The new Jaguar XJ Series 2 four-door sedan was introduced at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 1973. Visually, the Jaguar XJ Series 2 cars are stylistically little different from the Jaguar XJ Series 1 model, with the exception of higher front bumpers, as required by new safety rules, which led to a change in the main grille, which was significantly reduced in size, and a second grille appeared under the bumper radiator cooling. The interior of the car has received a more substantial update, with a windshield wiper lever on the steering column in addition to the turn signal switch, and the turn signal switch has a high beam function instead of the floor switch on the XJ Series1. Switches disappeared from the front panel, and the instruments were grouped closer to the driver. The structure of the dashboard has undergone visual and functional changes, including a completely redesigned air conditioning system. Engines were offered the same as in the XJ Series 1, and from 1975 the 2.8-liter engine was replaced by a 3.4-liter engine. As a result, the dynamics of the most inexpensive versions, which, however, cost at least £ 3,500, were improved.
In 1972 there were major personnel changes: William Lyons resigned. Frank "Lofty" England took over as Chairman and CEO of Jaguar Cars. But even after retiring from business, William Lyons did not break ties with the company. By that time, he had become not only a living legend, but also the hero of a host of funny stories passed from mouth to mouth by employees of the company. It was said that the frugality inherent in Sir William from his youth, over the years, was transformed into outright stinginess. One day, he allegedly looked into the Jaguar showroom in Piccadilly Circus. Taking the opportunity, the salon manager asked to be allowed to replace the old floor mats that lay at the entrance to the showroom. “Of course not, because these are still quite decent,” Lyons replied. And after a while he again came to the same salon and got angry, seeing new rugs. The reaction was instant: “I ordered you to refrain from wastefulness and I thought that you understood me!” The case was already going to be fired, but the manager managed to justify himself: “Sir, I just laid more worn rugs in front of the employees’ offices, and those that were there in front of the entrance.” In response, I heard: “In that case, I’ll wait for you on Monday at my Wappenberry Hall, do it at my house too.”
In 1973, the extraordinary popularity of the XJ models received a new round, new versions of the Series II were presented at the Frankfurt Motor Show, and a new body style was introduced there. It was an XJC coupe that looked particularly stylish. The main building had only two doors and no window frames. So, in the absence of a central window pillar, the windows on the doors and in the rear could be lowered, creating the effect of the complete absence of a pillar. In this form, the XJ6C and XJ12C looked especially sporty. A pair of V12 XJ coupes were prepared to race Broadspeed for the British company in the European Touring Car Championship. Despite the experience of racers such as Derek Bell, the cars did not succeed in 1976 due to shortcomings. Unfortunately, after the release of a small number of magnificent coupes in November 1977, Jaguar decided to phase out short wheelbase bodies and concentrate on long wheelbase sedans. The Jaguar XJ6C was priced at £5,777 and Jaguar XJ12C £7,281.
Jaguar XJ Coupe
At this time in the USA, the V12 E-type had a big impact on the racing scene. Bob Tullius, whose Group 44 team successfully registered Triumph and MG sports cars for SCCA, convinced Jaguar that the E-type could compete. Jaguar decided to bring the Group 44 back to the east coast and Joe Huffaker, who had worked successfully with MG cars for several years, to the west coast. The E-type models dominated the regional championships for two years, breaking Corvette's lead in those series. In 1975, Tallius took a landslide victory in the "B" class stock car championship. To indicate the scale, it should be mentioned that during the previous 17 years, Corvette won the championship 14 times. Ironically, the E-type was discontinued by the end of 1974, and these race victories only served to illustrate the advantages of the company's design and engineering approach in 1961.
Released in September 1975, the XJ-S was technically closely related to the XJ sedans. At that time, the design was very unusual, but at the same time the car looked modern and corresponded to the concept of GT (grand tourer) with its proportions. The final design of the car took shape by 1972, but Malcolm Sawyer, who developed this unusual design, no longer saw it, because. died tragically in 1970. While some found the overall look of the car somewhat inconsistent, no one could object to its impressive performance. A V12 engine with fuel injection was used, which provided excellent driving characteristics of the car. 60 mph could be reached in 6.9 seconds and top speed was 150 mph. The level of refinement and quietness was raised to sedan standards, with air conditioning included as standard. Initially, there was both a manual and an automatic transmission, but later the manual option was removed. In 1980 Jaguar announced new high performance HE cylinder heads for V12 engines. The result was a significant reduction in fuel consumption, which gave the V12-powered XJ-S a significant advantage during the eighties, when fuel shortages were most acute. the fastest production car in the world with an automatic transmission. Jaguar has announced new high performance HE cylinder heads for V12 engines. The result was a significant reduction in fuel consumption, which gave the V12-powered XJ-S a significant advantage during the eighties, when fuel shortages were most acute. the fastest production car in the world with an automatic transmission. Jaguar has announced new high performance HE cylinder heads for V12 engines. The result was a significant reduction in fuel consumption, which gave the V12-powered XJ-S a significant advantage during the eighties, when fuel shortages were most acute. the fastest production car in the world with an automatic transmission.
After the release of the Jaguar XJ-S, Group 44 created a model for Trans-Am professional racing. Several test drives in 1976 showed the potential of the model, and in 1977 a full season was planned. In the 1978 season, the Group 44 team beat numerous Porsches with their XJ-S, which now developed 540 horsepower. s., and Tallius finished the season as a Category 1 Champion in the Trans-Am Championship. Next year, in a new lighter car equipped with an 560 hp engine. s., Tallius won the last seven races and again became the champion. By registering the XJ-S in 1977 for Brian Fürstenau, a car designer, in the last three competitions, Jaguar also won the manufacturer's championship. The final season in which the Group 44 team competed in a Jaguar XJ-S was in 1981, and again Tallius won the first and later another race of the season. It was a year before Group 44 stopped competing in Trans-Am and focused on Group C racing in the IMSA GTP.
In 1979, the XJ sedan was significantly modified. The design from Pininfarina was very elegant, except for the change of bumpers, door handles and lighting fixtures, the body below the window sill line was not changed, unlike the interior of the car, which changed the front and rear pillars, the shape of the roof and side glazing. It is noteworthy that the windshield and rear glass became glued, like the most modern models at that time. At the front, the shape of the grille has changed, and the headlights have acquired windshield wipers. In the technical part, the car acquired a new five-speed gearbox, for the first time on production cars. The new Series 3 had a slightly reshaped design with a flatter roofline and more glass area, giving the car a more defined look. All this, along with improved ancillary equipment, gave the impression of a complete modernization of the car and increased the height in the rear seat area. In fact, the car took on a style that exists outside of time and has enduring popularity.