Jaguar XJR 100 (X308) | Spotted

Hard to think of a better 100th birthday present than four litres of supercharged V8 thunder

By Cam Tait / Monday, 27 February 2023 / Loading comments

We’re still none the wiser on whether or not an XJ (or something called an XJ) will ever grace the Jaguar lineup again. The British marque’s plan to axe the piston-powered X351 generation in 2019 to focus its efforts on an all-electric model to rival the likes of the Mercedes-Benz EQS and BMW i7 seemed like a no-brainer. Dropping said electric XJ when it was thought to be nearly done, and replacing it with a whole load of nothing – when it intends to have a full EV line-up in the not-too-distant future – was a sad reminder of the dwindling luxury saloon market. Thanks, SUVs.

On the one hand, we’re still a little sore at the demise of the XJ. It had been one of Jaguar’s longest-standing models and, for the patriots, was the last British (with Indian investment, we know) luxury limo that didn’t cost Bentley or Rolls-Royce money. That being said, it’s hard to see how the XJR, a car that has no doubt featured as a classified saved search for many PHers, could retain its thuggish charm in the EV era. So to the used car market we must turn for our XJR fix, which is no bad thing when peak XJ was arguably a couple of generations prior to the run-out version.

We’re talking about the mighty X308, of course. While not vastly different to the previous X300 on the surface, the big appeal of the X308 is that introduced eight-cylinder propulsion to Jaguar’s flagship saloon. Specifically, a then-new 4.0-litre supercharged V8 developing 370hp, 387lb ft of torque at 3,600rpm, and one heck of an exhaust note. Yes, yes, you could only have it with a Mercedes-sourced five-speed automatic gearbox, but that’s sort of the point of the XJR. Expeditiously fast when you’re running late to a meeting at the golf club; utterly effortless for the journey home.

Buying an XJR solely for its cornering ability is a bit like replacing a Lotus Elise with a Porsche Cayenne. That being said, Jaguar did at least try to keep the X308’s 1,775kg kerbweight in check with stiffer suspension, bigger brakes and wider wheels. Those wanting an even more focused drive could spec the R1 pack on later models, featuring even beefier brakes from Brembo and a suspension tweak. But if you’re after the crème de la crème of XJRs, then we’ve got just the thing for you.

Built to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Jaguar co-founder and all-round motoring legend Sir William Lyons, the XJR 100 featured all the performance upgrades of the R1 pack plus a bunch of a host of visual changes to set it apart from the base car. Namely, bespoke birdseye maple veneer (these things are important in the XJ world), which is paired up with a charcoal leather interior with contrasting red stitching. XJR 100s were only available in Anthracite for that extra lethal look, though the easiest way to tell them apart from a regular R is that they were fitted with 19-inch multi-piece BBS wheels.

Jaguar limited production to just 500 units worldwide, of which 82 are said to have been earmarked for the British market. That makes this example exceptionally rare, making the asking price of £14,995 seem all the more tempting. Don’t be put off by the claimed 110,000 miles. This XJR 100 has been with the same owner for the past 11 years and looks to have been kept in top condition, with the ad listing only minor work such as a new power steering pump last year. If well looked after, these V8 Jaguars can go on for many more miles without major upset. Even if the XJ name never returns, we’ll still have corkers like this to keep the legacy alive.


Engine: 3,996cc V8, supercharged
Transmission: 5-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): [email protected],150rpm
Torque (lb ft): [email protected],600rpm
MPG: 22
CO2: 313g/km
Year registered: 2001
Recorded mileage: 110,000
Price new: £50,675 (standard X308)
Yours for: £14,995

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