1992 Jaguar XJS Keeps Calm and Carries On

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From the July 1991 subject of Automobile and Driver.

Response to Jaguar’s XJS line, at its in­troduction in 1975, may very well be summed up in 4 phrases: “Works good, appears to be like enjoyable­ny.” On these pages you see a Jaguar XJ­S that’s not new however that now not appears to be like humorous. Like its British colleague the Rolls-Royce, the Jaguar has grow to be a practice. We have now grown accustomed to its fascia, as Professor Higgins would possibly say.

The XJS has undergone, within the phrases of Jaguar itself, “in depth revisions.” You could have to scrutinize each sq. inch of the images to persuade your self of that, however the proof is there. For devotees of the marque, as we will see, there’s additionally excellent news for the long run that transcends a easy re-skin­ning. However first, the overview:

In the USA. Jaguar will con­tinue to supply a coupe and a convertible model of its XJS grand tourer, each with V-12 energy, each with computerized trans­missions solely. The 4.0-liter in-line six that drives the Jaguar XJ6 sedan will substitute the three.6-liter six in XJ automobiles offered in Europe and Canada, a change that won’t seem within the U.S. market till the 1993 model yr. The U.S. will see the brand new XJS this fall, and costs can be excessive­er than the $55,905 and $67,565 now paid for the coupe and convertible, respectively.

Earlier than detailing the adjustments made to the XJS, a element or two about Jaguar homeowners is so as. The Jaguar loyalist is an prosperous one who needs consolation, pace, and magnificence and would not require it to be wrapped in ultramodern trappings. The Jaguar proprietor is aware of that the Lexus LS400 could also be a superior automobile from the standpoint of modernity and reliability. The Jaguar proprietor simply would not care. He (and she or he) is, in easy phrases, a practice­alist. An instance: U.S. Jaguar homeowners, requested to price the styling of the 1990 XJS, gave it 9.8 out of a potential 10.0. Re­strained by such analysis findings (and, to make certain, by lower than an oversupply of cash), Jaguar’s adjustments to the XJ are additionally restrained.

The XJS exteriors have been modified in methods which can be refined however substantive. In a couple of phrases, the pores and skin is extra roundly contoured than earlier than, and in a couple of extra phrases, it is advisable take a look at the automobile in per­son to know the extent of the surgical procedure. You will see a brand new grille, a brand new headlamp design, a brand new flared rocker panel, a brand new C-pillar that produces a unique profile, and a rounded rump that features new taillamps. The place as soon as 5 panels had been required on the coupe’s rear fender, one now does the job—with a consequent enchancment in look.

Inside, what had been a sublime inside within the British method has grow to be much more trendy in character. There are newly contoured electrically operated seats positioned inside a leather-lined compartment that had benefited from the stylist’s hand. The aroma stays very good.

A brand new instrument cluster with two huge dials and 4 small ones substitute the earlier unlucky structure, and there is a journey pc, controls which can be im­proved in contact and look, and a touch space that now matches the remainder of the inside. The windshield has been raked extra sharply, which improves air­movement however does little to attenuate head­banging by tall drivers. As soon as greatest de­scribed as eccentric, the ergonomic environment is so now not.

The Jaguar 5.3-liter V-12 engine has been graced with a brand new Lucas 26CU gas system to go together with its Marelli digital-igni­tion system, and it stays as satisfyingly clean and silky as ever, even when put next with newer V-12s from BMW and Mercedes. On European-spec automobiles, the catalytic-converter-equipped V-12 now delivers 280 hp at 5550 rpm, up from 273 at 5250. Its 0-to-60-mph time ought to drop beneath eight seconds. Torque is up from 298 to 306 pound-feet at 2800 rpm. This low-speed torque power stays one of many pleasurable options of the V-12. The determine for U.S.-spec automobiles will most likely be barely decrease.

We will not think about that you’ve got missed this, however in case you’re simply coming back from Outward Certain’s doctoral program or from the Antarctic, Jaguar is now owned by the Ford Motor Firm. When a small firm is purchased by a big one, two issues can come from the big firm: cash to perform wanted work (good) and platoons of managers to assist do the work (not so good). At Jaguar, the story constitutes a variation on this theme.

