Autor Wątek: XJS Car Review (English) 2006 Porady dla Kupujacego  (Przeczytany 25105 razy)


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XJS Car Review (English) 2006 Porady dla Kupujacego
« dnia: Maj 23, 2009, 06:54:41 am »
"Here it is - the F Type!" screamed the cover blurb of one 1970s motor magazine and Jaguar enthusiasts recoiled in horror. Despite the prototype's fibreglass and black plastic 'disguise' there was no hiding the bulbous shape that was being touted as a replacement for the sexiest sports car in the world.

In reality, the two-door V12-engined XJS was never intended as a replacement for the E-Type. Its role was to provide the North American market - and anyone else who would buy them - with a car that raised a middle digit to those who prophesised the imminent death of big-engined and manifestly inefficient motor cars.

This was the era of rudimentary emission control equipment and cars sold in Australia from 1976 suffered from clumsy attempts at compliance. Automatic versions as sold unfettered in the UK would run 0-100km/h in a tad more than 7.0secs, while Australian-delivered cars were over a second slower. Fuel consumption - a significant issue even then - averaged 20L/100km.

A peer beneath the front-hinged bonnet didn't show much except for a spaghetti bolognaise of fuel injection pipes and electronics, but down in the depths was the all-alloy V12 that might have powered a late-1960s Le Mans contender had not the prototype XJ13 been comprehensively crashed.

It's easy to criticise the big Jag's appalling disregard for efficiency but that needs to be viewed in the context of its notional rivals - including the Lamborghini Espada and Ferrari 400i - that were a good deal more deficient in most departments and considerably more expensive to buy.

The XJS had a shape that aged gracefully and actually looked better at the end of its life than at the beginning. Convertibles that reached the market more than a decade after the coupe rank among the better looking open cars of the late 20th Century.

Under attack in the US for its appetite, Jaguar commissioned engineer Raymond Mays to develop 'Fireball' cylinder heads that helped improve fuel consumption and drivability. The improved model was designated HE for 'High Efficiency' and appeared here in late 1982. Fuel usage dipped to an average 17L/100km, but equally significant was a flatter torque curve that delivered 431Nm at 3000rpm - 900rpm lower than was the case with earlier engines.

Savings at the bowser were just the tip of an improvement programme that included slimmer bumpers and stylish 'starfish' wheels, an improved gearshift, better headlamps and polished walnut on the dash and door cappings. A price increase to $55,000 didn't hinder sales and HE models are today the most prolific form of XJS in the used market.

Jaguar had intended from the outset to offer the imposing XJ as a convertible, but fears of a US ban on open cars kept a soft-top version off the agenda. Even when one did arrive in 1985, it was a cabriolet with clumsy removable roof panels. Then in 1988 came the lithe and clean-lined convertible that was available here with the 5.3-litre engine until 1993.

The original V12 was then replaced by the keenly sought 6.0-litre model - cars that are already in serious demand for their potential collectability. Six-cylinder versions with 3.6 or 4.0-litres sold here in very small numbers but a few more have arrived during ensuing years as personal imports.

If you imagine that driving an XJS is like navigating the automotive equivalent of a Bollywood epic, then pleasant surprises are in store. The driving position is low and vision in every direction bar forward is marginal but the car doesn't, after a period of acclimatisation, feel anything like an object 4.9m long and 1.8 wide. Weight approaching two tonnes is apparent when accelerating from rest - the car taking 4.5secs to reach 60km/h but taking only 3.5secs more to better 100km/h.

Most cars in Australia have the smooth and immensely durable three-speed GM400 automatic transmission and you'd need to be a dedicated enthusiast or masochist to go chasing one of the scarce four-speed manual cars. Very late-model V12s were upgraded to the GM700 four-speed and some owners are switching earlier models to this transmission once the original requires reconditioning.

XJS seats look a little skimpy when compared to the plush armchairs that decorate Jaguar saloon interiors but they are supportive and offer plenty of travel. Pushed right back they leave minimal legroom for rear seat passengers, who also sit so low it's difficult to see the world as the XJS moves rapidly through it. That problem doesn't apply to the Cabriolet as it doesn't have rear seats at all.

The power steering suffers typical Jaguar waftiness and you need to generate confidence in the car's adhesive abilities before tossing it too vigorously into corners. Balance is superb - as demonstrated by Tom Walkinshaw, John Goss et al via their string of long-distance race victories including the 1984 Spa 24 Hours and 1985 Bathurst 1000 - and ride quality from well-maintained cars is exceptional.

The big, thin-rimmed wheel magnifies the amount of input required to negotiate tight turns but the steering ratio is a fairly direct 2.9 turns lock-to-lock and the turning circle a reasonable 11.3m.

Boot space is criminally limited for a car of this size but the trade-off is a 91-litre fuel tank that puts up to 700kms between fuel stops when the car is cruised conservatively. At 100km/h the engine is spinning at under 2400rpm and zipping up to 140 won't push the tachometer much past 3000rpm.

The brakes are 284mm at the front and 262mm at the rear with plenty of power assistance but excellent feel and response. Hard use in steep terrain will smoke the front pads and a car that suffers fade should have its brake fluid replaced.

