A life of luxury.
Four generations of Jaguar XJ have been built, ranging from avant garde, to stuffy traditional, back to avant garde with the XJ just released.
The first generation was a long-lived model, running from 1968 to 1986. Six- and twelve-cylinder models, and a distinct Daimler version were made, as well as a two-door coupe. It was updated twice to poor effect, in 1973, and again in 1979.
The design had a long shelf life, despite poorly executed additions, but those weren’t the XJ’s biggest problems. Despite its lovely ride and compact size, this XJ’s meager interior space and electrical problems made them temperamental at best–which makes them a handful as used cars.
With the second generation, developed under the code name XJ40, Jaguar tried to correct the flaws while preserving the XJ’s leaner shape, lower stance and swinging image. Square headlamps didn’t help, but this XJ soldiered on through 1994, with V-12 and long-wheelbase versions emerging toward the end of its life.
In 1989 Jaguar had been acquired by the Ford Motor Company, and Ford’s influence showed up in a revised version of the second-generation XJ in 1994. The XJ reverted to a circular-headlamp theme, returning a bit of heritage to its style. More important were dramatic changes to the manufacturing process at Jaguar HQ; a noticeable improvement in quality came with the new version, and quality continued to improve under Ford ownership. Jaguar also added its first supercharged car, the XJ6R, in this time frame. In a final touch-up before its dramatic reinvention in 2004, Jaguar retouched the XJ in 1997, adding its first V-8 engine and a five-speed automatic to supercharged versions, as well as a new interior. By Marty Padgett / Editorial Director from thecarconnection / More information about this beautiful car in jaguar.com