To run its new acquisition, Ford in­stalled gruff, hard-nosed Englishman Invoice Hayden, CBE, who has spent 41 years studying the foundations of Ford corpo­price fight. He additionally is aware of, primarily based on his resume, methods to manufacture automobiles.

“Our goal in all that is fairly easy,” Hayden says. “It’s to provide wager­ter and higher high quality merchandise right here at Jaguar. Our dedication to that objec­tive can be rigorous and unrelenting.”

Within the few years he has earlier than retiring, Hayden has taken it upon himself to professional­tect Jaguar from would-be Dearborn “helpers” who would possibly or may not know a hooter from a toast rack—and to use Ford’s profitable manufacturing professional­cesses and quality-control procedures to an organization whose repute for high quality and reliability left ample room for im­provement. The Jaguar officers we spoke with consider that thousands and thousands of {dollars} are being spent the place it doesn’t but present, however the place it’s going to guarantee Jaguar’s long-term survival.

One believer is Mike Dale, ex-Royal Air Drive pilot and president of Jaguar Vehicles, Inc., the corporate’s U.S. subsid­iary. “He is the hardest taskmaster I’ve ever labored for,” he says of Hayden, “however he is serving to us the place we’d like it.”

It will be inadvisable from our pre­view drive (involving pre-production automobiles) to evaluate the development in construct high quality that Jaguar stands to achieve from the Ford means of doing issues. However we will say that the V-12 stays a pleasure, that the automobiles really feel tighter, and {that a} journey from the place you’re sitting to a vacation spot 1000 miles distant can be a pleasing day’s drive.

The suspension, a supple totally inde­pendent association, not solely delivers the wonderful journey high quality that is lengthy been a Jaguar hallmark, but additionally managed the automobile fairly properly on the tough, twisting mountain roads that we used for our ex­ercise pad. Energy supply from the V-12 continues to be clean, although the GM­-supplied Turbo-Hydramatic 400 computerized transmission nonetheless has solely three speeds. Even on the threat of flying within the face of custom, one other pace or two would not harm this unit in any respect.

On the freeway, the XJS cruises effort­lessly, and dialog is feasible even with the convertible prime lowered.

We have now right here the most recent in a protracted line. How does its value evaluate with different grand-touring automobiles—for instance, the Nissan 300ZX Turbo? That is not the problem, in line with Mike Dale. “We do not see Jaguar in competitors with particular fashions of automobiles,” he says. “We quite see Jaguar as competing with something value­ing $50,000—be it automobile, boat, or condominium­minium—that an prosperous particular person would possibly contemplate.”

So long as there are traditionalists, then, there’s cause to consider there’ll al­methods be a Jaguar. On this occasion, it is a greater one.

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Specs

Specs

1992 Jaguar XJS
Car Sort: front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 2+2-passenger, 2-door coupe

PRICE

Base: $58,000

ENGINE
SOHC V-12, aluminum block and head, port gas injection

Displacement: 326 in3, 5344 cm3

Energy: 280 hp @ 5550 rpm

Torque: 306 lb-ft @ 2800 rpm 

TRANSMISSION
3-speed computerized

DIMENSIONS

Wheelbase: 102.0 in

Size: 187.6 in

Width: 70.6 in
Top: 49.4 in

Passenger Quantity, F/R: 50/24 ft3
Trunk Quantity: 9 ft3
Curb Weight (C/D est): 4050 lb

MANUFACTURER’S PERFORMANCE RATINGS

60 mph: 7.8 sec

High Velocity: 147 mph

EPA FUEL ECONOMY (C/D EST)
Metropolis/Freeway: 13/18 mpg

Lettermark

Contributing Editor

William Jeanes is a former editor-in-chief and writer of Automobile and Driver. He and his spouse, Susan, a former artwork director at Automobile and Driver, at the moment are residing in Madison, Mississippi.

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