What are collectables?
These are cars of special interest and therefore deserving of preservation. Not necessarily old, yet they exist in a defined quantity, either because the manufacturer has decided so, or because their production is stopped. Then, they take advantage of features that make them especially desirable: an engine, a chassis, a design, or a concept. Finally, they are likely to see their rating increase. An additional argument to collect them before everyone else!
Why is the Jaguar XJ X300 / 308 collectible?
Adorned with a line that is still low, thin and elegant, this is the latest Jaguar sedan to exude an authentic classic scent. Evolution of the XJ40, whose design was influenced by William Lyons, creator of the brand, the X300 / 308 has been largely refined to become a reliable car with modern features. Especially in its XJR version, developing up to 375 hp! The best of both worlds in a way.
Jaguar didn't brag about it when it debuted in 1994, but the XJ X300 is not an entirely new car. It might seem shameful, as the XJ40, from which it derives, already accuses eight years and was launched much later than expected. But it isn't: technically the XJ40 is still a great car. She suffered above all from a deleterious lack of quality early in her career, a flaw that her replacement X300 will have to correct. How? 'Or' What ? Thanks to Ford, which, having taken control of Jaguar in 1989, injected it with a fair amount of money, allowing further development and installation of new production lines. However, this generosity did not come without compensation. Ford has suspended all developments, including the one that was to replace the XJ40, the XJ90. But of the latter, all will not be lost.
From its design, considered very attractive, we keep the front and rear faces, which are transposed on an XJ40 hull. This gives the XJ X300, presented at the Paris Motor Show in 1994. The British designers have opted for a retro-look that hits the mark, at a time when the atmosphere is rather ultra-modern for luxury cars. The XJ finally loses its questionable rectangular headlamps to retain only circular elements, much more expressive, and takes the opportunity to significantly round its front.
Under the hood, it takes the 6-cylinder AJ6 from its predecessor, improving it. Two versions are available: 3.2 l of 219 hp and 4.0 l of 249 hp. The superb V12 is also renewed, a 6.0 l of 315 hp.
The prices are rather competitive, starting at 299,700 F in 3.2 l, or 63,800 € today. But at this price, leather, air conditioning and the automatic gearbox (five-speed on the 4.0 l against four for the others) are extra. We still have the right to ABS, the double airbag or the electric driver's seat. In the Sovereign version (from 376,800 F), everything is standard, including the seats and the electric steering wheel, as well as the cruise control. As for the V12, at 557,000 F, it is very expensive, unless you look at Germany, where for example BMW requires 599,000 F for its 750i.
For more luxury, there is the Daimler badged range, peaking at 617,500 F in Double Six, V12 engine. There, rear passengers are treated to an electrically adjustable rear seat as well as varnished wood picnic shelves. Total class!
As early as 1995, the Jaguar played the sporting card with the XJR, whose 4.0-liter compressor developed 326 hp and was accompanied by firmer suspensions. A hell of a rival for the BMW M5! A long chassis also appeared that year, as well as a Sport, inserted between the basic version and the Sovereign. In 1996, it was replaced by the Pack. Well received, the English is enjoying some estimable sales, but not quite high enough to fully satisfy its manufacturer. In fact, in April 1997, production of the V12 ceased, and the X300 left the scene the following summer, having been manufactured at 92,038 units, which is just correct. It is replaced by the X308, which, if it looks a lot like it, changes significantly. Already, 30% of the hull has been modified, receiving many high-strength steel elements. Then the engines change. Exit the 6-cylinder, instead of V8, those of the XK8, available in 3.2 l (243 hp), 4.0 l (294 hp) and 4.0 l compressor (375 hp). They all come with a five-speed automatic transmission. Finally, it is entitled to a completely redesigned dashboard. Prices do not increase significantly, with the base model starting at 325,500 F (€ 66,600 today), this time with standard A / C. Next come the Classic pack (standard electrically adjustable leather seats), Sport pack (17-inch rims, matt window surrounds), Sovereign and XJR, the highlight being the Daimler Super V8 (with the XJR block), to 696,900 F. The production will last until December 2002, and will reach the figure of 126,260 units. For a model whose roots go back to 1986, that's pretty respectable!
How much does it cost ?
Surprisingly, between X300 and X308, the prices are very similar to equivalent version. Count € 6,000 for a nice 3.2 l of less than 200,000 km, or even € 9,000 for an impeccable copy at around 100,000 km. Add € 3,000 for a 4.0 l, and another € 3,000 for an XJR, or a V12. Little known, the Daimlers, however rarer and more luxurious, are hardly more expensive. A word of advice: don’t hesitate to add a few thousand euros for a perfect car with all its tracking. Nothing is more expensive than a cheap Jaguar! Values that seem to be on the rise: a good plan to drive luxury without losing a discount.
