1979-1986 Jaguar XJ6 Series III

The 1979-1986 Jaguar XJ6 Series III was the final evolution of the original XJ sedan concept, but more extensively modified with an airier superstructure (with help from Pininfarina) that added 1.5 inches to overall height.

The 1986 Jaguar XJ6 sedan, part of the 1979-1986 Jaguar XJ6 Series III line.
1986 Jaguar XJ6 sedan.  See more pictures of classic cars.

Minor styling changes elsewhere, plus detail interior and technical revisions. All models now on the "L" wheelbase -- XJC coupes and short-wheelbase sedans dropped. XJ12, with "high efficiency" May head from 1982, continued for Europe through '92, but withdrawn from the U.S. in light of new federal fuel economy standards that Jaguar had trouble meeting even with the mainstay XJ6.

Later Series III XJs somewhat better-built, especially with the end of British Leyland ownership, fresh infusions of British government money, and the arrival of a tough but effective new leader in John Eagan.

The Series III actually resulted from delays in finalizing its Project XJ40 successor, but it stayed around somewhat longer than planned due to a sudden strong sales surge (beginning with the general 1982 economic recovery) that rendered an immediate replacement unnecessary.

Still, the XJ40 disappointed in several ways, and some marque fanciers prefer these Series IIIs as the last XJ6s with genuine Jaguar style and character. Derivative Daimler Sovereign and Double Six continued for Europe (respective production through 1984: 16,740 and 5049). In America, a Sovereign-like XJ6 Vanden Plas (named for the old-line British coachbuilder) was offered from 1982, boasting more standard features and interior wood trim.

Pluses of the 1979-1986 Jaguar XJ6 Series III
  • Grace, pace
  • Luxurious wood-and-leather cabin
  • Silken engines
  • Good performance (0-60: 10.5 seconds, XJ6; 8.5, XJ12)
  • Super sedan handling
  • Full power assists
  • XJ12's rarity
  • All versions still relatively inexpensive
  • Workmanship improved each year
  • Somewhat more head room
  • Plush Vanden Plas available
  • Still subject to used-car pricing
Minuses of the 1979-1986 Jaguar XJ6 Series III:
  • Not much space
  • Jaguar's usual reliability and rust worries
  • "Vintage" ergonomics
  • Avoid ratty specimens--there are lots of them
  • Won't really be collectible for some years yet

Production of the 1979-1986 Jaguar XJ6 Series III:

  • 1979: 6,146
  • 1980: 9,836
  • 1981: 10,216
  • 1982: 14,422
  • 1983: 17,412
  • 1984: 19,758
  • 1985-86: N/A

Specifications of the 1979-1986 Jaguar XJ6 Series III:
Length, inches: 191.7/200.5 (European/U.S. models)
Wheelbase, inches: 113.0
Weight, pounds: 3,860-4,065
Price, new: $25,000-40,100 in U.S.

Engines for the 1979-1986 Jaguar XJ6 Series III

dohc I-6
3,442 161
dohc I-64,235 (258 cid)
ohc V-125,343 (326 cid)

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