The 1970s and 1980s
Growing stronger, driving faster
Jaguar’s range continues to evolve as new models and engines are launched and the company regains its independence.
1972 – COMING INTO ITS OWN
Four years after it was launched, more than 250,000 XJ6s had rolled off the production lines. Jaguar was now in a position to give the model the engine that had always been intended for it, the 5.4-litre V12. It was now officially the fastest production car in the world, capable of 140mph. The original XJ received design facelifts in 1973 and 1979 and a V12 version remained on sale until 1992.
1975 – A WORTHY SUCCESSOR TO THE E-TYPE
As the replacement for the iconic E-Type, the XJ-S, designed by Malcolm Sayer, inherited Jaguar’s racing DNA, combined with an unmatched air of luxury and refinement. With its V12 engine, it completed the 3,000-mile coast-to-coast Cannonball Run in the US in an astonishing 32 hours, 51 minutes, a record that stood for four years.
1985 – THE END OF AN ERA
Sir William Lyons died at his home in Leamington Spa, 50 years after unveiling the first Jaguar and 13 years after retiring as Jaguar’s chairman.
1988 – RETURN TO THE WINNER’S PODIUM
The XJR-9, with a 7.0-litre engine, proved unstoppable in the World Sports Car Championship, winning six of the 11 races and taking both the driver and team trophies. It also returned Jaguar to the top step of the podium at Le Mans for the first time since 1957.