Original test: Jaguar XJR-S 6.0 Liter

In 1990 we exchanged the bowler hat for the sports cap and flooded all twelve cylinders of the Jaguar XJR-S 6.0 Liter. Wolfgang König wrote the original driving report.

As is well known, motorsports are not only practiced for the fun of it, neither does Jaguar. Being there is a lot, but benefiting from it is everything. It is therefore high time for Jaguar to implement the laurels, which have been plentifully reaped in recent years, profitably. Exactly for this purpose, the English founded the company Jaguar Sport Ltd. in 1988. in Kidlington, in a way an answer to BMW's Motorsport GmbH. But there is an important difference to the wholly-owned BMW subsidiary. At Jaguar Sport, Tom Walkinshaw rules. The stalwart Scotsman, who spearheaded a triumphant return to motorsport for Jaguar, became both partner and director. ,

But the goals of the new joint venture are off the racetrack. The target is the man on the street. The ulterior motive: If you buy your Jaguar from Jaguar Sport, you should leave your bowler hat at home. For models with the lettering XJR, the sports cap is in demand again from now on, the XJR range from Jaguar Sport as a sporty offshoot of existing series models. German Jaguar fans can now also experience this Walkinshaw touch, initially only with the Jaguar XJ-S. The fact that the coupé, which has turned gray in honor, is the beginning is not so disgraceful. Even in old age - the XJ-S has been on the market since 1975 - can't hurt a little sport, especially with the V12, whose power has meanwhile diminished considerably. The conversion to a regulated catalytic converter robbed the once proud twelve-cylinder of any desire to perform. It's good that Jaguar Sport is helping him get back on his feet. The corresponding XJ-S in the tracksuit is called the XJR-S 6.0 Liter, a clear indication of the resuscitation measures done to it. The focus is on increasing the cubic capacity. A new, forged steel crankshaft extends the piston stroke from 70.0 to 78.5 millimeters, increasing displacement from 5,343 ccm to 5,993 ccm.

309 hp and 476 Nm

Among the twelve-cylinder engines in this world, at least those that are suitable for driving passenger cars, the Jaguar engine is the largest. There are also accompanying measures. Shorter cylinder liners, stronger connecting rods, forged aluminum pistons with reinforced gudgeon pins and a more heavily ribbed oil sump take account of the higher stress on the crank mechanism. An optimized compression ratio (11.0 instead of 11.5 : 1), modified control times and a modified air plenum make it easier to find performance. The new catalytic converter equipment also contributes to this. Two metal cats per exhaust line combined with high-throughput silencers replace the more restrictive system of the civilian XJ-S.The often cited fertilization through racing also takes place. The electronic engine management system of the XJR-S comes directly from Group C. The product of the outsider Zytek is characterized by a so-called sequential injection, which is significantly superior to the previous device in terms of precision and reliability. Ironically, Jaguar has meanwhile switched to Bosch for racing. ,

But the Walkinshaw-Jaguar for the road still offers big gains in torque and power. It should be 309 hp (227 kW) at 5,250 rpm and 476 Newton meters at 3,000 rpm, enough to emphatically distance itself from the original product (264 hp/194 kW, 377 Nm), but also enough to give the XJR S to secure a comfortable lead over the German competition. The twelve-cylinder from BMW, the power source of the competing 850i, is content with 300 hp (221 kW) and 450 Nm. So it doesn't bother that the performance output, seen specifically, isn't that far off. This mammoth engine generates a meager 52 hp (38 kW) per liter of displacement, a calculation that the driver of this Jaguar should answer with a shrug. The V12 now has more than enough power again. Especially in the lower and middle speed range, the engine is generously applied, a classic steam engine characteristic that modern high-output engines, wringing out the last bit of power, cannot offer. Certainly, it is difficult to tempt it to rev too high, and its reactions to movements of the accelerator pedal are rather restrained. But the six-liter compensates with sovereign composure - performance that calms, a Jaguar engine in the best style of the house. The sporty note is limited to the sonorous pitch, the product of a specially tuned four-pipe exhaust system, and impressive driving performance figures. The factory calls 250 km/h and 6.9 seconds for the standard sprint from zero to 100 km/h, sufficient for a place in the front row.

Firmer springs and dampers

In view of the lavish motorization, the V12-typical gearbox problem also fades into the background. It remains with the outdated, power-sapping three-speed automatic, bought from General Motors and modified according to XJR with changed shift points. We can live with that now, although there is no doubt that the six-litre version of the V12 would also benefit considerably from a modern four-speed automatic. However, a corresponding transmission is not expected before the autumn of next year. ,

The tuning of the chassis proves that Jaguar Sport knows what Jaguar drivers want. Tighter springs and dampers, stronger stabilizers, harder rubber mounts and wider tires (front 225/50 ZR 16, rear 245/55 ZR 16), the relevant tools for chassis tuning, reveal finesse in their tuning.The result: significantly more precision and driving stability without painful losses in the comfort experience, just as the XJ-S is good for. This also applies to the newly calibrated power steering. The resulting increased steering effort improves road contact without compromising the enjoyment of Jaguar driving. ,

Despite all the progress, it cannot be concealed that this Jaguar belongs to a bygone generation of automobiles. It's a long way from the light-footedness and perfect balance of contemporary BMW and Mercedes competitors. His role is the character subject, that of the muscular, somewhat sluggish racer of typically British character and as such without any claim to perfection. The sporty trim chosen by Jaguar Sport may not quite fit into the picture. Voluminous aprons, swelling rocker panels and the attached rear wing are the typical accessories of fashionable sportiness, a questionable adornment for an aging star. Fortunately, the furnishings of the interior show more sense of style. XJR-S-specific is the more extensive use of particularly fine, hand-stitched Connolly leather, which also encases the Italian Momo sports steering wheel. One hopes in vain for more ergonomic seats and a support for the otherwise unsteady driver's left foot - both of which have long been at the top of the XJ-S wish list. But as I said: To rely on perfection in this Jaguar would be to misunderstand it. On the other hand, sports boss Tom Walkinshaw understands him correctly. His recommendation for the XJR-S: "A Jaguar, only more so." This also applies to the price: 160,000 marks. ,


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