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|Road Test XJR 100|
|Thursday, 13 September 2012 00:00|
To celebrate the centenary of Sir Williams Lyons’ birth in 2001, Jaguar produced the limited edition XJR 100. Just 500 were made and we’ve driven one
WORDS: REBECCA GIBBS / PHOTOGRAPHY: MARTYN BARNWELL
What makes ‘everyday’ into something special? Jaguars are hardly an uncommon sight. A Daimler Sovereign crowns the steepest hill on my evening run; I’m often obliged to creep between a cavernous pothole and an imposing X-TYPE estate as I drive to work, and I frequently pass an immaculate but otherwise unremarkable black XJ saloon parked on a nearby tree-lined street. Other than revealing the car to be surprisingly leaf-free, (does it have a more active existence during office hours? Or an extremely fastidious owner?), covert surveillance confirms it as a standard XJR. An impressive machine, but hardly unusual. Yet there is one breed of Jaguar that, by today’s standards, is almost unique – the limited edition ’100.
To mark one hundred years since the birth of company founder, Sir William Lyons, in August 2001 Jaguar announced that it would be producing 500 special edition performance saloons and 500 sports cars (coupe and convertible combined).
The long wheelbase X300 (1997’s X308 variant) would form the basis of the XJR 100, and the current XKR would be similarly upgraded to ‘100’ specification.
As launched in 1994, the X300’s 'retrolutionary' design made it an ideal model with which to commemorate the centenary. Indeed, in 2010 the company rather grandly picked out its top six ‘beautiful Jaguar curves’, with the XJ’s side profile (1968) coming in at no.4. The result of instructions to reinterpret the ’68 XJ40, Jaguar’s designers gave the X300 a distinctive nod to the past by means of a four-headlamp front end with subtly grooved bonnet curves that also acknowledged the rounded shapes coming back into fashion in the 1990s.
Calne Vehicle Management
Richard Simm at SSS Jaguar
2002 Jaguar XJR 100
Engine 3996cc, V8
Power (bhp) 370 @ 6150rpm
Torque (lb ft) 387 @ 3600rpm
0-60mph 5.3 secs
Top Speed 155mph (limited)
Transmission five-speed automatic
Economy (combined) 22.4mpg
Price then £58,935
Value now £13,500
To read more about this Jaguar see the October 2012 issue of Jaguar World. Available to buy here.