Sold – $10,500 (Plus Fees)
Carrying on Jaguar’s full-size luxury sedan models after the Jaguar XJ (XJ40) in 1994 was the new XJ (XJ300). An evolution of the outgoing model, the new XJ still rode on the XJ40 platform with an independent rear suspension but now sported upgraded inline-six or V12 engine options. It also came with promises to build quality refinements and more traditional Jaguar styling details. In 1998, a model refresh of the XJ (now XJ308) brought forth the final set of revisions to that original XJ40 chassis from 1986. Most notably the XJ308 introduced changes that included bumper and lighting improvements, some minor interior element alterations, suspension reworking, and an entirely brand-new V8 powerplant.
Numerous variants of the XJ were offered up to its final model year of 2003, but the king of the jungle was the XJR with the R1 package. It was the most potent, invigorating option set available by gifting even more performance enhancing items to the already stacked XJR. Moreover, today that is precisely what we have for sale. Our 2003 Jaguar XJR-R1 that was initially sold in Los Angeles has lived here for its entire life with three separate owners and now is looking for a new place to prowl.
Finished in its factory black color, the XJR takes the XJ300’s traditional Jaguar styling queues and sportily enhances them. The downward arching hood and trunk make for a low roofline that is nicely accented with chrome trimmings and larger chrome exhaust tips. The black paint has some touch-up points and scratches throughout the body but otherwise is in solid condition. A dent repair to the left rear quarter panel and a door ding were removed at the same time but did not require repainting.
The discretion of the XJR is a textbook example of subtle constraint. By doing away with some of the brightwork present on the standard XJ8, modestly lowering the car, and opting for muted badging the XJR is more sinister and sleeker looking. Signifying the R1 package are the standard 18” five-spoke BBS two-piece wheels, and our examples are currently shod in fresh Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 tires. Also indicative of the enhancement the R1 package provides are the simply massive Brembo cross-drilled brake rotors and four-piston brake calipers fed by stainless-steel brake lines. Our seller informs us that these front pads and rotors were recently changed out. Smaller, stiffer springs produce the lower stance of the XJR with the aid of active dampers to smooth out the ride, and the addition of larger anti-sway bars measurably improves the handling. Ensuring that you continue right on course is electronic stability control (ESC), which can be deactivated by the push of a console button.
Also benefitting from the XJ308 revisions was the interior – specifically the dashboard. Three deeply slotted gauges make up the instrument cluster, and in the XJR models the speedometer ranges up to an incredible 170mph marker. The odometer currently shows a touch over 109,000 miles of which the seller contributed approximately 30,000. Jaguar’s choice of black leather and blond burled wood trim to decorate the dashboard, center console, and door panel tops produce a tastefully high-class interior that feels luxurious, yet understated. The embossed ‘XJR’ steering wheel is an elegant blend of both materials and aptly works as a subtle reminder to the driver of its powerful exclusivity. Plus the wheel has conveniently mounted controls for the cruise control system and handsfree telephone. A wooden shift knob controls the five-speed automatic transmission (a Mercedes-Benz unit similar to the AMG versions chosen for power durability) that adapts gearshifts in ‘sports’ mode and can also be semi-manually driven.
The front seats, enveloped in black leather, show wear marks and some fading on the driver’s bolster but both are fully-powered and heated with memory functions on the driver’s side. The rear leather seats have less wear and also provide heating. To bring the Jaguar closer to the modern age of technology the original trunk mounted CD changer has been disconnected so that a Bluetooth system could be wired. However, the upgraded XJR stereo system with cassette player sonorously performs well, and the interface controls on the dashboard operate as expected. These buttons include the active suspension (sports mode) and text-based navigation computer. The seller noted to us that a trunk hinge was damaged with cracking and has been repaired together with tape. The original spare tire is concealed underneath of a false floor.
Entirely new for 1998 was a V8 engine that replaced the six-cylinder and twelve-cylinder options. In the XJR, this motor displaced four-liters and included a single-screw Eaton supercharger strapped to the top. Together, they unload a high g-force inducing 370 horsepower to the rear wheels capable of chauffering passengers to sixty in five seconds. Keep your foot planted and the Jaguar will jolt straight on to an electronically limited top speed of 155mph.
Keeping the cat healthy, in 2018, the current owner had new valve cover gaskets, seals, an oil filter (and oil) all refreshed. A set of updated metal upper chain tensioners was fitted for this sale, and wheel alignment was performed. The seller informs us that the oil pan is slightly damp but not heavily leaking. Inside of the engine bay, the wiper motor cover is missing but will be provided. A spreadsheet that catalogs services back to 2007 is included with the sale along with the factory manuals and books. The Carfax report is clean, although it reports more previous owners at the time of the second owner. However, this information is inaccurate, and of course, a clean California title is ensured.