The last and 3rd episode of Jaguar’s history
Not only was the first V8 powered XK Coupe and Convertible a huge success, the XJ-series where fitted with the same 4.0 V8 as well starting from the end of 1997. Apart from the 4.0 V8, Jaguar also decided to offer a smaller version of the V8 power plant, being a 3.2 which developed a mere 240 BHP which quickly became the engine of choice for many.
The X308 generation of XJ also got the 4.0 V8 Supercharged from the XKR, which made the XJR one of the fastest saloons on the market. Being the rival of the BMW M5, the XJR was a very serious alternative and combined astonishing performance with a very subtle ride and all the qualities a proper Jaguar needed to have.
After a period of just 5 years, Jaguar launched its then brand new generation of XJ, being the X350. Despite its predecessors, the X350 was made entirely out of aluminium, which mades it about 200 kg less heavy than the X308.
As well as with the XK8, the new XJ got updated V8 engines in various forms and also a new 3.0 V6 which saw the introduction of a very famous badge once again, being the XJ6.
The X350 generation of the XJ was a popular car of choice but was quickly overtaken by many of the main German rivals. Despite the plastic surgery introduced in late 2007, competitors where more advanced than the old fashioned XJ and only the real Jaguar enthusiast decided to buy the XJ.
Around 2008, Ford decided to sell both Jaguar and Land Rover to the Indian Tata Steel company and this became a very important chapter in the history of both brands.
By the end of 2007, Jaguar launched the XF, being the replacement for the S-Type saloon. A totally new design, crisp and modern, the XF was Jaguars first proper new model in years.
As it turned out, the traditional Jaguar clientele was having difficulties accepting this new design. Jaguar themselves wanted to make the brand more interesting for the younger type of customers, and only a few years after the XF was launched the new model of XJ was being introduced. The controversial design to say the least wasn’t to anyone’s liking and this generation of XJ never got the love it maybe did deserve.
Introducing the F-TYPE sport car in 2013 and also stopping the production of the XK in 2014 didn’t do that much good for the brand, and nowadays even Jaguar themselves are thinking of getting back to being a more luxurious and contemporary brand rather than to much of out the box. Lets hope that soon, after a period of less attractive models, Jaguar will go back to its roots and make great cars again!