1987-1994 Jaguar XJ6

The 1987-1994 Jaguar XJ6, the oft-postponed successor to the original XJ sedan line, was developed as Project XJ40. It was introduced to Europe in 1986, as a 1988 U.S. model in early 1987.

The 1990 Jaguar XJ6 sedan, part of the 1987-1994 Jaguar XJ6 series.
1990 Jaguar XJ6 sedan.  See more pictures of classic cars.

Basically the same successful concept with squarer styling; simplified design for more consistent, higher-quality assembly; standard antilock brakes; and a wholly new drivetrain. The last combined the "AJ6" 3.6-liter 24-valve inline six (first test-marketed in the European XJ-S) and a new four-speed ZF automatic transmission with a unique "J-gate" selector providing manual-override capability.

As quiet and smooth-riding as any previous XJ6, but lackluster performance prompted higher compression for 1988, producing small gains in horsepower and torque. Performance further improved via a stroked 4.0-liter replacement for 1990, when a revamped instrument panel appeared with analog minor gauges instead of vacuum-fluorescent bar-graphs.

Always sold in America in base and ritzy Vanden Plas forms, joined for 1990 by an in-between Sovereign model with Euro-style square headlamps (also applied to the V-P) and a new top-line Majestic with Daimler-style fluted grille. European offerings included 2.9- and later 3.4-liter entry-level models (with available with manual transmission) as well as derivative Daimlers, but there would be no new-generation XJ12 until 1993. Reason: the XJ40 was deliberately designed not to accept the Jaguar V-12, one result of a political dispute during the waning days of Leyland ownership.

Pluses of the 1987-1994 Jaguar XJ6:
  • Smooth and quiet
  • Few peers for ride comfort
  • All the expected modern amenities
  • Wood-and-leather opulence
  • ABS brakes
  • Best-built Jag sedan ever
  • Still current
Minuses of the 1987-1994 Jaguar XJ6:
  • 3.6-liter relatively torqueless at low rpm
  • 4.0-liter not as refined as it might be
  • Handling not that sporty
  • Not that roomy for size
  • Quirky details
  • Iffy collector's investment now
Production of the 1987-1994 Jaguar XJ6 :
  • 1987: 17,539
  • 1988: 15,944
  • 1989: 14,509
  • 1990: 14,013
Specifications of the 1987-1994 Jaguar XJ6 :
Length, inches: 196.4
Wheelbase, inches: 113.0
Weight, pounds: 3,905-4,015
Price, new: $43,500-59,400

Engines for the 1987-1994 Jaguar XJ6:

dohc I-6
3590 (219 cid) 189/195 1987-1989
dohc I-63980 (243 cid)

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