The Jaguar XJR has a long history, much of it rich. From the very first XJ40-based (and TWR-developed) model of 1988, the flagship versions have delivered the quintessential big fast Jag experience: opulent, powerful, a cut above the German-dominated super-saloon pack. None were perfect, sure, and some were undoubtedly better than others, but anyone with an XJR on the CV is likely to remember it fondly. Assuming they didn’t have to deal with too much depreciation. Or mechanical maladies.
But this isn’t a buying guide. And snapping up cheap, fast cars that were once expensive fast cars is seldom stress-free. Instead we’re here to draw attention to the last XJR, the very rare and very powerful 575. Back at launch in 2017 it wasn’t clear that this would be the end of the XJR line, though the 575 did have all the hallmarks of a run-out special: a little more power from the supercharged 5.0 V8, a lick of snazzy paint and an appropriately burly price tag of £93,710.
Still, everyone loved it. Because the standard, 550hp X351 XJR was already superb, and the 575 was more of the same. It looked beautiful (especially in the blue), drove superbly and had an aura that elevated it above Audi S8s and the like. By the time of the 575 the interior that had seemed so contemporary in 2009 was looking behind the times, but really nothing showed off how great an XJR could be like the 575. We knew this era of XJ would be missed even when its immediate future appeared to be electric; with the big Jaguar saloon consigned to the history books, it’s hard not to look back even more fondly.
Moreover, as the most potent four-door Jaguar after the Project 8, with as much horsepower as a new F-Type R and 25 more than an XJ220, the final XJR will always have a special place in Jaguar history. It’s exclusivity is not surprising given the asking price and the fact it was – to be honest – not a million miles away from the regular XJR that had been for sale a while by 2017. Those after a supercharged V8 Jag saloon could have a lightly used standard model for much less; those after the pinnacle of uber saloon in 2017 would probably be better served by a rival.
But to hell with objectivity – let’s be thankful somebody did take the plunge in 2017. Because it looks brilliant. Better than ever, in fact, at little more than half its used price. First registered five years ago, this Satin Corris Grey car (the subtler of the two SVO paint options, with Velocity Blue also offered) has covered 33,000 miles with three owners. It’s being sold with a full Jaguar service history and, bar some inevitable wear on the quilted leather, looks factory fresh. The X351 XJ was, to these eyes, a masterpiece of four-door design, helped in this case by some great photos.
The 575 is for sale at £49,950, one of just two in the PH classifieds (against seven 550hp cars). Those earlier examples are, as we’ve suggested, a little cheaper, even those with fewer miles. With a sensible hat on, they’re the XJRs to buy. But nobody, really, bought any XJR to be sensible – they weren’t made that way. Which always made them very easy to love, and none more so than the most powerful one.
SPECIFICATION | JAGUAR XJR 575
Engine: 5,000cc V8, supercharged
Transmission: 8-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): [email protected],250-6,500rpm
Torque (lb ft): [email protected],500-4,500rpm
Year registered: 2017
Recorded mileage: 33,000
Price new: £93,710
Yours for: £49,995