By Peter Waymark
The board of BL has given an important vote of confidence to Jaguar by, approving the concept of a new range of luxury saloons to come on the market in the mid-1980s. A detailed programme for the car, code-named XJ40, will go before- the board at the beginning of next year. The project is expected to cost around £90m. Jaguar has managed to convince the BL management that there is still a case for producing a new luxury car, despite the rising fuel prices.
The first stage in the XJ40 project will be a new six cylinder engine. Though smaller than the present 5.3 litre and 4.2 litre units, it is being designed to give similar performance and refinement with better fuel economy. The new engine is likely to be ready in about two years and probably will be used in the present Jaguar bodyshell which made its first appearance as the XJ6 model in 1968.