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Overview

Produced: 1997-2003
Types: Saloon,4 doors
Jaguar XJ Mark 2
September 1997 saw the "Mark 2" XJ revised for a final time, and this time the car (known as X308) had changed more over the X300 than the X300 had done over the XJ40. The exterior styling was mildly revised, the only real notable changes being new, shallower grille, bumpers incorporating oval front indicators & side reflectors with 1/4 chrome trims instead of the full width ones of the X300, as well as revised clear indicator rear light clusers and the fitting of modern clear lens projector headlamps. The CATS Computer Active Technology Suspension was also offered, which adapted the stiffness of the dampers to optimise ride comfort or handling.

The biggest changes lay under the bonnet and inside. An all-new, and hugely praised, V8 engine was introduced and was available in 3.2 L, 4.0 L and 4.0 L supercharged versions. The new 8-cylinder engines, built in Bridgend, Wales, not only saw the temporary end of 6-cylinder and 12-cylinder power in an XJ, but the legendary XJ6 moniker was dropped (but later re-introduced in the 2003.5 X350; the cars with naturally-aspirated engines were now called XJ8. The new performance figures were 290 bhp (216 kW; 294 PS) and 240 bhp (179 kW; 243 PS) for the naturally-aspirated 4.0 L and 3.2 L versions respectively and 370 bhp (276 kW; 375 PS) with 525 N·m (387 lb·ft) of torque for the supercharged version.

The interior was changed greatly, featuring an all-new "oval design" dashboard (first seen in the XK) with matching door veneers. However, the basic car was now 12 years old and some now considered the limited legroom for rear passengers (except, of course, in the long-wheelbase model), which was an issue back in 1986, to now be a real Achilles' heel, especially when compared to competing models from BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Nonetheless, many overlooked this issue, citing the continued "Jaguarness" and "Britishness" of the new interior as a preferable place to spend time when compared to rivals, with the abundance of wood, chrome and leather that is a British luxury car trademark. However, for those who considered rear legroom to be a very real issue, there were LWB (long-wheelbase) versions available (and, at the very top of the range, the supercharged Daimler, known as the Super V8 in the UK & the Vanden Plas in the United States complete with fluted boot plynth & grille top, as well as full "autolux" leather interior trimming, extra highly figured walnut trim and rear picnic tables inside). 

Although the new car was improved over the X300 and featured revised dynamics (including an excellent ride) along with its excellent new V8 engines (designed solely by Jaguars engineers), the basic design was now 12 years old and was launched less than a year before a new version of the traditional heavyweight of the class: the Mercedes-Benz S-Class W220. Although the XJ was considered by critics as still competitive in some areas in many roadtests the X308 was essentially outclassed by the new S-Class, a car which was proclaimed by critics to be the "best car in the world" at launch. However, despite the Mercedes' plaudits it is important to note that the Mark 2 XJ was the best-selling luxury car in the UK.

The XJR-version featured a 5 speed automatic transmission W5A580 from the Mercedes-Benz AMG E55 and other high power Benz models.

A limited-edition XJR called the XJR 100 was available in 2002 only. The XJR 100 came only in black (paint as well as exterior trim) with black leather interior. Features exclusive to the XJR 100 were unique alloy sport wheels, gray-stained birdseye maple trim, red badges and red stitching throughout the interior. Only 500 were produced.

In final production run of X308 series the XJR was in 2003 MY and offered with an "R1" package that used the 2002 XJR 100 Brembo brakes and larger drilled rotors with future 18 inch x350 series BBS Milan wheels.

The model continued until an all-new aluminium-bodied replacement (X350) was unveiled in 2003.
Source: Wikipedia

Transmission

TypeGearsComment
Automatic5

Dimensions

WheelbaseFront TrackRear TrackLengthWidthWeight (CWT)Turning Circle
9' 5"0' 0"0' 0"16' 6"5' 10" 0 (0)0' 0"
9' 9"0' 0"0' 0"16' 10"5' 10" 0 (0)0' 0"
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