1998 Jaguar XJR 839 GVN

As the performance version of Jaguar’s XJ luxury saloon, the Jaguar XJR might look sophisticated but it’s a car that’s very much capable of some bad behaviour.

Beneath the bonnet is a supercharged version of the AJ-V8 producing 370hp and 387lb/ft of torque. That’s a full 130hp and 144 ft/lbs more than the 3.2-litre base car. It’s enough to propel this glorified public house to 60mph in 5.6 seconds and on to a limited 155mph top speed.

To cope with the extra grunt, the XJ required a Mercedes sourced 5-speed gearbox and sat on uprated suspension with wider wheels and tyres.

To the untrained eye these Jags are particularly difficult to date – even more so when they’re fitted with a personalised registration plate such as this one. The X308 XJ looks very similar to its XJ300 predecessor yet also bares a strong resemblance to its own successor, the X350 XJ.

Under the skin it was actually the final development of Jaguar’s aged XJ40 platform which came about in 1986. A little over 15,000 X308 XJRs were produced.

This shape is also remembered as the last steel bodied XJ, with all subsequent cars using an alloy body shell.

839 GVN looks really good for a 1998 car that’s now covered in excess of 170,000 miles. Just don’t mention the fuel bills!

Feeling brave? These cars now regularly change hands for less than £4,000.

  • 839 GVN red Jaguar XJR rear
  • 839 GVN Jaguar XJR front
Registration Number:839 GVN
Make:Jaguar
Model:XJR
First registered (UK):31st December 1998
Location:Bristol

More ’90s cars spotted in Bristol

Oli Woodman

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