a Marina. BL cost cutting par excellence.

  • avatar

    This was an ugly car when new, and it is still ugly.

    The only classic Jaguar I would consider is the elegant XJ6C Series II which was built between 1975 and 1978. That is an elegant car.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    Recently I was watching the Big Lebowski. The character Bunny played by Tara Reid is driving a red Jaguar XJS droptop and the camera pans to her shifting gears and pressing the clutch pedal with her sandal wearing left foot and painted toenails. The pedals did look very BL like so it could not have been some b-roll from a typical car.
    It made me wonder how many three pedal early 90’s XJS’s made it to the states?
    So I did a quick look on the Jaguar forum. There were a few manuals that made it to the states. 62 of the 1993 convertibles made it here to the states which is apparently the car in the movie.

  • avatar

    Most modern cars are basically different sizes of Prius, with a different set of dents and creases in the side. The when the creases are angled downward, it tricks most people into thinking “Ooh, sporty”.

    That said, check the proportions on this Jag.

  • avatar

    I can just feel the opulence and repair bills.

  • avatar

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

  • avatar

    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.

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