ENGINE 5343cc/V12/OHC POWER 273bhp@5250rpm TORQUE 297lb ft@2700rpm MAXIMUM SPEED 148mph 0-60MPH 8.1sec FUEL CONSUMPTION 16-20mpg TRANSMISSION RWD, three-speed auto MoT 12 months ODOMETER 48,892 miles
Press the throttle and the nose lifts with a growl from that huge 12-cylinder motor. There is little sensation of acceleration; you are just aware that you are suddenly travelling much, much faster. The changes from the three-speed automatic gearbox are so smooth and silent as to be almost imperceptible. The ride is very light and quiet; the car wafts and floats along the road and leans through corners, with some wobble over bumps – but that’s completely normal. There’s no feeling of looseness in the suspension or steering, which is initially finger-tip light but weighs up nicely as speeds increase. Likewise the transmission system functions exactly as it should. The brakes are immensely strong; it doesn’t take much effort on the pedal to draw the car to a sharp halt.
The Jag’s bodywork is almost flawless. The panels are straight with good gaps and no sign of dings or corrosion, and the metallic beige paint is almost totally free of scratches and chips. We could only find two small marks on the leading edge of the driver’s door. The brown fabric roof is like new and raises and lowers without issue. All the chrome is in excellent order, including the bumpers and non-standard leaping cat bonnet mascot. The 15in lattice-style alloy wheels are in mint condition and shod with Pirelli P600 tyres that look nearly new.
HOW’S THE INTERIOR?
The tan leather seats have been re-coloured so are in very good condition, with crinkled piping on the edge of the driver’s seat the only defect to report. The matching carpets are excellent with no marks and virtually no wear. The dashboard is in fine condition, the dash-top is crack-free and the wooden fascia is pretty much perfect. The leather of the two-spoke steering wheel shows some signs of use, but it is still in fine condition. The traditional spindly gear selector looks oddly old fashioned next to the 1980s Jaguar-branded Panasonic car phone set neatly in to the centre console, but operates as it should.
UNDER THE BONNET
Lifting the bonnet reveals a sprawling mass of pipes and wires for the fuel and air conditioning systems. Fortunately everything looks like it’s in good shape, and with everything working as it should and no evidence of leaks, there is no need to disturb any of it. Mechanically the car feels fresh overall, which is commensurate with the low mileage.
THE CCW VIEW
It would be difficult to find a better XJ-S than this for the money. With very low miles for the year and in near-mint condition throughout, it’s a bargain compared to the equivalent E-type S3 roadster. It’s at the higher end of this model’s price range, but it’s justified by its condition.