Which versions to choose?
For comfortable power that doesn't take too much of the maintenance budget, a 4.0L seems a good fit, especially in the X308. The XJRs are already more expensive to run (consumption, maintenance), just like the V12s. No need to look for cars with leather: you can only find that! But because of its rich equipment, the Sovereign is a must, and the Daimler even more so. It is more comfortable but less dynamic because of its flexible suspension.
There, we will rather choose the rarest: 12-cylinders then those equipped with the compressor. Especially in Daimler! By their power and refinement, they exude a rare pleasure. Their maintenance costs, high, are not too problematic for a collection use.
What to watch?
The X300 and X308 are proving to be much more reliable than the XJ40s and have little to envy the Germans. Still, they haven't gotten rid of some blemishes, like that damn headliner that collapses from behind. Still on board, the original car stereo doesn't last very long, but overall the electrical functions are of little concern.
No worries under the hood either, the engines are rugged, even if the electronics sometimes fail. But the V12 emits a lot of heat, so it needs a perfect cooling system. The boxes are solid, which is less true for the bridge, subject to failures sometimes before 150,000 km. If he's growling, that's a bad sign. The suspensions are not particularly fragile either, but given the age of the cars, they often show normal wear and tear, so require repair, which is expensive.
On the V8s, chain tensioner concerns have been noted: to be checked before purchase. The first engines also had problems with scratched cylinders, because of the Nikasil which coated them, very sensitive to the sulfur contained in certain fuels. The cases are extremely rare in France that said.
Finally, corrosion can attack the wheel arches, the perimeter of the sunroof and the boot bottom: not abnormal for a car over 20 years old.
Always very elegant, the X300 conceals a flattering interior. Admittedly, on closer inspection, we see that the door panels are made of molded plastic, but the leather (what a fragrance!) And the wood give the change. Roominess is still measured at the rear, while for older children, headroom is a bit tight. That said, there is an excellent driving position, the seat also offering a nice comfort.
I put the lever on this 1996 3.2L in D, and go. Here ? Did we redo the road? And the Parisian scooters are all electric? No ! But the Jaguar, wonderfully suspended and cushioned, isolates exterior nuisances like few other cars. The smooth engine is harnessed to an imperceptibly shifting gearbox: it's creamy, and ineffable in a rough road context. However, the direction retains good precision, while the control of cash movements does not suffer criticism. The Jag is no freak of dynamic liveliness, but its poise is reassuring no matter what.
We can blame the 6-cylinder for a relative lack of nerve, especially since the four-speed gearbox does not help: this car is made to move quietly, with class and with maximum serenity. Under these conditions, it does not swallow more than 10 l / 100 km.
The youngtimer alternative
Jaguar XJ (1968-1992)
Originally conceived as a luxury coupe capable of complementing the E-Type, the XJ6 comes out as a sedan, allowing Jaguar to rationalize its offer. Superbly designed, it is fitted with the famous XK 6-cylinder 2.8 l or 4.2 l, and benefits from exceptional modern running gear. Beautiful, efficient, comfortable and holding the road magnificently, the XJ6 won all the votes when it was released in 1968. To such an extent that demand exceeds supply! In 1972, it won a superb V12, the only one produced in large series, and in 1973, it was restyled to meet new American standards. The raised bumpers are topped with a new grille, while a 3.4 l replaces the 2.8 l.
But then it is the descent into hell. Social conflicts causing an abysmal drop in quality, economic crisis plaguing sales … Fortunately, the Jag ’retains its admirers, which allow it to survive. Declined in a sumptuous but ephemeral coupe in 1975, it benefits from a clever face-lift due to Pininfarina in 1979 (large bumper, roof raised at the rear). Gradually, injection is generalized, causing consumption to drop, quality returns to a good level and sales are improving! As a result, the XJ lasted until 1987 in 6-cylinder and 1992 in V12, produced in 400,000 units. From € 7,000.
Jaguar XJ X300 3.2 l (1995), technical sheet
- Engine: 6-cylinder in-line, 3,239 cc
- Power supply: Injection
- Suspension: Double wishbone, coil springs, anti-roll bar (AV); transverse arms, coil springs, anti-roll bar (AR)
- Transmission: 5 manual or 4 automatic gearbox, rear-wheel drive
- Power: 219 hp at 5,100 rpm
- Torque: 301 Nm at 4,500 rpm
- Weight: 1,800 kg
- Maximum speed: 222 km / h (manufacturer data)
- 0 to 100 km / h: 8.4 s (manufacturer data)
> To find Jaguar XJ adverts, visit the La Centrale website.