"In 10-15 years time, a really good V12 XJS is going to be very hard to find and very desirable." These sage words come from no less an authority than specialist Jaguar dealer Tony Dockerty who supplied our featured XJS convertible.

"I won't deal in these cars unless they are in exceptional condition because there is just such huge potential for problems," he added. "Unless you are prepared to take a big risk the only cars somebody would want to consider are Australian-delivered, obviously well-maintained and with a comprehensive service history."

Coupes of that calibre built during the late-'70s-early-'80s are already in short supply but not extraordinarily costly. Spending $15,000 on a mid-1980s HE coupe should secure a rust-free car in mechanically sound condition and with some expectation of reliable use. Adding $7000-10,000 to that amount buys a Cabriolet in similar order but it will cost $35,000 for an excellent convertible - more if you're in the market for an ultra-low kilometre car.


In common with all Jaguars, a small amount of visible rust usually indicates horrors beneath the surface. These cars must be checked on a hoist and preferably by somebody who knows the danger signs. Rust in the firewall and windscreen pillar supports can, on its own, render a car uneconomic to repair. Make sure the bonnet sits square and the catches haven't been damaged. Vic Crennan of British Cat Components in Brisbane can supply early single piece headlamps in good condition for $500 each, while swapping to the later four-lamp setup with all new components will cost around $1400. Bumpers are equally fearsome in price - a major UK supplier charging the equivalent of $400 each for replacements rubber covers plus freight and import costs! Rear quarter glass is unobtainable except on the used market.

When working properly the V12 engine is a superb piece of equipment but the majority suffer from poor maintenance since having virtually any professional mechanical work undertaken will be costly. Overheating causes the cylinder heads to warp and crack and Brisbane Jaguar specialist Don Milner of DM Car Repairs says these cost up to $10,000 per pair to remove and recondition. Oil pressure from a sound engine when warm should be 70psi and timing chain rattle - provided the tensioner doesn't need replacing - is a relatively cheap $1500. If the coolant looks dingy or cloudy the aluminium engine innards could already be corroding. The GM400 transmission fitted after 1977 is durable and easy to recondition. The limited slip diff - look here for oil leaks - is equally durable but expensive to repair as the entire rear suspension must be removed.

Here it's essential to view receipts for recent maintenance. A car that hasn't been fitted with new shock absorbers in the past 50,000kms will be due for a set. There are six of them and replacement cost can range from $1500-4000. Rebuilding the front suspension is an involved job and likely to cost a minimum of $2000. The brakes work hard to pull up 1800kg and shuddering from warped discs is a common fault. Make sure that the handbrake works as changing pads on the inboard rear brakes is fiddly.

Plenty of potential here for expensive and niggling issues. Electric windows must work smoothly and quietly, as should the sunroof - if fitted. Window motors in good, used condition will cost around $400 each. Make sure that the oil pressure and temperature gauges are working properly. Dried, cracked leather seats can cost upwards of $4000 to retrim and the seat frames can crack, allowing the backrests to flop about.


NUMBER BUILT: 112,000 (approx.) all body types 1975-96

BODY TYPE: all-steel, integrated body/chassis two-door coupe, cabriolet, convertible

ENGINE: in-line six-cylinder with fuel injection and double overhead camshafts/V12 with fuel injection and double overhead camshafts

POWER & TORQUE: 223kW @ 5500rpm, 431Nm @ 3000rpm (XJS HE)

PERFORMANCE: 0-100km/h - 8.0secs, 0-400m - 15.7secs (XJS HE)

TRANSMISSION: four-speed manual (pre-1977), three-speed automatic (pre-1991)

SUSPENSION: Front - independent with wishbones, coil springs, telescopic shock absorbers and anti-roll bar. Rear - independent with coil springs, wishbones, radius arms, telescopic shock absorbers

BRAKES: disc front/disc rear with power assistance and (after 1987) ABS

WHEELS & TYRES: steel or alloy 6.0x15, 6.5x15, 205/70VR15, 215/70VR15 radial

PRICE RANGE: $3000-25,000 (Coupe), $10,000-30,000 (Cabriolet) $18,000-45,000 (Convertible)

words - Cliff Chambers
Buying a dud could mean spending big dollars. Best do your homework
Leaper Faith UNIQUE CARS Magazine
Issue #264
September, 2006

« Ostatnia zmiana: Styczeń 04, 2011, 17:20:39 pm wysłana przez kogutki »

Offline richie

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Odp: XJS Car Review (English) 2006 Porade dla Kupujacego
« Odpowiedź #1 dnia: Maj 23, 2009, 13:15:50 pm »
to i ja dom cos od siebie:

fajny artykuł, może dla kogos bedzie pomocny ;)


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Odp: XJS Car Review (English) 2006 Porady dla Kupujacego
« Odpowiedź #2 dnia: Luty 19, 2011, 09:11:37 am »
 fajne artykuły  ale to nie pokazuje rynku polskiego !
 ja mam sporo XJS-ów i znam aktualne ceny w USA !
 rynek angielski jest zupełnie inny a jaki jest polski ?