More than 10 years in the making, the XJ40 was Jaguar’s bold leap into the 1980s… however, the rest of the industry was already looking forward to the 1990s. The XJ40’s development was dogged by external political pressures, and thwarted by policy changes… and yet, the end product lived up to the great marques core values.
The matter of the original XJ6’s replacement is treated as a priority in the early 1970s, and it is decided even at this early stage to ensure that all of the marque’s strong values are incorporated in the new car. The XJ40 project was formalised during a meeting between Raymond ‘Lofty’ England and Bob Knight, on 1 October 1972, and it is this event that really marks the beginning of a new era at Jaguar. Few would imagine that this car would undergo a protracted development programme, which would result in the car being launched in 1986 – with a development of this car in production, and highly regarded, at the turn of the 21st century.