DTW examines XJ40’s turbulent conception and asks, was this the last Jaguar?
Billed at launch as the Jag without tears; a high-tech culmination of an unprecedented level of proving in some of the world’s most hostile environments, the 1986 XJ40-series represented a new beginning for an embattled marque; XJ40’s 22-year career from conception to retirement encapsulating probably the most tumultuous period in the company’s history.
As much the story of Jaguar’s dogged resistance as it is of the car itself, XJ40’s lengthy gestation would mean the end result was viewed by some as a disappointment, yet this belies the enormous efforts made to ensure XJ40 modernised, yet maintained marque traditions. The first truly modern Jaguar, the model was critically acclaimed upon release, but the car’s reputation quickly became tarnished by an early reputation for build and component issues it never quite overcame.
Despite being the best-selling stand-alone XJ series of all, XJ40 still remains something of an outlier within the official Jaguar narrative, only now beginning to be appreciated for its finer qualities and for its status as arguably the most technically ambitious Jaguar saloon ever.
Since it was first published here (it had a brief earlier life elsewhere), the story has been expanded and improved as new information came to light, in particular following a detailed interview in 2016 with XJ40’s creator, the late Professor Jim Randle. Because of this, it now bears only a slight resemblance to the series first published between 2014 and 2015.
Now repurposed as a single (and quite lengthy) article, this more detailed chronicle can be found by clicking the link immediately below. CLICK HERE
You will also find a link (below) to a large number of additional XJ40-related articles on the site.
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