To say that the Jaguar XJ6 and its many derivatives were spectacular, successful cars would be an understatement. Introduced in 1968, its design proved so durable that the last ones were produced in 1992! In addition to looking good, this was a car that could deliver, not merely on pure speed – there it was often outmatched by its German rivals – but on luxury, handling and, well, gravitas. On price, too, the XJ6 was hard to beat; it offered the refinement of a world-class executive sedan at half the price of its rivals. Many versions of the XJ6 were produced over the years, including the famous XJ12, featuring a V12 engine, a long-wheelbase car and a coupe.
In terms of engines, the original XJ6 was powered by a straight-six engine, with a 2.8-liter displacement that produced 140 horsepower. Over the years, it was progressively upgraded up to 173 horsepower, which translated into a 124 miles per hour top speed and a 0-60 acceleration of 8.4 seconds.
While these figures are good, they are not spectacular, and belie the fact that the XJ6 handled like few cars did, and provided a driving enjoyment with few equals, which is fun and surprising coming from a big four-door sedan. Of course, not everything was rosy. During the 1970s, the XJ6’s build quality plummeted, which seriously drove away buyers and almost nailed the lid on Jaguar’s coffin.
In 1980, John Egan was hired to fix (if possible) or kill (if he had to) Jaguar, and thankfully for all of us, he fixed it. Sales took off, quality was improved, and a lot of money was made, allowing for the development of the next generation of Jaguar cars. While not being particularly flashy, the 1968 Jaguar XJ6 remains one of the best-known, and best-loved Jaguars ever made.