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XJR-S '88 Le Mans

JaguarSport XJR-S 5.3 & XJR-S 5.3 Le Mans Celebration.

JaguarSport was formed in May 1988, owned 50/50 by Jaguar and Tom Walkinshaw's TWR group. The original XJR-S was based on the modified factory approved TWR V12 coupe which TWR had been marketing along side their XJ12 saloon conversions since 1983.

This new venture did not include any of the bigger engines, manual gearbox, exhaust or brake conversions, but centered on body, interior and suspension modifications. The former TWR cars attracted a different kind of owner, they liked the loud exhausts, especially since they produced a useful performance increase. The XJR-S on the other hand had to be refined to be classified as an upmarket XJ-S.

According to TWR, the bodykit with the speedline wheels gives a reduction in drag of over 10% and the wheels were originally designed to accommodate larger discs.

The first 100 built in August 1988 celebrated Jaguars 1988 Le Mans victory, all were Tungsten grey with grey piped doeskin interior and a special individually numbered stainless sill plate. Cost in 1988 was approx 2,850 more than a standard XJ-S coupe. Probably no more than 300 total 5.3L cars were produced when the 6.0L with various tweaks became available in September 1989.

Specification.

Pictures of door sill plate number identification.

  • VIN numbers start: SAJJ(S)AE.......The 5th digit (S) denotes factory JaguarSport conversion.
  • Standard steering wheel but re trimmed to match seat colour.
  • TWR style body kit
  • Matching shift knob instead of "T" handle.
  • Wheels: 7.5"x 15" Speedline "bottletop" 235/60 tyres.
  • 11% uprated front springs & specially valved Bilstein shock absorbers (this is not the same as Jaguar's Sports Pack option).
  • Uprated rack mountings & revalved power steering giving reduced assistance.

When JaguarSport /TWR moved to Bloxham (Oxfordshire) owners of standard cars could have them upgraded to JaguarSport spec. by the "FAB" scheme (fitted at bloxham) through their local dealer. Owners were confident knowing the conversion was carried out to factory specifications by JaguarSport itself. The JaguarSport badges were however not fitted being reserved for cars sold new, which can explain why some cars have the standard HE's VIN Nos.(SAJJ(N)AE...)

No XJR-S's were made with the 3.6L or 4.0L engines, which is odd because the engines in the JaguarSport XJR (XJ40 shape) both in 3.6L and 4.0L were very heavily modified compared to the V12. A prototype was made in 1990, now privately owned, with a twin turbocharged 3.6L engine and 5 speed manual!

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