Gentle or wild: Jaguar XJ-S 5.3 Coupé meets F-Type P575 AWD Coupé

The Jaguar XJ-S will soon be 50 years old.

Gentle or wild: Jaguar XJ-S 5.3 Coupé meets F-Type P575 AWD Coupé

The Jaguar XJ-S will soon be 50 years old. Its more or less legitimate successor, the F-Type, has already matured into a classic, even within the time it was built. High time to remember behind the wheel of both models.

Jaguar's model policy, especially with regard to the sportiest products, may not always be consistent. But there is always something two-door that makes the hearts of car fans around the world beat faster. The E-Type was and still is legendary. But we want to focus on the XJ-S, which was rather unloved at times. As a two-plus-two-seater sports coupé - more dignified than wiry, not quite as popular and still eye-catching - the Briton, which has been in production for over 20 years, has now managed to win a place in the hearts of many car enthusiasts.

The same applies to the still modern, but now outdated F-Type. With sheer unbridled power (423 kW/575 hp), distributed over both axles, passion emanates from the drive section. Exciting design is the second mainstay - garnished with a not only strong, but also sound-intensive V8 drive train, which the newer regulations of the European Union have meanwhile relaxed a bit.

The compressor-ventilated five-liter F-Type P575 is by no means quiet, quite the opposite. After all, any passers-by no longer jump back in shock at a courageous burst of gas. The four-wheel drive coupé cannot resist a dirty, bassy rumble, albeit a touch more muffled, when it storms the 100 km/h position on the virtual dial within 3.7 seconds under full load and the passengers’ stomachs rumbling. The thrust moderated by a responsive eight-speed automatic converter only ends at an artificially limited 300 km/h.

In contrast, the XJ-S (late models are spelled XJS) is much more of a gentleman. In terms of driving performance, there is no other way, purely physically - because with the 183 kW/249 hp of the US version used here (stricter exhaust emission control, the European version still has 287 hp) in the context of a super-smooth, but Arrange no wild acceleration parties even with ultra-inefficient three-speed automatic converters. However, the large-volume, but somewhat unspectacular-sounding twelve-cylinder with just under 400 Newton meters puts enough torque on the crankshaft to pass as sovereign motorized.

And anyway, the dozen pots always have a special appeal, it's not for nothing that this engine is considered the king of engine construction. Classic Analytics points out that "from the mid-1970s through the 1990s, a tight-fitting 12-cylinder touring coupe was only available from Jaguar." That's true - at least on the premise that the corresponding Ferrari offers had to be rejected as too aloof.

And watch out! In this case, unspectacular does not mean boring. The 5.3 liter brings the noble coupe up to speed and turns it into an express gran turismo, which even in old age still feels comfortable in the fast lane of local motorways. It may also be a shovel more than the recommended speed, but the travel speed does not have to be significantly higher. Then it gets exhaustingly loud inside and secondly, the chassis are much more sophisticated today, as the modern F-Type shows. In any case, the directional stability of a historic Jaguar requires attentive steering behavior in advanced speed ranges.

To prevent misunderstood messages: The beast painted in signal yellow is lightning fast, but still not a pronounced lateral dynamics. Even if this longing jaguar looks like a piste pig with its compact dimensions and short wheelbase, it is more of a fast tourer - not a bad trait, by the way. After all, supercars should also be able to demonstrate everyday qualities - this ultimately increases the options for everyday use.

The F-Type with its moderate suspension can do that very well. It doesn't matter that it's not a space miracle. After all, a perfectly fitting suit can also enchant. Incidentally, the significantly longer XJ-S has a wheelbase that is three centimeters less than the F-Type and is a 2 2. Whether you want to sit in the back can be answered in a nutshell: no.

Instead of exciting architecture, the F-Type offers one or the other ability in the area of ​​infotainment. That seems to count for more today than designed decorative elements. The sports car, which has been in production for around ten years, shines with a large number of touchscreens and an instrument cluster without needles. At least that's the case when you focus on precision engineering. Because analogue displays can easily be reproduced on the TFT surface. If necessary, the road map can also be displayed, and this is precisely the advantage of the new technology.

In addition to the classic round dials for the rev counter and speedometer, the instruments in the historic coupe delight with four unconventionally designed small vertical displays that provide information on parameters ranging from the voltage level to the water temperature. A mixture of chrome and leather makes for "beautiful living", while the absence of the root wood that was actually expected brings a touch of sportiness to the luxury two-door car, which ultimately appears cozy. Slightly clumsy buttons are just as much a part of the British automotive lifestyle of the seventies as the no-frills analogue clock.

Incidentally, the experts from Classic Analytics recommend the second series of the exclusive coupé - "Prospective buyers should look out for a copy that is as late as possible, as the quality and sophistication was at its highest." Maybe, but the early cars have more charm, after all the XJ-S is a child of the seventies that looked a bit out of place in the mid-nineties with tried-and-true modifications. The fact is that today the XJ-S offers a lot of car for moderate money.

"The entry level for an XJ-S in good condition starts at around 24,000 euros," as Classic Analytics knows. Potential customers of the F-Type can only smile wearily at this. Jaguar wants at least 134,300 euros for it. But it's not for nothing that dream cars are the cars that most people can only dream of.

Jaguar XJ-S - specifications

Jaguar F-Type P575 AWD Coupé - technical Daten