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Supercars On A $50,000 Budget: The V12 Jaguar You've Never Heard Of

We didn't even know that this car existed.

We absolutely loved the Jaguar XJS. The two-door, British grand tourer was manufactured by Jaguar from 1976 to 1996. During its two-decade lifespan, Jaguar sold 115,413 units of the XJS, most of which came with a smooth V12 engine. There was a straight-six option after 1983, but the V12 was the one to have. There were a few special versions of the XJS, but we found one that might be our favorite. From 1988 on, a special model called the XJR-S was produced by JaguarSport, a separate racing division of Jaguar.

The XJR-S started production in 1988. It was built by JaguarSport with a distinctive body kit, special wheels and suspension, and handling improvements. The car was meant to celebrate Jaguar's 1988 LeMans win. In 1993, a special model was brought to the US with a 6.0-liter V12 engine with a Zytek engine management system that was shared with the XJ200 supercar. Only 100 examples came to the US including 22 Signal Red coupes and convertibles, 22 Jet Black coupes and 27 convertibles, two Flamenco Red coupes, and a pair of Silver Frost press cars. We found one of the 22 Signal Red coupe models with less than 19,000 original miles on it and the car is currently for sale for $44,500 at West Coast Classics in CA.

This XJR-S is an extremely special car. The 6.0-liter V12 produces 330 hp, and with just 18,900 miles on the odometer, we have no doubt that this example drives like it's brand new. Not only does this car come with a full service history, but a full set of original manuals and even the window sticker.

So what makes this Jaguar better than buying something newer like a slightly used F-Type? An F-Type might be faster, but it can't match the character of the amazing XJR-S. With such low miles, everything on the car works and appears to be in flawless condition. The car has two previous owners who knew each other and kept the car stored in a garage. The original owner only did 8,000 miles in the car, before selling it to his friend who put on another 5,000 miles. The car has never been in an accident or repainted, so what you see is all original. Given the state of most Jaguar XJS examples, we are glad to see one that has been kept in such perfect condition without the need for restoration.

The original sticker price for this car in 1993 was $73,990, which was incredibly expensive at the time. That is why we think that the sub-$50,000 price tag is pretty reasonable today. Even today, the XJR-S's performance is nothing to slouch at, with a 0-60 time of 6.3 seconds and a top speed of 157 mph. We think that the XJS is on its way into becoming a desirable classic, and this special XJR-S model is easily the coolest iteration of the British cruiser that we've ever seen.

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