1 Nov 1994
By CHRIS HARRIS
Jaguar’s XJ300 was more than simply a facelifted XJ40.
Although it was based on the second-generation XJ, the XJ300 looked more like a continuation of the popular 1979-’86 XJ6 Series III that preceded the XJ40.
And the brakes, steering and suspension all came in for attention too, along with the improved quality and reliability objectives Jaguar said were paramount at the time.
Every body panel was different, for a sleeker, less fussy look. But much of the XJ40’s interior was carried over, although there were many detail changes here as well.
The base engine was a variation of the 3.2-litre twin-cam 24-valve AJ6 engine first introduced in the XJ40 during 1992. It now recorded 161kW of power and 315Nm of torque.
Next up came the revised 4.0-litre AJ6, with 183kW and 392Nm in the XJ6 4.0 and Sovereign models. Like the 3.2, both used four-speed automatic gearboxes.
But the real hero engine was the new sports-sedan orientated XJR model, that utilised a supercharger to produce 240kW and 512Nm from the same AJ6 4.0-litre twin-cam unit.
This even outshone the 234kW/478Nm XJ12 6.0, the flagship of the XJ300 range.
All these changes, particularly the visual ones, were enough to stir new excitement in the old Jaguar workhorse.
Optional long wheelbase models were released in October ’95, addressing the dire lack of rear legroom the Jaguar and corresponding Daimler models.