Sunday, December 21, 2014

5k: 12-Cylinders, 9-Lives: 1988 Jaguar XJS V12

We've featured enough Chevy V8 powered Jaguars around here that you might get the impression that we don't like Jaguar power plants, but I can assure you that nothing could be farther from the truth.  Who doesn't love a big bore inline-6 or the melodious burble of a fuel injected V12.  However, if you want to experience Jaguar power you need to be prepared for some interesting and costly maintenance items.  Find this 1988 Jaguar XJS V12 here on craigslist offered for $6,000 in Wilbraham, MA. Tip from Jdah.

Ask any 80s Jaguar owner and they won't tell you the maintenance costs are anything like owning a Ferrari, but it also isn't like driving a Ford.  Somewhere between Italian and American reliability lives Britain's greatest grand tourer from the 1980s.  Pro tip: Pickup a low mile, well maintained example and say away from anything that has sat for a long time or is held together with zip ties.

This big cat is powered by a 5.3 liter version of Jaguar's high efficiency (HE) V12 and is rated at 262 horsepower and 290 ft-lbs of torque for the US market.   The porky XJS tips the scales at just over 4000 lbs and was passed 60mph in about 7.7 seconds despite its big V12 engine.

See another V12 powered grand tourer for less?


  1. As someone that used to work at a Jaguar dealership and has always loved their body styles, I'm afraid I certainly do hate that engine. I don't know a single mechanic from that dealership that would say anything good about it, not a single word. I mentioned this on another Jag, but the dealership itself actually offered Chevy swaps for customers of brand new vehicles. That being said, this is just a beautiful car. I always thought that the hard top XJS had something special about it.

  2. I guess we can pretty well guarantee that the license plate didn't get damaged on the parking curb at a Pep Boys....

  3. From the KWE website: Cars can be converted to 5 speed manual transmission (clutch, gearbox, propeller shaft, differential, pedal box, console modifications) – circa £8000 ($13,000!) Would a 350 swap make a 5-speed swap easier?

  4. I am a gear-head like most of my brethren on DT. I have challenged myself with SBC rebuilds to Audi timing belts, BMW VANOS, and Ducati engine rebuilds.

    I would love to own a XJS. I admire the class and styling, but I just can't comprehend the engine. I am afraid of it!


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